Does your workout gear smell? If so, you’re not alone …
When it comes to working out and exercising, equipping your body with the right gear is necessary to feel both comfortable and cool. Sometimes with all the new technology that companies put into designing a shirt for exercise performance and comfort it may seem a little bit daunting as to which type of garment you should choose. Should you get a shirt that’s comfortable and made out of cotton, or go for something that is light and thin like Dri-Fit (polyester)? Decisions … Decisions.
While synthetic shirts (i.e. Dry-Fit/Polyester) are well known for their excellent moisture wicking capabilities they are also known to easily stink after only a short period of usage.
Why is that?
As it turns out, the very attributes that make technical synthetic fabrics such winner at wicking away moisture from the body is what can makes them such a prime destination for bacteria and odor too. Synthetic fabric is constructed with tiny microscopic notches that collects sweat and moves it from the inner layer of the garment (next to the skin) to the outer surface, where it can evaporate more easily. The problem is that these microscopic nooks and crannies are also a perfect place for bacteria to collect.
So it’s true that synthetic fabrics are great for running because they wick away your sweat but, unfortunately, bacteria (which causes the smell) easily gets trapped in the fibers and can be very hard to get out. Even after washing! Unless the synthetic fabric is treated with some type of odor block technology you will find that your shirt can quickly start to stink. Also, keep in mind that many brands claim that their garments have “odor block technology” since their garment has “wicking properties.” However, “wicking” should not be confused with technologies that actually prevent odors by eliminating bacteria on contact.
Here’s a quick summary of Polyester:
- Extremely strong and are built to last forever
- Good at wicking sweat/moisture from the skin
- Hydrophobic (doesn’t like water) and allows for quick drying.
- Quickly smells since bacteria can easily breed in all the micro holes in the fabric.
- Not nearly as comfortable as natural fabrics (i.e. cotton or bamboo)
What’s the point?
Synthetic polyester is widely used in a variety of sportswear garments today. However, polyester is not a miracle fabric and certainly has its limitations. Therefore, consumers need to consider the tradeoffs between all the fabric choices today. In the end it all comes down to personal preference, but there are lots of new odor-fighting clothes on the market. They may sound too good to be true, but these tech garments do actually help keep you both dry and odor-free.
-The Singlo Sport Team