A million years ago if you were being chased by a woolly mammoth, your ability to sweat a smelly odour as a warning to your loved ones to drop everything and run, would have been a useful thing. Life saving in fact. But today the same ability to send people scattering is a bit of a nuisance. The truth is nature has wired us to be wet and smelly, that's why we're equipped with millions of sweat glands and that's why some parts of our bodies are happiest when boggy.
Anyone with social anxiety will be very aware of their armpits. When facing an anxiety-making event, many sufferers start to sweat uncontrollably from their armpits, groin, nipples and eyelids. This kind of sweating comes from our apocrine glands and tends to be a bit stinky. It's our out-dated genetic alarm signal to panic and run. The other kind of sweating we get when hot and exerting ourselves comes from our eccrine glands. This type of perspiration might saturate your clothes, but is far more predictable.
So what can you do if you get nervy sweat?
Drink lots of water. Keep your body hydrated to cool you down. Drink eight 100ml glasses of water a day, starting with a glass as soon as you wake up. Keep a bottle of water beside your workspace and have a glass of water with every meal.
Avoid trigger foods. Some foods ratchet up the heat and make you sweat. The obvious culprits are spicy foods, curries, acidic sauces and caffeine. Be kind to your stomach and keep your gut health in tip-top condition.
Re-balance your diet. Invest in a clean diet that includes lots of fruit and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, lettuce, courgette, celery and green beans. Munch on raw foods like baby spinach, seeds and nuts. These are magnesium rich and will help you to sweat less.
Breathe deeply. Calm your mind and stop your heart racing with some deep breathing exercises. There are plenty of breathing and meditation apps available that can help you avoid a tense and sweaty situation.
Banish the bacteria. Shower every day removing the bacteria (staphylococcus hominis) that reside in your pits and other dark places. These are the folk that combine with sweat to make you reek.
Finally, seek out a high performance, paraben-free deodorant, a product that wasn't so readily available to our ancestors back in the days of the mammoth and sabre-toothed tiger.