Friday, May 24, 2013

Why does my sweat stink?

Before running took over my life I was a proper southern lady.  I never spit, farted in public, or wore see-through tank tops.  I avoided sweating in public via the liberal use of fans and anti-perspirant.  I did attend Hot Yoga classes for a bit, but perspiring was socially acceptable in that situation and my sweat did. not. stink!

Then I started running.

I remember the first time I smelled my "run sweat".  My husband and I were in the mini-van, driving back home from a run, and I said "Whew!  You stink!"
He said, "I thought that was you."
I responded that my sweat doesn't stink like that.
When we arrived home, I stepped out of the car, and right into my own smell.
That cross between cat urine and Windex could NOT be me!  I'm a delicate southern flower.
Well, apparently, a stink weed "flower"!

The more I sweat the worse the smell is.  Now that summer is upon us, I reek so badly that I refuse to get within 5 feet of another human.  Gone are the days when I popped in the drug store for a gallon of milk on the way home from a run.  I make my sweet-smelling husband do that. <- (there is something so wrong with that statement!)

The smell is so bad that it lingered - even after a wash.  So I recently changed the way I wash my clothes.  I now pre-wash, do a double rinse, and use  "Sport Wash".  So far my workout clothes - at least initially - smell nice and fresh!

In an effort to stop this smelly scourge, I consulted Dr. Internet.  This is what I learned:

Stinky sweat can be caused by:

High Protein Diet, (nope - love my carbs too much)

Too Much Stress, (nada - I am blessed with a pretty stress-free life)

Red Meat, (almost never eat it)

Bacteria Living On Your Skin, (then my sweat would always stink - not just when I run)

Not Enough Carbohydrate  (ummm, I could and sometimes do live on carbohydrates!)

So, I guess no one really knows.  Maybe it's just a by-product of my awesomeness!  Yeah!  I'm going with that!

Anybody have any suggestions or solutions?  Help!


  1. I stink more when i drink too much coffee or eat too much garlic. It just pours out of me! I guess all you can do is just slap some deodorant on and keep washing the clothes :)

    1. yep! And now that I've decided it's just a product of my awesomeness, I don't mind so much :)

  2. 1. I LOVE your blog name. Brilliant! (And I love the red hair, obviously) :)
    2. The smell can also sometimes be caused by being dehydrated, so maybe up the H2O intake and see what happens?

    1. I'll do that! Sometimes I really have to stop and make myself drink.
      I had to use this blog name because my first pick - "Caution: Redhead Running" was already taken lol!

  3. LOL! I'm so glad I'm not the only sweat stinking runner out there!!! I'll have to try the Sport Wash for sure!

    1. It is pricey - but I only use it for my running clothes. I don't know if that caused the change or the Borax. Borax is a lot cheaper :)

  4. I was formerly a competitive marathoner and after years could no longer recover. I would bet that my diet really interfered with recovery and performance. The more we train the bigger the role of recovery and diet.
    Now as a master aged guy I'd like to learn more!