Offering optimal breathability and resisting sweat are part of the main characteristics of sportswear . Have you ever wondered how this substance influences the clothes you wear to exercise? In this article, we will go into this aspect in depth.
Everything you need to know about sweat and sportswear
Sweat is a substance that the body generates to regulate its temperature . Depending on the time of year, genetics or the activity you do at that time, your sweating will be less or more. In general terms, it is considered that an adult is capable of producing half a liter of sweat per hour. Of course, under certain conditions, this amount can reach up to 3 or 4 liters. Hence the importance of staying hydrated while exercising and, of course, having the right sportswear for our activity.
The relevance of breathability
Of course, one of the main factors that you should take into account when selecting your sportswear is its degree of breathability . This term refers to the ability of the fabric to expel, to the outside, the humidity that is generated inside due to perspiration. The objective is clear: to keep you dry for longer. And what happens when your clothes do not provide you with good breathability? In this situation, several things happen:
- You run the risk of overheating or hyperthermia . Fatigue, dizziness, cramps and nausea may be symptoms that your body is at a higher than normal temperature and the thermoregulation system is not able to function properly.
- You have to consider comfort . Carrying out your training routines with clothes soaked in sweat is not pleasant at all. In addition to giving you a hard time, it will affect your physical performance.
As you can see, having breathable garments is not only about comfort or help, but rather a real need.
How does sweat affect sportswear?
Sweating and exercise are two things that always go together, since the clothes you wear to train are exposed to sweat and bad smell. But before we talk about this in depth, you should know a little more about how your body works.
First of all, we must differentiate between two types of sweat:
- eccrine . It is a substance with a watery and somewhat salty texture that is secreted abundantly throughout the body.
- Apocrine . It refers to the one that is generated in the glands found in the armpits and in the groin. It has a much thicker texture and oily character, since it is made up of proteins and lipids.
In both cases, the substance generated is odorless. However, the skin microbiome, that is, the set of bacteria, viruses and fungi, among others, that inhabit the dermis, feed on these fatty compounds from apocrine sweat, generating bad odor in these areas of the skin . body.
Therefore, when you exercise, these odorous compounds that arise from the action of the microbiome with sweat adhere to the fibers that make up sportswear . In addition, eccrine sweat acts by dragging the odorous compounds throughout the body and, consequently, the clothes. That's why everything smells so bad after training.
Therefore, cleaning clothes well after exercise is essential. The difficulty in removing bad odors will depend on two main factors: the strength with which the odorous compounds adhere to the fabric in question and the way in which the garments are washed. So, using cold water and specific detergents will help you with the task. However, remember that these are quite particular garments, so they need certain maintenance so that they do not lose their qualities.
Small guide on fabrics
To all this information we must add a new variable: the tissues . And it is that sweat and odorous compounds interact differently depending on the material with which the garment in question is made.
Cotton is one of the most used materials in sportswear . This natural fabric offers advantages such as breathability and its delicacy with the skin , since it does not cause irritation. However, it is also hydrophilic or, what is the same, it absorbs water easily, which is not convenient. When wet, the garment will increase its weight and create a wonderful breeding ground for the proliferation of bacteria that cause bad odor. Certainly not a recommendable situation.
Synthetic fibers are also very popular in this area. They are designed in laboratories, which is why they have properties as interesting as trapping moisture and extracting it. However, you should be aware that not all synthetic fibers are the same:
- Polyester , for example, repels water, but absorbs oily compounds . Consequently, it won't do a good job of apocrine sweat. As if that were not enough, this material favors the growth of bacteria that cause bad odor. Thus, it is very likely that you have noticed that your polyester clothes smell especially bad after exercise.
- Polypropylene , on the other hand, stands out for its great thermal, breathable and antibacterial properties . Being completely hydrophobic, it allows sweat to evacuate very easily, which prevents your body temperature from rising too much when you're training. It also insulates from the outside temperature, an ideal factor if you exercise outdoors, and minimizes bad odours. Its bacterial elimination is almost 100% and, as it is an intrinsic property of the fabric, it does not wash away.
To train with total convenience and comfort, bet on sportswear and materials that offer good breathability. In this way, you will not only feel totally comfortable during your workouts, but you will also be protecting your health and well-being.