Here’s the lowdown on body odor: When your body temperature rises as a result of stress, nervousness, or the smothering heat, it activates your sweat glands. But, believe it or not, sweat itself is completely odorless. Body odor, on the other hand, is the stench you emit when breaking a sweat, and it’s created once the sweat hits the skin’s surface and combines with bacteria, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Now, here’s the lowdown on terrible body odor: Eating foods with certain chemical elements can seriously intensify that odor to an almost unbearable level. More bad news: Some of these foods are super healthy and most men should have them in their diet. The good thing is that the odor is temporary. “It will only take two hours for the body to start smelling,” says Debra Jailman, a dermatologist, and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top Dermatologist, “and it can also last up to a few hours.” So next time you consume these foods (hopefully only the healthy ones), either avoid them before a big event (or a date). Alternatively, Jailman suggests this trick: Eat foods (or supplements) rich in chlorophyll—like a fresh sprig of parsley or cilantro after a meal—since they’re known to counteract odor.