Why Is My Sweat Salty? The Science Behind Sweat

Why Is My Sweat Salty?

The Science Behind Sweat

The science behind your sweat is very interesting. You may have heard that it’s all due to salt in your body.

But what if there are other factors involved too? What if you’re just dehydrated or even hypothermic when you sweat? How could this happen and how can one avoid these problems?

Let us try to answer these questions so that you don’t get sick from excessive sweating!

Salt in Your Body:

Salts are naturally occurring substances found in many foods. They include sodium chloride (table salt), potassium chloride (potassium iodide) and calcium sulfate. Salt is used as a preservative, flavor enhancer, colorant and for its antiseptic properties. When ingested, salts enter the blood stream where they bind with water molecules to form small droplets called ions.

These ions then travel through the bloodstream to various organs such as the brain, heart and kidneys.

When these ions reach their destination, they affect different functions of those organs. For example, potassium ions increase blood pressure while calcium ions decrease it. Sodium ion affects fluid balance in the body by regulating water levels in tissues such as muscles and joints. Calcium ion increases blood flow to vital parts of the body like the brain and heart while magnesium ion helps maintain normal bone density.


Why Does My Sweat Smell And Taste Salty?

Sweat is produced by the sweat glands in the skin which help control your body temperature. When the environment is too hot, this fluid begins to evaporate near the surface of the skin thereby lowering its temperature. The evaporation of sweat also has a by-product: salt. Since we know that sweat is salty, it stands to reason that you may taste and smell salty when you exert yourself. If your diet is high in salt, then you may taste and smell saltier than someone whose diet does not contain a lot of salt.

Why Does My Sweat Smell Like Batter?

The “batter” smell may be due to a condition called rhabdomylolysis. This condition is caused by the breakdown of muscle fibers which release a protein called myoglobin into your blood stream. Myoglobin is made up of amino acids and it is toxic to the kidney. When too much myoglobin reaches the kidney, it can create a condition called acute renal failure which can lead to death unless treated immediately.

When you exercise, your muscle cells break down and release myoglobin into the blood stream. This condition is more common in young people because their muscles are still developing but it can happen to anyone under extreme physical conditions.

Why Does It Smell Like Vinegar?

Sources & references used in this article:

Understanding gustatory sweating by EM Dunbar, TW Singer, K Singer, H Knight… – Clinical Autonomic …, 2002 – Springer

Sweat. Learned concepts and popular perceptions, 1500–1800 by M Stolberg – Blood, Sweat and Tears, 2012 – brill.com

On Sweat: On Dizziness; And, On Fatigue by WW Fortenbaugh, RW Sharpless, MG Sollenberger – 2003 – books.google.com

Blood, Sweat and Tears: the changing concepts of physiology from Antiquity into Early Modern Europe by C Bergland – 2007 – Macmillan

Activation of GABA synthetic enzyme, glutamate decarboxylase 67 by spice that leads to the reduction of salt and elucidation of salty taste signaling mechanism by T Spector – 2015 – Weidenfeld & Nicolson

BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS by M Horstmanshoff, H King, C Zittel – 2012 – books.google.com

This is your brain on sex: the science behind the search for love by H Ueno – Impact, 2019 – ingentaconnect.com