If you experience sweat during or after eating, you’ll want to read this. Learn why you sweat when you eat and which foods are the biggest sweat triggers.
When excessive sweat hits, it’s normal to wonder why. Here’s a list of reasons you might find yourself sweating more than normal.
Can caffeine make you sweat? Yes!
After all, it is a stimulant.
Although legal, the caffeine found in coffee and tea is still a drug, and it can make you sweat by speeding up the central nervous system (CNS).
In fact, the more caffeine you drink, the more likely you are to perspire.
If excessive sweating is a problem for you, cutting back on caffeine loaded products like these may help reduce unwanted sweat:
- Energy drinks
- Soft drinks
- Chocolate (yep…chocolate)
- Over-the-counter stimulants (NoDoz and other caffeine pills)
- Over-the-counter pain medications (Excedrin)
- Pre-workout and weight loss supplements1
But according to researchers, you shouldn’t have to worry about side effects like sweating if you drink less than 300-400 mg a day. 2
Of course, there are some exceptions, but more on that later…
For now, let’s take an in-depth look at the science of caffeine and sweating:
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a chemical stimulant in the methylxanthine class of psychoactive drugs.
It increases alertness and changes the way your brain and body function via the central nervous system (CNS).
Caffeine also impacts the cardiovascular and endocrine systems by elevating heart rate and boosting stress hormone production.
Why Does Caffeine Make You Sweat?
If you drink coffee or energy drinks daily and you’re wondering “why do I sweat so much?“, caffeine may be to blame for that extra sweat.
When you’re stressed (or when you drink too much caffeine), the nervous system tells the body to release stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, elevates heart rate, and secretes sweat to cool the body and balance fluids.
There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine glands and apocrine glands…
Eccrine Glands vs. Apocrine Glands
Eccrine sweat glands regulate body temperature and are found in virtually every square millimeter of the skin, and they’re mostly concentrated in the forehead, palms, and soles of the feet.
This type of sweat is 98-99 percent water and does not cause body odor.
Apocrine sweat glands produce the majority of stress-related sweat, and they’re found in the armpits, groin, nipples, and eyelids.
Unlike eccrine sweat, apocrine sweat contains fats that deteriorate when mixed with bacteria on the skin…and body odor is born!
Does Coffee Make You Sweat?
Coffee is the most popular caffeine source worldwide, and if you drink enough of it, it can make you sweat.
In addition to sweating, high doses of coffee may cause symptoms like anxiety, dehydration, and dizziness.
The average 5 oz coffee contains about 85 mg of caffeine. 3
Does Decaf Coffee Make You Sweat?
Some people drink coffee for the energy boost, others drink it for the taste.
If you aren’t ready to part ways with coffee, decaf can a great way to cut back on caffeine.
A lot of people don’t know this, but decaf still contains at least 3 mg of caffeine per 5 oz cup, and many brands contain 7 mg or more. 3
Does Tea Make You Sweat?
Although tea contains less caffeine than coffee, it can still trigger sweating in high doses.
However, green and black teas have one major upside: they contain a potent nutrient called L-theanine that may help balance the stimulatory effects of caffeine…
L-theanine is an amino acid that boosts gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter that reduces stress and calms brain activity.
The average bag of tea contains 30 mg of caffeine, although some black tea contains up to 40 mg or more. 3
Do Energy Drinks Make You Sweat?
Together, caffeine and sugar can supercharge the nervous system and increase the risk of sweating, and as it turns out, energy drinks have plenty of both.
Luckily, most brands have dialed-back their caffeine content over the years, but the average energy drink still contains the same amount of caffeine as two cups of coffee.
For example, Monster energy drinks contain 79.2 mg of caffeine per serving, or 158.4 mg per can. 4
Does Soda Make You Sweat?
If you want to say sayonara to sweating, you’ll have to ditch the soda too.
Like energy drinks, caffeinated sodas deliver a heavy-hitting combo of sugar and caffeine.
On average, soda contains 18 milligrams of caffeine in every 6-ounce serving. For example, one can of Coke contains 29.4 mg of caffeine. 5
Does Chocolate Make You Sweat?
Cocoa beans are closely related to coffee beans, and yes, they contain caffeine too.
There’s roughly 4 milligrams of caffeine in every 5 ounces of hot chocolate and 1.5-6.0 mg in every ounce of chocolate candy. 3
With that said, unless you have underlying medical conditions, you shouldn’t have to worry about sweating from chocolate.
How Much Caffeine Can You Drink Without Sweating?
According to a 2017 meta-analysis of 381 clinical trials and lab tests, the maximum daily caffeine dose is 400 mg for adults and 300 mg for pregnant women. 7
Another study recommends drinking less than 6 mg per kg of bodyweight to avoid side effects like poor calcium absorption and male infertility. 8
In other words, if you drink two cups of coffee or less, you should be in the clear.
With that said, caffeine-sensitive individuals should drink much less (or avoid it entirely)…
Are You Sensitive To Caffeine?
Because caffeine stays in your system for four to six hours, it can be easy to drink too much and feel anxious, hot, and sweaty.
Doses greater than 400 mg/day may cause caffeine overdose in healthy adults, but for sensitive individuals, negative side effects can occur at much lower doses.
Common side effects of caffeine overdose include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Rapid heart rate
- Vomiting and other digestive issues
- Feeling “edgy”
- Changes in alertness
- Muscle twitching
- Increased urination
Increased sweating and urination are the body’s attempt to eliminate the extra caffeine and return to homeostasis.
Risk Factors of Caffeine and Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition characterized by excessive sweating. Drinking too much caffeine or coffee can trigger similar symptoms.
For example, a 2014 study published in the journal Menopause found a connnection between high caffeine intake and increased night sweats in postmenopausal women. 9
At the same time, a 2011 study found that caffeine can increase sweating by affecting the sudomotor nerves. 10
Common risk factors for the caffeine sweats include:
- Autoimmune disease
- Overactive sympathetic nerves
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)
- Hyperpituitarism (overactive pituitary gland)
- Social anxiety disorder
At the same time, it’s best to avoid foods like curry, hot sauce, and cumin as well as alcohol.
Of course, if symptoms are severe enough, there’s also a chance that you may have full-blown hyperhidrosis…
Signs and Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis
Everyone sweats, but if you sweat even when you don’t need to cool down, you might have hyperhidrosis.
According to a report by the Archives of Dermatological Research, hyperhidrosis affects roughly 15 million people in the U.S. alone, and it can seriously impact your quality of life.11
Common symptoms include:
- Sweating that interferes with daily tasks
- Visible sweating
- Night sweats
- Uncomfortable wetness in the groin, hands, feet, and underarms
- Frequent skin infections like athlete’s foot
Some people get so sweaty that they may even struggle to turn doorknobs or grip the steering wheel.
If necessary, your dermatologist can recommend treatments like prescription antiperspirants or anticholinergics: a class of medications that affect the nerves that cause sweating.
However, if sweating only occurs when you drink a lot of caffeine, staying dry may be as simple as cutting back on caffeinated drinks.
- 1: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3625078/
- 2: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691517301709
- 3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8603790
- 4: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171935/nutrients
- 5: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175093/nutrients
- 6: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/sweat-gland
- 7: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691517301709
- 8: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12519715
- 9: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140723105945.htm
- 10: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21883004
- 11: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5099353/
If you’ve struggled with sweaty hands, you’ve likely experienced the following…
- Embarrassing, sweaty handshakes that sabotage first impressions.
- Clammy hands that keep you from holding hands with that special someone.
- Constant hand perspiration that soaks keyboards, paperwork and game controllers.
While the perfect sweaty hands cure may not exist, the remedies listed here can provide some relief from the embarrassment of hand sweating.
Before we break down these tips in detail, let’s explore what causes sweaty hands.
Why are my hands always sweaty?
Most people experience sweaty palms during stressful situations, anxious moments, high temperatures, or physical exertion.
For example, it’s not uncommon to get clammy hands during a tense movie, playing your favorite video game, climbing, or weightlifting.
These activities and higher stress levels will raise your body temperature. This makes your sweat glands release extra heat via sweat. Unfortunately, your palms don’t get a pass on this cooling/sweating process.
If your hands are always sweating or sweating excessively, it could be something more…
Here are some common causes of sweaty hands:
- Anxiety and Emotional Stress
- Palmar Hyperhidrosis
- Physical Activity
- Hot Environments
- Underlying Health Conditions
- Prescription Drugs and Medications
We’ll talk more about these later. Let’s cut to the chase… how do you get rid of sweaty hands?
11 Ways to Stop Sweaty Hands
Here it is… the list you’ve been waiting for. Here’s 11 ways to prevent excessive hand sweating with lifestyle changes, antiperspirants, home remedies and medical procudures for palmar hyperhidrosis.
1. Antiperspirant for Hands
Antiperspirant is the easiest proven way to control sweating. Antiperspirants work by plugging and shrinking your sweat pores. As a result, you’ll sweat less wherever you apply antiperspirant.
Will any antiperspirant work for hands? Antiperspirant sticks, roll-ons and sprays are ideal for treating sweaty armpits, but lotions, creams and gels are better suited for hand and feet application.
Before you get all crazy with natural remedies and medical procedures, try an antiperspirant lotion for hands.
How does antiperspirant lotion work? Dab a pea-sized amount of hand antiperspirant on your palms, rub it in, and let it dry for 3-5 minutes.
If hands are wet or sweaty during application, the antiperspirant lotion will NOT keep hands from sweating.
Depending on your sweat severity, hand antiperspirants can reduce sweating for 1 to 3 hours per application.
You can apply when needed to avoid potentially embarrassing situations like awkward handshakes, slippery handholding, etc…
2. Alcohol-Based Hand Wipes
If you don’t want to use antiperspirant, try using alcohol-based hand wipes. Alcohol is an astringent that, when applied topically, can help keep your hands temporarily dry with its pore-shrinking abilities.
This useful trick comes in handy right before an important interview or social event.
If your hands sweat excessively, you’ll want to stick with an antiperspirant lotion or a hyperhidrosis treatment.
3. Absorb Sweat with Cornstarch or Baby Powder
Baby powder absorbs liquids. So every time you start to feel sweat on your hands, simply dust them with a small bit of baby powder.
Consider carrying a travel-size bottle with you or keep one at work to use throughout the day. Look for a talc-free powder or you can use baking soda or cornstarch.
4. Drink Water… Lots of it.
Drink a generous amount of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated can cool your core temperature and help reduce excessive sweating.
5. Diet and Detox
If you’re searching for a sweaty hands cure? Food might be the “best medicine”.
Did you know that your diet can impact your sweating? Certain foods will increase your sweating while other foods can help you sweat less.
A healthy diet leads to balance and a healthier body. A poor diet leads to imbalance — physical, emotional, and mental.
Imbalance can lead to chronic illness, weight gain, anxiety, and you guessed it: excessive sweating.
Less bad stuff + more good stuff = a happier, healthier, and less-sweaty you.
Examine your diet. You might be able to calm your sweaty hands with a few simple tweaks.
Start with avoiding caffeine, alcoholic beverages, and spicy, fatty, fried, and processed foods.
All of these foods can raise your body temperature and increase heart rate. When your body temperature rises, you perspire more to release the extra heat.
You’ll also want to replace the bad stuff with good food options like whole grains and almonds.
Vitamins B and D can also be very useful in promoting balance.
Here are a few of our favorite vitamin-rich food sources:
- Low-fat or skim milk
- Calcium-rich foods
- Olive oil
You should also add fruits and vegetables that have a high water content to your diet. Like regularly drinking water, they help keep your body hydrated, which regulates your body temperature. Some options include:
6. Sage Tea Soak
Sage is known as Mother Nature’s antiperspirant. It contains a natural astringent called tannic acid. The tannic acid has the ability to constrict and shrink your skin and pores. This shrinking helps reduce sweat just like an antiperspirant.
How it works:
- 1. Add 4-5 sage tea bags to a quart of boiling water.
- 2. Let the tea steep until it’s cool enough to touch.
- 3. Once cooled, soak your hands in the sage solution for 30 minutes.
Feeling Brave? Some “experts” claim that drinking sage tea can also reduce excessive sweat. Just make sure you don’t drink the tea you used to soak your hands. This also works well for sweaty feet.
7. Organic Rose Water
Rose water can be purchased from any store that sells makeup and skincare products because it’s typically used as a skin toner. It works by closing the pores in your skin, which reduces the amount of sweat produced.
To use rose water on your sweaty hands, dip a cotton ball in it then, rub the cotton ball over your palms and let it dry.
Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar can also be applied to your hands this way, but if you use either of them, you should rinse your hands off once they dry. As an alternative, you can also use witch hazel.
8. Coconut Oil
After your daily shower, take a small bit of coconut oil and rub it between your palms until they are fully coated. Coconut oil is a natural antiperspirant and it has several other skin-related benefits so it will help keep your hands soft to the touch too.
9. Regular Exercise
It might seem odd to you to see exercising on a list of home remedies for sweaty hands. After all, when you exercise, you sweat. The thing is, exercise also helps reduce the amount of stress your body is going through.
Because of this, your body’s core temperature sits lower on a regular basis, which reduces the amount of sweat your body produces overall.
It’s a good idea to fit in about 30 minutes or so of exercise five days per week. If you don’t want to hit the gym, consider taking a walk or riding a bike through your neighborhood each evening. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime or you could have a hard time falling asleep.
10. Botox Injections
When used to treat excessive sweating in small areas — such as the palms of your hands — botox has been known to effectively reduce between 82 and 87 percent of sweating.
However, when used to treat sweaty hands, you have to get injections every six months and it can cause temporary pain and weakness in your hands. Because of this, it’s best to discuss all of your options with your doctor before trying botox injections.
11. Iontophoresis Treatments
There is also a treatment available for palmar hyperhidrosis called iontophoresis. This treatment has been known to reduce the amount of sweat produced in one’s hands by up to 81 percent, but the treatment can be a bit painful so it’s typically used as a last resort.
The treatment uses a medical device to pass a mild electrical current through water and the skin’s surface.
No one is 100 percent sure how this works to prevent sweaty hands, but it’s thought that the electrical current and the minerals in the water thicken the outer layer of your skin, which in turn, blocks the sweat from getting to the surface.
You can have this treatment completed in your doctor’s office. Or if you prefer to complete the treatments at home, your doctor can write you a prescription that lets you purchase the medical device.
In some areas, the tap water is too “soft” for the treatment to work. Basically, this means that the water doesn’t have enough minerals and electrolytes. If this is the case in your area, you can add a teaspoon of baking soda to your treatment tray.
Anxiety, stress, and nervousness are actually some of the main culprits of sweaty hands.
In fact, you’ve probably noticed that your hands start sweating before you have to speak in front of an audience or during a first date. It’s completely normal.
Stress, anxiety, and nervousness are all feelings that trigger a fight-or-flight response in our bodies. These responses release the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine.
While the hormones help you cope with whatever is making you anxious, they raise your body temperature too. Of course, your body sweats to regulate your temperature, so when you’re anxious, your sweat glands are activated.
Are Sweaty Palms Genetic?
If your hands consistently perspire, you might have inherited a few bad genes. Excessively sweaty palms can actually skip generations, so it’s possible that you inherited the problem even if your parents don’t have it.
According to studies, two-thirds of patients with hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) have a family member with the same condition.
Hand sweat is normal, but for some, it happens in Niagara Falls-like proportions and for absolutely no reason at all. This type of sweating is called palmar hyperhidrosis.
What is Palmar Hyperhidrosis?
Palmar Hyperhidrosis is excessive and uncontrollable sweating of the hands or palms.
If this describes your situation, you’re not alone. Palmar Hyperhidrosis affects about one percent of the American population.
While anyone can suffer sweaty hands periodically, if the situation persists it is important to seek a medical assessment from a dermatologist to determine if you have palmar hyperhidrosis.
Symptoms can appear anytime, regardless of your age, but they commonly appear during adolescence, and in some cases persist throughout life.
What Causes Palmar Hyperhidrosis?
Experts don’t know the exact reason for sweaty palms. Some believe that a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system could be the cause.
The sympathetic nervous system manages the fight-or-flight response which releases adrenaline, increases heart rate, constricts blood vessels, and controls sweating. In other words, a hyperactive sympathetic nervous system can result in hyper hand sweating.
Palmar hyperhidrosis can wreck confidence and cause extreme stress. This can impact social interactions as well as professional ones, causing real issues in every aspect of your life.
In fact, many dermatologists believe that palmar hyperhidrosis causes a more significant negative impact on patient’s lives than any other dermatological condition.