Anyone who works out regularly would likely attest to the fact that stink and sweat walk hand in hand. You work hard, you work up a sweat and all of a sudden you smell bad enough to make your friends', family and coworkers' eyes water. While you might assume it's the sweat that smells, that isn't exactly correct. If you don't believe me, wipe sweat off your forehead the next time you're sweating and smell it. You probably won't smell much.
Sweat Glands: Eccrine vs. Apocrine Glands
The human body contains 2 basic types of sweat glands. The glands that cover most of the body produce the salty, clear sweat you're covered in after working out. Apocrine glands are specialized glands that are only found in two areas of the body: the groin and the armpits. Not coincidentally, these are the areas of the body that tend to smell the worst after a good workout. Apocrine glands secrete a different kind of sweat that's brimming with proteins, fatty acids and salts.
What Causes the Stink?
When you sweat, it isn't the sweat itself that smells. The sweat comes in contact with bacteria on the skin and the bacteria begin to feed on it. As they process the sweat, the bacteria release chemical byproducts that make you smell like an old onion. These bacteria are especially active in the feet, groin and the armpits because these areas tend to be dark and damp and are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
The sweat in the armpit area contains an additional compound known as androstenone that really ups the stink factor. Oddly enough, some people don't notice this smell, while it drive others up the wall. That's probably why you can't get within 15 feet of Carl in accounting without your nostrils burning and he seemingly doesn't notice a thing. There's even a small subsection of the populace that likes the smell of androstenone, so he might even think he smells good.
If you know someone like this, print this article out and slip it into their desk drawer or locker. If you are someone like this, you'll know because this article will magically appear somewhere you frequent. Since I don't know you and don't have to be tactful, I'll be the one to tell you. Put on some deodorant. The people around you will appreciate it greatly.