Ever had that embarrassing moment in a group fitness class that you smelled something not right? When you’re not quite sure if it’s you or the person next to you spewing sweat that smells like a rancid damp rag (kulob na mabaho)? And as the class progresses the smell just gets worse…your olfactory system and your mind tries so hard to tune out, but it’s just too overpowering to block it out. The smell just permeates…lingers…and may even want to attach itself to you. And you can’t just help it, since there’s no other place to move, you try your best to find the right angle for your body and your head so you don’t end-up getting a whiff of the scent…
This made me realized the horrors and the not so comfortable facts of your well-loved Nike, Adidas, Under Armor and Lululemon clothes:
- Sweat-wet fabric can cause serious health problems! Sweat-wet gym clothing stashed in a plastic bag is a disaster. Letting your sweat and clothes stew in a bag will cause the fatty acids to break down to attract airborne molecules which incubate and develop into Micrococci and staphylococci. This develops into that stinky odor in clothes despite trying to laundry it well.
Dump your wet or damp clothes instead in a breathable bag instead of a plastic bag. Though a plastic bag may seem to be the most practical, keeping your wet laundry will just breed bacteria.
- There are also certain fabrics that attract bacteria more than others, they also react differently to your body chemistry. This is one source of clothing odor. Microbiologist have studied that bacteria loves polyester more than cotton.
Find a good set of workout clothes that will not only make you look good, but also to feel comfortable. You don’t have to jump into the bandwagon of using the trendiest outfits available in retail.
- Sweat, fabric compression, friction and body chemistry can lead to serious health problems. Both men and women increase the chances of sweat gland infection or sebaceous cyst, due to dampness of fabric and the friction this causes on the skin. Some athletes are even known to get saddle sores or skin ulceration as a result of high compression fabric.
Yeast infection and Bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common gynecological experienced by women. Type of underwear, combined with gym clothes fabric, sweat, friction and body chemistry caused by diet increase the propensity of catching any of these. Left untreated may result to serious complications.
So, the next time after a yoga, group class or a work out, and you don’t have the luxury to take a quick shower after, go ahead and still change into a fresh set of clothes. Take everything out and change everything!
Remember it’s not just about catching a cold or developing pneumonia because of drying up in your wet clothes, it’s so much more than that!
If you can’t take your clothes to the wash right away, rinse off the excess sweat with soap and water or air dry before keeping it in the bag. Most important of all, have your clothes washed, rinsed and dried immediately and thoroughly to avoid bacterial growth which lead to unpleasant odor.
Mj Diño teaches foundation and vinyasa flow classes at Urban Ashram Yoga. She’s a super wife and an amazing mom of two kids (and puppies).