8

votes

How did Grok deal with BO?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 07, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Probably the biggest downside to going paleo: the stank. I avoid using generic soaps and deodorants, instead opting for organic soap and no deodorant. I don't know if anyone else has this issue, but Grok could not have mated with Mrs. Grok if he smelled like I do.

I'd love to hear you own solutions and experiences.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on August 20, 2013
at 12:48 AM

This is not my experience using Natural Calm AT ALL.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 19, 2013
at 04:35 PM

Charcoal? White ash from burned wood is a good slkali for cleaning but charcoal itself would turn everything black.

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on February 14, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Louisa - "I lost the white coating on my tongue". Did you have candida? This can manifest with oral thrush. Just wondering if you went low carb when you started paleo which would have also helped treat a candida infection (if there was one).

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on October 21, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Rinsing with water daily is more than adequate.

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on October 21, 2011
at 06:42 PM

You probably don't smell as bad as you think you do. I do Krav Maga and significant BO is way better to spar with than perfumes, colognes, and what not. Blegh. But maybe that is just me.

6da513ec59c25531127912318fbf27d5

(180)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:11 PM

just started using natural calm, I'll be interested to see if this holds true. I do find it is a lovely way to wind down after an evening workout.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on August 18, 2011
at 12:42 PM

I don't know what accounts for the difference you're noticing but sweat does not contain sugar. Sweat mainly consists only of water, minerals, urea, and lactate.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on August 18, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Dr. Harris hasn't been VLC for some time. I think he's trying out a high-carb experiment at the moment actually

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on August 18, 2011
at 11:10 AM

Healthy people don't generally sweat out sugar and in my experience carbs have nothing to do with it

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on August 18, 2011
at 11:07 AM

It has nothing to do with carbs in my experience.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:09 AM

I use Kiss My Face liquid rock roll-on. Best one that I have found for me (I sweat a lot--mediterranean ancestry.)

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on October 30, 2010
at 09:09 PM

Where do you get this?

6a829b1a30785b9f3d0c608f9c8e9b10

(90)

on August 20, 2010
at 09:38 PM

Kurt G Harris claims not to use any deodorant saying there is no need for it on VLC. I personally think deodorant is good if you don't want to be smelly.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 07, 2010
at 01:08 PM

Thanks for this! I usually use Milk of Magnesia, but I want to try something that will help keep me dry as well (we're in a crazy heat wave)

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on May 11, 2010
at 10:00 AM

Agreed - this has been borne out by my own personal experience. When I cut carbs and lost weight, I noticed less smell from my armpits.

F38f19b6ec74b2c6bf49531fe5dae567

(486)

on April 28, 2010
at 05:25 PM

I still eat veggies and sometimes sweet potatoes, but haven't used soap or shampoo in about a month and a half.

56e8e22796618ea3b817d4aae19c6e33

(474)

on April 27, 2010
at 01:29 PM

Konrad, thanks for the tip, this stuff is amazing!

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 24, 2010
at 03:27 PM

It is montmorillonite clay or argile clay. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montmorillonite and I posted an answer about it here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/2033/which-toothpaste/2044#2044

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on March 11, 2010
at 03:28 PM

What's green clay? How do you use it and what exactly does it do to your teeth?

3b33c44c826a3da4af412c0c71c55f1c

(295)

on March 08, 2010
at 02:09 AM

Thanks for the response. Maybe you could experiment with essential oils to mask any BO.

199e1758b73a72416fba6c10a55f93f3

(203)

on March 07, 2010
at 10:02 PM

I'm quite actively allergic to deodorant. Slap some on and the lymph nodes in my armpit start to explode. And I'm not otherwise allergic to anything at all. I also don't have too much BO, unless I exercise, in which case I just take a shower.

F38f19b6ec74b2c6bf49531fe5dae567

(486)

on March 07, 2010
at 08:50 PM

Phthalates in shampoos and deodorants are worrisome. There's speculation that they cause a lot of issues with sperm count and fertility. I've looked into "organic" deodorants, but haven't stuck with any. I also have gone "poo-less" and the hair seems fine.

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22 Answers

12
95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on March 07, 2010
at 01:27 PM

I suspect that Grok dealt with it like this: If everybody smells equally bad, nobody notices.

For me, functioning in a 21st century world requires soap and shampoo and whatnot.

To borrow Kurt Harris's phrase, I'm not so much into the "paleo re-enactment" as I am into letting science be my guide. If I see some convincing science suggesting that the personal hygiene stuff is bad for me (and I will watch this thread to see if some pops up) in a world where everyone else is using it, I'll revisit, but not 'til then.

6a829b1a30785b9f3d0c608f9c8e9b10

(90)

on August 20, 2010
at 09:38 PM

Kurt G Harris claims not to use any deodorant saying there is no need for it on VLC. I personally think deodorant is good if you don't want to be smelly.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on August 18, 2011
at 12:25 PM

Dr. Harris hasn't been VLC for some time. I think he's trying out a high-carb experiment at the moment actually

7
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on August 18, 2011
at 08:19 AM

Grok didn't have to go sit in a classroom or work in a cubicle farm full of people who most decidedly did not want to have to put up with his healthy, natural scent. Doing what it takes so you aren't smelling like BO all day is part of being a functional adult these days, whatever Grok would have done. We're not actually trying to re-enact the paleolithic here. If you stink and you want to use deo, then use it.

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on October 21, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Rinsing with water daily is more than adequate.

7
6b73f0c4b971e2dde7147920e329fe7f

(2041)

on March 08, 2010
at 02:36 AM

Shave your pits, it cuts down on surface area and moisture for the bacteria that break down apocrine sweat into the nasty volatile compounds. I only need to disinfect my pits about once a week using either tea tree oil deodorant or rubbing alcohol. I scrub myself with water in the shower whenever the clean musky smell becomes strong enough that I'm worried it will be noticeable to others.

7
58a55f0986b8f49a8bc5666e10492569

on March 07, 2010
at 03:41 PM

Many people, including me, have found that getting enough magnesium results in a tremendous improvement in bodily odors. No one seems to know why that I'm aware of.

Shortly after I started using the Natural Calm, I found that I hardly needed to use any deodorants anymore. When I do need something, I use the Tropical Traditions all natural deodorants that are based on coconut oil.

6da513ec59c25531127912318fbf27d5

(180)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:11 PM

just started using natural calm, I'll be interested to see if this holds true. I do find it is a lovely way to wind down after an evening workout.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on August 20, 2013
at 12:48 AM

This is not my experience using Natural Calm AT ALL.

7
33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 07, 2010
at 03:07 PM

In my own personal experience, going paleo meant smelling sweeter - after about a month on the diet, my breath smelled loads better (I lost the white coating on my tongue) and body odor was nearly non-existent after about 6 months. I agree with Ed, if I start using soap a lot, then my sweat glands seem to compensate somehow and start to work overtime again, but it is fine to use it every now and again.

I have been off no 'poo for about a month now and it takes time for the body to adjust, I also color my hair with henna and indigo which complicates the issue a little. I am just being patient and waiting, giving my hair a little soap at times when it needs it, just washing in water if it is OK with that.

And the no soap thing really works, but it does take time: what I did was stop deodorant but kept up with the soap for a while, probably about five or six months, but eventually as time went by, I just stopped using soap altogether and nowadays I use it occasionally in the summer.

I figure that the body, even after a substantial time on paleo, still has a lot of toxins to get rid of and this is probably what you are smelling on your skin right now. Just give it time and take it in stages; if you smell OK without deodorant then stop using it, if you then start to smell OK without using soap, then stop using it.

I have a vision of Paleo man as genteel, smelling sweet and having just enough of the right BO in the right places to attract a paleo gal ;) I believe Paleo girl smelled sweet but her odor changed throughout the month (which is what I notice) in order that paleo man need not have to second guess her ;), this could have also been a great way for paleo gal to keep on top of her own fertility/reproduction cycle.

Some sweat is definitely a good thing for successful male/female interaction and eating paleo style means, after a while, sweet sweat, which is even better for successful male/female interaction. I think it also depends on how much hair there is around to keep that odor trapped next to the body and what use that can have when things get personal.

This is my own experience of course, my husband has not complained yet ;) ......don't give up hope and keep us posted!

Here is another good account of no soap, no 'poo

70d9359a2086e890a4c3bccb2ba8a8cb

(2254)

on March 11, 2010
at 03:28 PM

What's green clay? How do you use it and what exactly does it do to your teeth?

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 24, 2010
at 03:27 PM

It is montmorillonite clay or argile clay. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montmorillonite and I posted an answer about it here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/2033/which-toothpaste/2044#2044

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on February 14, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Louisa - "I lost the white coating on my tongue". Did you have candida? This can manifest with oral thrush. Just wondering if you went low carb when you started paleo which would have also helped treat a candida infection (if there was one).

7
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on March 07, 2010
at 02:13 PM

Hi Rob. The soap and shampoo issue has been addressed by a previous thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/593/any-women-tried-no-soap-or-shampoo . Also, Richard Nikoley has posted about this topic several times at "Free the Animal." The consensus seems to be that soap and shampoo make your sebaceous glands work overtime, and that it takes 2 to 3 weeks of no soap and no shampoo for them to adjust.

Re: deodorants, I agree with previous post that life is not a paleo re-enactment. If you feel that you stink, it's ok to use deodorant/anti-perspirant. If OTC products aren't strong enough, there is a prescription anti-perspirant called "Drysol" which is also used for hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) of the hands and feet. Anti-perspirants do not work on the surface of your skin. They actually penetrate the sweat glands, which takes several hours. The best time to apply anti-perspirants is at bedtime. If you shower the next morning, the anti-perspirant will still work because it's inside your sweat glands, not on the surface. A good resource for those with hyperhidrosis is the Hyperhidrosis Society ( http://www.sweathelp.org ).

6
5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f

on March 08, 2010
at 08:37 AM

While your carb load is still high, sweat in some people seems to have enough sugar-type compounds in it to make certain bacteria very happy.

When you cut out the carbs, the bacteria are not as happy, and for some the odor problems go away at this stage. However, if you are also losing weight, toxins that were previously stored in your body fat (which is how the body manages them) are released into the blood, and can come out in the sweat, creating a new and sometimes much worse odor.

Once you get past the weight loss phase, that odor tends to go away, and you may find that what remains is not unpleasant.

Changing the soap you use can throw another wrench in the works, particularly if your sweat glands have also been shut down after years of antiperspirants.

Many deodorants are surprisingly full of toxic crap that I'm either extremely sensitive to, or that simply don't work. At any stage of the process above, if you find you need one, the best I've found, by far, is the Kiss My Face Liquid Rock roll-on (unscented).

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on May 11, 2010
at 10:00 AM

Agreed - this has been borne out by my own personal experience. When I cut carbs and lost weight, I noticed less smell from my armpits.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on August 18, 2011
at 12:42 PM

I don't know what accounts for the difference you're noticing but sweat does not contain sugar. Sweat mainly consists only of water, minerals, urea, and lactate.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on August 18, 2011
at 11:10 AM

Healthy people don't generally sweat out sugar and in my experience carbs have nothing to do with it

5
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 07, 2010
at 03:28 PM

I LOVE the crystal deodorants they sell at the health food store. They allow you to sweat, but not smell. I used to use very heavy antiperspirant, maybe because I was self conscious about sweat as a teenager. When I stopped my armpits hurt for a week...not really a good sign.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:09 AM

I use Kiss My Face liquid rock roll-on. Best one that I have found for me (I sweat a lot--mediterranean ancestry.)

4
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on August 18, 2011
at 12:30 PM

It's worth noting that 'primitive' people with access to bodies of water will bathe up to 4 times daily.

4
Fc7712b6a931b618ffaf4d6475b5d8f4

(200)

on March 10, 2010
at 05:49 AM

Milk of Magnesia (MgOH) works perfectly, even better than deodorant. I can't oversell it.

56e8e22796618ea3b817d4aae19c6e33

(474)

on April 27, 2010
at 01:29 PM

Konrad, thanks for the tip, this stuff is amazing!

E46d4f7e35e46ee4e8211ab4bc852023

(1510)

on October 30, 2010
at 09:09 PM

Where do you get this?

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 08, 2010
at 01:04 AM

Grok didn`t care.

4
3b33c44c826a3da4af412c0c71c55f1c

(295)

on March 07, 2010
at 03:10 PM

Just curious what your beef is with deodorant? I understand staying away from antiperspirants, but there are plenty of harmless deodorants out there, IMO. As far as soap goes, after Richard's last blog about going soap and shampoo-less, I stopped using soap on any part of my body except pits and privates. I wash my face only with water and it has NEVER been clearer than it is now. I shampoo my hair about once every 7-10 days now instead of every 2-3 days and have had no negative effects (I have long hair). As for shaving, I LOVE Shave Secret. Has anyone else tried this? It's basically essential oils in a small bottle. I use only 3 drops of oil for an entire leg. To get a smoother shave, you use more water, not more product. I love this stuff! I first got it in a schwag bag at a triathlon, and now I buy it at Wal Mart. It's the only thing I ever go to Wal Mart for!

199e1758b73a72416fba6c10a55f93f3

(203)

on March 07, 2010
at 10:02 PM

I'm quite actively allergic to deodorant. Slap some on and the lymph nodes in my armpit start to explode. And I'm not otherwise allergic to anything at all. I also don't have too much BO, unless I exercise, in which case I just take a shower.

F38f19b6ec74b2c6bf49531fe5dae567

(486)

on March 07, 2010
at 08:50 PM

Phthalates in shampoos and deodorants are worrisome. There's speculation that they cause a lot of issues with sperm count and fertility. I've looked into "organic" deodorants, but haven't stuck with any. I also have gone "poo-less" and the hair seems fine.

3b33c44c826a3da4af412c0c71c55f1c

(295)

on March 08, 2010
at 02:09 AM

Thanks for the response. Maybe you could experiment with essential oils to mask any BO.

3
218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on August 18, 2011
at 03:59 AM

I have been experimenting with no soap, just water in the shower for a few weeks now (no shampoo anyway due to a shaven head) and the funny thing is I don't smell bad at all, I don't need to use deodorant at all anymore, even though now is mid summer - 35??c and humid. My skin is softer and the dryness that has always been prevalent especially on my lower calf muscles has gone. My wife said to me last night - you don't smell like to used to, you smell like the kids do! she was very surprised to hear I had ditched the soap and doesn't seem to mind at all as it's an improvement. My sweaty exercise clothes used to absolutely wreak after working out, now they are quite odorless - my wife is very thankful for that. Leave your skin be, it doesn't want to be scrubbed and stripped of its natural properties. let it find its balance and things take care of themselves. It's just more conventional wisdom that you need to use soap. Just water is all you need.

2
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on August 18, 2011
at 07:14 AM

Being paleo does not mean you have to live just like Grok did. Mainly it teaches us how our bodies have evolved as far as eating goes. It should not be taken to mean we need to live the same as Grok in every facet of our lives. Many things about our lives are better than Grok had. I wear deodorant myself. I've tried all the alternatives, but none of them worked for me. So I use deodorant.

2
E97307ef21450145848f55ac61e57a8c

(20)

on March 09, 2010
at 11:56 PM

I make my own. It's super simple to make and it works great. In the summer we keep it in the fridge to keep it from melting and separating. You kind of have to scrape/flake it off with a spoon and then rub it on. In the winter it can stay out and is more deodorant consistency and easier to just rub into your skin.

1/4 cup baking soda

1/4 cup arrow root powder OR corn starch

~5 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

  1. Combine baking soda and arrow root powder in a bowl and mix with a fork.

  2. Start with about 4 tablespoons/one-fourth cup of coconut oil and add the coconut oil to the baking soda mixture, working into a paste.

You can put the deodorant into a small container with a lid, or into an empty stick deodorant dispenser if you have one. My deodorant hardened somewhat after I put it into a container.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 07, 2010
at 01:08 PM

Thanks for this! I usually use Milk of Magnesia, but I want to try something that will help keep me dry as well (we're in a crazy heat wave)

1
485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

on April 25, 2010
at 04:53 AM

How long have you been at it? After maybe 4 months of no carbs (no veggies, nothing) I stopped smelling. My wife used to comment every night on how I stunk and about my bad breath. Now, not a word. I can go 4 or 5 days without showering and no smell--possibly longer, but I've yet to try it. No plaque on my teeth and no mouth odor. It's true--you make your body an unwelcome place for bacteria. For me, it's just about the best confirmation that this is the way we should be living.

F38f19b6ec74b2c6bf49531fe5dae567

(486)

on April 28, 2010
at 05:25 PM

I still eat veggies and sometimes sweet potatoes, but haven't used soap or shampoo in about a month and a half.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on August 18, 2011
at 11:07 AM

It has nothing to do with carbs in my experience.

1
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on March 07, 2010
at 03:09 PM

For BO, I use straight baking soda out of the box. Works great and is cheap.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 19, 2013
at 04:32 PM

With whatever smelled good by local standards.

Coast Salish women in this area used fish oil. They had plenty of water to bathe in. Fish oil was only for special occasions.

0
F44c90591f159e30c63c1b7cc9f25ab0

on August 19, 2013
at 04:01 PM

Charcoal from woodash can be mixed with water and used for cleaning if one has nothing else.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 19, 2013
at 04:35 PM

Charcoal? White ash from burned wood is a good slkali for cleaning but charcoal itself would turn everything black.

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on December 28, 2012
at 07:24 AM

If Grok had gone swimming in a river or lake for whatever reason or another, he would have gotten clean by that, he could have dabbed fragrant smelling herbs on "putrid regions", or, since no doubt Grok had a campfire, he probably smelled smoky from being around the campfire.

0
E3e7fa30daef201d627d6eabcbd63f08

on April 20, 2010
at 08:15 PM

I second the use of crystal deodorant. It works well for me and seems to be a lot less toxic than traditional deodorants.

0
C9d5509afec91c118ce7c8249ff91ff4

on March 07, 2010
at 07:57 PM

I know this isn't related to body odor, but there is some great information here: http://www.ewg.org/whichsunscreensarebest/2009report about lotions, moisturizers, and chapsticks regarding their toxicity.

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