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Sweating After Eating: How Does Food Affect Sweat?

Cheerful young man eating chinese take away food with chopsticks

By Dennis Madden

You may notice a distinct aroma on yourself or others after you eat certain foods. Other foods just make you sweat. What impacts your sweating after eating, and do you have any control over it?

Hold the Spice

What about spicy food makes you sweat more? According to Barry Green of the John B. Pierce Laboratory, some chemicals found in spicy foods, like capsaicin, can fool the nervous system by stimulating temperature and pain receptors on the skin, resulting in sweating. It's the combination of pain and heat sensors that lead to the feeling of extreme heat rather than just a pain signal, like if you bit your tongue. As with many areas of study in the body, the exact mechanism of this response is not fully understood. Rest assured, top minds are studying this relationship to help unlock other mysteries of the nervous system.

What Can You Do?

Aside from trying to match the food to your social situation, there may be a few things you can do to reduce sweating after eating. First start with the obvious: swipe with a strong antiperspirant to keep you dry all day.

Another easy way to help reduce sweating is to avoid drinking too much water, which can cause excess sweating, according to the British Medical Journal. In general, men should drink 13 cups (3 liters) a day, but the exact amount can change depending on your health, your exercise habits and your environment, says the Mayo Clinic.

If you do find yourself in a classy social situation that includes spicy foods, include a handkerchief into your dapper ensemble. No one will judge you harshly if you discreetly pull it out to dab your brow. You may even give off an air of sophistication.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Speed Stick® products. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.