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When it comes to athletic wear, it may seem like a simple process of just throwing something on and hitting the gym, but it’s actually anything but. In fact, some fabrics may do more harm than good, which in turn can cause you to feel less than stellar after a great workout.
Workout Fabrics To Avoid
First thing’s first when it comes to understanding fitness fabrics: Know which ones to avoid on your next shopping trip. Basic cotton and standard polyester fabric may look innocuous to the naked eye, but these fabrics are the worst when it comes to trapping sweat.
Cotton absorbs moisture incredibly quickly, which can make a high-intensity workout quickly feel like you’ve jumped into a pool of sweat and cause further skin irritation long after you leave the gym.
While polyester is a little more breathable than cotton and typically found in most fitness fabrics, it isn’t quite as robust as, say, nylon or other moisture-wicking fabrics. That’s because polyester tends to stink and trap bacteria quicker than other materials and doesn’t dry as rapidly, meaning the bacteria hang around longer than anyone would like.
Polyester is better suited for a brisk walk where you’re less likely to sweat, but it should be swapped out for something different when it comes to heavier workouts.
So, the next time you’re tempted to grab one of the many t-shirts from your dresser or throw on the same polyester products you wear on the weekends, think again and swap it out for one of these fabrics instead.
Fitness Buff Favorites material
Spandex: for high ranges of motion, like yoga, Pilates, or weightlifting
Spandex is an evergreen fitness fabric that will never go out of style. Also commonly known by its brand name (Lycra), spandex has extreme stretch and flexibility, making it perfect for a weightlifting session or hot yoga class, where you need lots of room to move around.3
Spandex can mainly be found in skin-tight workout clothing, like leggings, sports bras, track shorts, and even socks. While it isn’t the best when it comes to moisture-wicking or breathability, you’ll still feel unrestricted when wearing it.
Nylon: suitable for all workouts or weather conditions
Think of nylon as the best parts of spandex and polyester combined into one material. As with poly-dri, nylon is a stronger, more durable, and scratch-resistant material than your standard polyester athletic wear.
Its low moisture absorbency and quick-drying properties make it suitable for any type of workout, whether it’s a run through the park or an intense weightlifting session at the gym.
These properties also make nylon a great material to wear throughout the seasons, making it one of the more efficient fitness fabrics. Whether it’s the heat of the summer or bitter cold of winter, nylon will leave you feeling comfortable and accomplished all year long.