Saturday, September 5, 2015

Synthetic Workout Apparrel

I can remember when polyester clothes were popular when I was a little kid. As I got older, styles changed and they became an embarrassment and the butt of jokes. Today they have come full circle and have made a comeback to being cool, especially in the fitness community.

When you run a race these days, many of the event organizers brag about giving out technical or performance fabrics shirts which have moisture wicking properties unlike 100% cotton shirts. This means they are made of polyester, lycra, spandex, or some other synthetic material. Brands like Under Armour, Dri-Fit, Clima Cool, Starter, and Cool Max, have helped Polyester lose it's negative stigma and even made it cool to wear again.

Under Armor or the Bat Suit?
Polyester might have some benefits like keeping you drier, but it does have some disadvantages. I've heard that soldiers in combat zones are not allowed to wear polyester under clothing since if they get burned, the material can melt and fuse to the skin. That's not something most people have to worry about while running a 5K, but the biggest disadvantage with synthetic compression shorts and shirts is the fact that they stink up a lot quicker than cotton. Apparently the bacteria and accompanying odor left on our clothes after a workout grows faster on synthetic materials than it does on cotton does.

This problem has prompted laundry detergent companies to cater specifically to fitness enthusiasts who have clothing made of synthetic materials. Certain detergents supposedly remove sweat stains and odors better than regular brands do. I've never tried sports specific laundry products, so I'm not going to promote any brand, but I'd be interested to know if any readers have had experience with any particular detergent that has worked well for them on their workout clothes.

The next time you buy moisture wicking sports apparel, just be grateful it's 2015 and your clothing material of choice makes you as cool as it would back in 1975.

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