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The Benefits of Moisture Wicking Fabrics

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At some point, everyone has been the person with the sweaty cotton shirt at the gym or on the road. If you’ve gone running or cycling in cotton, you have noticed the special kind of discomfort that results from wearing cotton. Cotton is a great material for clothing, because it is absorbent and responsive; it’s soft and breathable, as well. However, it does not work well for workout gear for these exact same reasons. Because you will be sweating while you work out, you don’t necessarily want a shirt that is going to be absorbent. Absorbing the sweat is fine, but if the shirt holds onto it, then you are just in a sweaty shirt. That is not going to cool you down, and it will increase the chances of painful chafing. Moisture, plus the salt in sweat, often result in friction that causes painful reactions. If you are working out, you need a moisture wicking shirt.

Moisture Wicking

A moisture wicking shirt absorbs sweat, but, unlike cotton, does not hold onto it. It facilitates the easy evaporation of sweat so that you can stay dry. While it might seem counterintuitive, being dry is actually the best way to stay cool. That’s because of the way in which your body cools itself down. You will sweat, but that’s not what cools you down. You get cooler when the sweat evaporates; when it evaporates, it takes some of the heat with it. So, if a cotton shirt holds onto the moisture and does not facilitate evaporation, then you will not cool down. A quality men’s cycling jersey is an example of a great moisture wicking shirt.

The Caveats

Moisture wicking fabrics are not without a few things you should watch out for. First, they are very responsive to the heat of a dryer. So, if you want to preserve the life of your cycling jersey, you should consider machine drying it on a lower heat setting or just hanging it to dry. Also, moisture wicking fabrics tend to be at least partially synthetic and the technology that creates the fabric also results in a shirt with a distinctive smell. Moisture wicking fabrics have a distinctive smell after a few times of being worn; to combat that, you should wash your jersey regularly. However, you should also consider a pre-soak that helps fight particular odour-causing microbes.

Many cyclists, both hobbyists and professionals, choose to soak their jerseys in denture cleaner before they put them in the wash. The denture cleaner is an effervescent odour-fighting agent. It kills microbes of all sorts.

If you want to keep your jersey looking, feeling, and smelling great, you should take care of it. A great jersey can be the difference between remaining cool and dry or humid and hot. This could be the thing that turns a mediocre ride into a great one. Also, a great jersey should be available in multiple different colours and designs; just because a shirt is functional does not mean that it shouldn’t also be attractive.

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