Why Does Our Sweat Taste Like Salt?

While salt is a universal part of human sweat, not everyone’s sweat tastes the same. This article dives into the science behind sweat, what the research says about its benefits, and what conditions could affect how much you sweat.

Why is Sweat Salty?

Sweat is water that your body produces to cool down. This kind of sweat is produced by the eccrine glands, which are located largely around your armpits, foreheads, palms of your hands, and the soles of your feet.

Within watery eccrine sweat fluid, there are numerous other components, including:

● Sodium (Na): This is released to help maintain the sodium balance in your body. It is also what gives your sweat its salty taste.
● Ammonia (NH3): This waste product is released in sweat when your kidneys cannot filter out all the nitrogen in urea from your liver.
● Proteins: Nearly 95 different proteins are found in sweat, which assist in boosting your immune system defenses and strengthen your skin.
● Urea (CH4N2O): This waste product is created by your liver when it processes protein. It is released in sweat to stop it from rising to toxic levels.

The Benefits of Sweating

Sweat is not always comfortable, especially if you’re sweating a lot before an important meeting. That said, sweating has numerous benefits, including:

● Clearing your skin pores of dirt and bacteria
● Removing toxic heavy metals from your body in high concentrations
● Cleansing bacteria buildup on your skin.
● Removing toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)

The Downsides of Sweating

However, sweating can have some downsides, including:

● Acidic sweat resulting from acidosis
● Stinky sweat resulting from stress sweat produced by the apocrine glands.
● Fish-smelling sweat could be a sign of trimethylaminuria. This happens when your body can’t break down the compound trimethylaminuria, which is directly released into your sweat and results in a fishy odor.

Why Do Those With Cystic Fibrosis Have Extra Salty Sweat?

Cystic fibrosis results from a mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. This also influences how sodium and water are transported throughout cells in your body, often releasing higher amounts of sodium chloride (NaCI) in your sweat.

Why Are Tears and Sweat Both Salty?

Like sweat, tears are part water, salt, and other components that contribute to their salty taste. These include:

● Fatty oils
● Bicarbonate
● Chloride
● Magnesium
● Potassium
● Calcium


Don’t be too bothered about the salty taste of your sweat. It’s meant to taste that way because your body removes extra compounds and chemicals. It also keeps your pores clear, your skin clean, and your body cool.