This post comes at the request of one of my friends from back home in Indiana, he mentioned that there are some smelly guys where he trains BJJ currently. Nobody likes rolling with the stinky guy in class, but even more so, no one wants to be the stinky guy in class. So you want to learn how to stay clean? Read on below.
Rule #1. Wash and dry your gi! No one likes rolling with someone who's gi stinks, if you wore it last night for class don't wear it again the next day before washing it even if "you didn't sweat much". A gi is a perfect place for bacteria to culture, and bacteria causes things to smell. Since I have been training at Alliance in ATL, my workouts are very intense each class, and this cause me to sweat a lot. In the beginning I was having some issues getting the smell out of my gis, I would wash them right after class yet when they came out of the dryer they would still smell. Since then I have been using 1 cup of baking soda added in with the detergent at each wash and my gis come out smelling like a gi, not like a sweaty gi.
Rule #2. Wash yourself. With all of the horror stories of things like staph, MRSA, and ringworm, it is imperative to take a shower after a BJJ class. There are sometimes 50 guys all on one mat, sweating in close proximity, and it is hard to tell what everyone there may have living on their skin. Certain people have higher natural levels of staph on their skin than others, they have developed an immunity to the staph that lives on them, but if you come in contact with it, and it gets into an open area on your skin you can get very sick, or get a nasty infection. I am a nurse and I have had staph myself, I have seen how quickly a MRSA or a staph infection can spread through a group of people, the best practice is to shower immediately after training, or if you live very close to the gym, right when you get home.
This is what a serious staph infection looks like, shower after class to avoid getting something like this!
Rule #3. Wear deodorant (not antiperspirant) Men (and women) have different sweat glands in their pubic areas and under your arms, these glands produce a much stronger smelling musty sweat. This is typically the sweat that cause people to stink, as normal sweat glands produce less pungent smelling sweat. This has lead to the development of stronger and stronger antiperspirants. Although at the surface antiperspirants sound like a good idea they come with a hidden danger, their active ingredient is aluminum. Aluminum is a heavy metal and is absolutely not something you want to put into your body, especially since the primary way for the body to excrete heavy metals is by sweating them out. The sweat glands become clogged with aluminum with antiperspirants and it becomes impossible for your body to rid itself of the heavy metal. I suggest getting regular deodorant, it still smells nice and covers the sweat smell but, it is less likely to cause you serious problems like cancer or Alzheimer's disease. Be sure to check the label and buy something that says deodorant and not antiperspirant.
Rule #4. Clean your mouth. Before a BJJ class its a good idea to drink a lot of water, this can help keep you hydrated and also keep your mouth clean. On top of drinking water everyone knows you should brush your teeth at a bare minimum of once per day. Hey we all forget sometimes, I won't judge you, but you can still grab some gum, grab some mouthwash, or worst case scenario brush your teeth with your finger and rinse for 30 seconds with water. All these things will help keep the bacteria at bay and your breath smelling better. We have to be in close proximity to other peoples faces in BJJ and no one likes talking to someone who's breath smells like a dogs mouth.
Now these tips aren't really to chastise anyone, we have all forgotten to brush our teeth, had to leave the gym in pinch, or forgot to put on deodorant, but if everyone tries to follow these guidelines everyone can have a better (and better smelling) BJJ experience.