Sweaty Science

5 Things Science Has To Say About Sweaty Men

Men's perspiration may be bad for white t-shirts, but it's pretty good for everything else.

Originally Published: 
A sweaty man drinking from a water bottle at the gym.
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Men sweat more than women, and studies show that this may be something to be proud of. Scientists suspect that sweaty guys live longer, make women more sexually aroused, and disarm other men, making them more cooperative. Here’s what the research has to say about sweaty men.

Sweating Makes You Arguably Cooler Than Women

Men’s sweat glands activate more easily than those of women, one study shows. Although that may make it seem like dudes are simply the sweatier sex, it just means that it takes less work for their natural cooling system to kick in. Women have to generate far more body heat to break a sweat. For men, when it rains it pours. And that’s an efficient way to shed heat and stay cool.

Men’s Sweat May Turn Women On…

The smell of men’s sweat can boost women’s cortisol levels, which can increase stress and make them more aroused, research shows. Researchers suspect that is due to androstadienone, a chemical in men’s sweat and a popular additive in perfumes. And although research into human pheromones strongly suggests they do not exist, the famous sweaty t-shirt experiment (which found that women preferred the dirty t-shirts of genetically dissimilar men) drives home the point that there’s something about the smell of perspiration that affects mate choice. Just another reason to fall in love at the gym.

…And Boost Women’s Fertility

Men’s sweat doesn’t just contain chemicals to rev women up. Data indicates that it can also help women relax, and potentially stimulate their fertility. Researchers discovered that when women smelled male armpit odors, it sped up the release of hormones associated with ovulation. Interestingly, the women also reported being more relaxed. This may not be a good reason to shove smelly armpits in stressed women’s faces, but it does make a case for sweaty sex — especially if you’re trying to conceive.

Sweat Makes Other Men More Cooperative

As much as women react to the smell of man sweat, other men seem to be affected by it, too. More specifically, the smell of other men’s sweat might make some men more cooperative, studies show. Androstadienone, the same chemical that is thought to make women horny, is thought to make men more cooperative. So teammates who sweat together, win together.

Sweaty Dudes Might Live Longer

Men who regularly went to the sauna to sweat lived longer and experienced a lower risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, according to a study that followed over 2,300 middle-aged men in Finland for an average of 20 years. At the end of the study, results revealed that 49% of men who used a sauna once a week died, compared to 38% who went two to three times a week and 31% of men who went four to seven times a week. Another more recent 15-year-long study replicated these findings, noting that men and women who visited a sauna once a week were 61% less likely to suffer a stroke than those who went once a week. That’s one way to get over your fear of hot sheds full of naked strangers — replace it with a fear of dying.

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