Today’s science lesson: Reek-ology

Taught SPIN in a hot, humid room this morning. Had to burn my clothes when I was done.

There’s a reason my wife makes me keep my sweaty cycling gear in the garage.  It’s the same reason that when my kids walk by it they say “…it smells like dog poop”.

There are 2 types of sweat – apocrine & eccrine, and the following factors can make the stinky (apocrine) glands a lot more active:

  • Cola, coffee, tea, chocolate, and other foods and drinks with caffeine make apocrine sweat glands more active, as can alcoholic drinks.
  • You’ll be less stinky if you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Drinking lots of water (eight glasses a day) keeps eccrine glands active to dilute the scent.

I don’t eat enough fruit, I do have the occasional beer or 3, as well as daily coffee.  Combine that with not enough water on any given day and even throw in a handful of M&Ms and it’s a recipe for severe funkitude.  I do wash all my gear in sports specific detergent, which doesn’t block the pores in the fabric and allows them to wick moisture effectively.  Wash your clothes in normal detergent and dry with fabric softener if you want to triple the amount of stench coming off your sweaty carcass after a good thrashing.

So, the scientific conclusion: In order to win more friends, or keep the ones you have – hydrate, avoid caffeine and alcohol and eat lots of fruit.   In other words, just give up.  Unless you become a monk, you’re gonna stink when you ride.

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