5 Things in Your Sweat That Make You Stink

Exercise is great, stinky sweat not as much. Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Thinkstock

I was looking through my "Too Much Information" file the other day and came across an old folder titled "The Case of the Stinky Reporter." Pat and I worked together for ages. I took his job at a one-person newspaper bureau when he moved to the main office. The bureau was slightly larger than a coffin. It trapped all sorts of smells.

Pat lived in town, and you'd often see him jogging. He ran mile after sweaty mile, day after smelly day. He'd often run to my office after his workout and want to chat. "Can you go home and take a shower?" I'd remind him. Pat would laugh and continue talking. While I liked Pat, he was a one-person skunk fest, able to knock a fly off a manure truck. I tell you this because sweating and body odor are unpleasant facts.

Humans cool down by sweating. When we start to overheat, some of our sweat glands release a watery substance onto the skin. When the moisture evaporates, you're as cool as cucumber and, perhaps, as odoriferous as an old sock.

Sweat is a curious thing. If you ran a few miles, wiped a bit of perspiration from your brow and held it to your nose, it wouldn't smell. But swipe your underarm and sniff? You stink. Unbelievably, sweat itself doesn't usually smell, at least not initially. So what does? We're about to tell you.