Choosing to exercise in a sweat drenched, chaffing cotton T-shirt, can negatively affect your workout performance. Wearing the right fitness clothing can make the difference between a great workout and an average one. You’ll be able to train harder, longer, and more likely to achieve your fitness goals. Here are the top sports fabrics to look out when buying your fitness clothing.
Nylon also called polyamide, is one of the strongest and most durable sportswear fabric. It is soft as silk, breathable and mildew resistant. It has great stretch properties and can stand the sweatiest workout allowing you to move freely without discomfort.
It is great for high impact cardiovascular activities such as HIIT training, Crossfit or running.
You will often find it mixed with polyester by most of high street sports retailers such as JD Sport or Sports Direct.
Polyester is the workout fabrics we see on labels most often. It is cheaper but not as strong and durable than nylon. However, thanks to modern technology, manufacturers can now make multiple varieties of it, making it as soft as nylon, non-absorbent, breathable and lightweight.
Polyester has great insulating and UV repelling properties, making it ideal for outdoors workout. You will find polyester in most of brands for warm-weather wear and cold-weather products.
Polyester doesn’t dry as quickly as nylon. It fosters bacteria growth making your gym wear smelly. To reduce the risk of bad smell, avoid 100% polyester clothing and choose workout clothes with a blend of nylon/polyester and lycra.
Spandex—also known as Lycra— offers a good range of motion thanks to its great stretching properties. It’s breathable, dries quickly, wicks moisture, providing great comfort and freedom of movement.
You will often find Spandex combined with nylon to produce compression clothing. These improve blood circulation , help allievate soreness and facilitate muscle recovery.
You can buy it in stores such as JD Sport, Nike or Adidas.
Tencel is made from wood pulp and eucalyptus trees . It has sweat-wicking properties, and is softer and stronger than most cotton.
Tencel is a luxury fiber and costs more to produce. Therefore it’s more expensive from a consumer’s perspective.
You will find tencel in brands such as Polyvore or Gap.
Bamboo is a high quality workout fabric, and a great alternative to cotton. Softer, it is resilient, durable, and absorbs moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry even during the most intensive workout.
Thanks to its UV protection and hollow microfibre properties, it keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
You will find it in brands such as Noballs or Underamour.
Whether you fo go polyester, bamboo, tencel or spandex, always check the labels before buying your sports outfit. A trendy tank top may make you look go on the gym, but will probably make your workout more miserable if you choose the wrong material.