“Scientists asked volunteers to sniff both cotton and polyester T-shirts that healthy people had worn in an intense, hourlong spin class, but not until the sweaty shirts had “incubated” for 28 hours. (Letting the shirts stew gave bacteria time to break the fatty acids found in sweat down to the smaller, airborne molecules that make us stink.) After determining that the polyester shirts did, indeed, smell worse than the cotton ones, the researchers took a microscopic look at the fabric to determine why.”
So, don’t let you gym clothes sit and ripen after a hard work out. The reason is explained below:
“bacteria micrococci—the main culprit in turning sweat rank—grows much better on polyester than on cotton, likely because moisture is not absorbed, but rather stored, between synthetic fibers.”
Moral of the story: If you wear polyester gym clothes, make sure you wash them after each use as they will only get stinkier with time to spoil.
Thanks to Emily at Sciencemag.org for the great information.
P.S. of course you could always use SweatBlock to decrease your sweat output while exercising to make sure that the least amount of sweat possible is soaking into your stylish polyester workout clothes 🙂