Offering optimal breathability and resisting sweat are part of the main characteristics of sports clothing . 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 generated by the body 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 appropriate sports clothing for our activity.

The relevance of breathability

Of course, one of the main factors that you should take into account when selecting your sports clothing 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 goal is clear: keep you dry for longer. And what happens when your clothes do not provide good breathability? In this situation, several things happen:

  • You run the risk of suffering from an overheating or hyperthermia problem . Fatigue, dizziness, cramps and nausea can be symptoms that your body is at a higher temperature than normal 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 clothing is not only about comfort or help, but rather a real necessity.

How does sweat affect sports clothing?

Sweating and exercise are two things that always go together, since the clothes you wear to train are exposed to sweat and bad odor. But before talking in depth about this, you should know a little more about how your body works.

First of all, we must differentiate between two types of sweat:

  • Ecrino . 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 groin. It has a much thicker and oily texture, 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 live in the dermis, feed on these fatty compounds from apocrine sweat, generating bad odor in these areas of the skin as a result. 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 sports clothing . Furthermore, eccrine sweat acts by dragging odorous compounds throughout the body and, consequently, clothing. That's why everything smells so bad after training.

Therefore, cleaning your clothes well after exercise is essential. The difficulty in eliminating bad odors will depend mainly on two factors: the strength with which the odorous compounds adhere to the fabric in question and the way in which the garments are washed. Therefore, using cold water and specific detergents will help you with the task. However, remember that these are quite particular garments, so they require certain maintenance so that they do not lose their qualities.

Small guide to fabrics

To all this information we must add a new variable: the fabrics . And 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 sports clothing . This natural fabric offers advantages such as breathability and its gentleness on the skin , as it does not cause irritation. However, it is also hydrophilic or, in other words, it absorbs water easily, which is not convenient. When it gets wet, the garment will increase in weight and create a great breeding ground for the proliferation of bacteria that cause bad odor. Of course, a situation that is not advisable.

Synthetic fibers are also very popular in this area. They are designed in laboratories, so they have interesting properties such 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 will not do a good job with apocrine sweat. As if that were not enough, this material encourages the growth of odor-causing bacteria. 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 be evacuated very easily, which prevents your body temperature from increasing too much when you are training. It also insulates from the outside temperature, an ideal factor if you exercise outdoors, and minimizes bad odors. Its bacterial elimination is almost 100% and, as it is an intrinsic property of the fabric, it does not wash away.

To train in total convenience and comfort, opt for sports clothing and materials that offer good breathability. In this way, not only will you feel totally comfortable during your workouts, but you will also be protecting your health and well-being.

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