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You’re on the field or at the beach and the sun is beating down. Beads of sweat transform into streams of water. Do you know why?

Perspiration, or sweat, is your body’s way of cooling itself down. Running, jumping, dancing, and even thinking burns calories, which heats up your body. The cooling center in your brain signals the cells in your skin to release the excess heat. In turn, sweat begins to seep out of the millions of tiny holes in your skin.

You are constantly sweating, even though you may not notice it. The amount of sweat produced depends upon your state of emotion and physical activity. Sweat can be made in response to nerve stimulation, hot air temperature, and/or exercise.

Once sweat is released, it beads on your skin. As it evaporates, it cools off your body and returns your temperature to normal (98.6 degrees). When the water in the sweat evaporates, it leaves the salts (sodium, chloride and potassium) behind on your skin, which is why your skin tastes salty. The loss of excessive amounts of salt and water from your body can quickly dehydrate you, which can lead to health problems and heat stroke. So, it is important to drink plenty of fluids when you exercise or are outside in high temperatures. Sports drinks contain some salts to replace those lost in the sweat.

Did You Know

  • You have 2.6 million sweat glands in your skin
  • Your feet have more than 250,000 sweat glands each
  • In one day, your feet can produce more than a pint of sweat
  • Your lips don’t sweat
  • Sweat is basically salt and water
  • When sweat evaporates, it leaves salts on your skin
  • Those living in a hot climate such as the desert or the tropics can produce about two to three liters of sweat per hour.
  • Excessive sweating — usually on the palms of the hand or the armpits — not caused by emotional or physical activity is a medical condition that can be treated.

Why Do Feet Stink?

Most of us have a friend or teammate who can clear out a room when they kick off their shoes. Maybe you’re even the culprit? Even the sweetest smelling person can do a decent job stinking up a pair of shoes by running a few miles in them. So what’s going on? Why do your feet have a stronger odor than the rest of your body?The main thing that feeds foot smell is sweat. With more than 250,000 sweat glands each, your feet are among the most perspiring parts of the body. Sweat doesn’t have a distinctive smell of its own. The smell is actually caused by bacteria on your skin that eats the sweat and excretes waste that has a strong odor. It’s perfectly normal to have bacteria on your skin, and it doesn’t ordinarily produce a noticeable smell, but sweat attracts bacteria and gives them a whole lot to feed on.

Of course we sweat all over and most of the rest of your body doesn’t particularly stink (except maybe your pits) So what’s different about feet? The answer is socks and shoes. The sweat our feet excrete can’t easily escape into the air — it all collects on our skin and in our socks. The bacteria love this dark, damp feast and have a sort of feeding frenzy. When you take off your shoes, the smell that ‘s released is all the bacteria excretion that’s collected on your feet and in your socks and shoes.

So, since foot odor is caused by bacteria digesting sweat, there are two main ways to reduce the stink. You can:

  • wash your feet with strong anti-bacterial soap
  • wear clean socks
  • don’t wear the same shoes everyday – give a pair of shoes 24 hours or more to air out before wearing them again
  • always wear socks, preferably made of cotton or other absorbent materials that absorb a lot of the sweat so the bacteria can’t feed on it
  • change your socks a few times a day
  • buy some absorbent Odor-Eater type shoe inserts
  • apply an antiperspirant to your feet

Pretty Tough Tip

Vanilla Vibe Liquid Talc Unique formula provides the pleasure of mineral talc to keep you cool and dry. Great under shin guards, knee and elbow pads, on your feet and all over the body.

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