Easy question about technical clothing (overheating/overcooling)

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by -, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. Guest

    At the risk of sounding like an extreme newbie:

    Can someone please tell me the advantages of wearing "technical clothing" (polypro and moisture-wicking fabrics) when performing intense physical activity?

    It is my understanding that the human body sweats to cool itself down (the sweat on the surface of our skin evaporates and cools us down). If I am running a race in the heat of summer, why would I *NOT* want to wear a fabric such as cotton? Cotton retains water, which will hold my sweat close to my body, cooling me down.

    By using wicking fabrics, aren't we essentially moving the sweat off of our skin? How exactly is this supposed to cool down the body?

    Cotton is sometimes described as "dangerous" and "lethal" to wear in survival situations, because of the hypothermic effect it has on the body. But isn't this EXACTLY what I want when my body's overheating?


    I prefer the reply be sent to my email address ([email protected]), but I will also check on UseNet for the reply.


    Thanks in advance to all who reply!!
     
    Tags:


  2. >Can someone please tell me the advantages of wearing "technical
    clothing" (polypro and moisture-wicking fabrics) when performing
    intense physical activity?>

    Very simple! Your wallet will be much lighter, enabling you to run
    faster.
     
  3. Tom Phillips

    Tom Phillips Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > At the risk of sounding like an extreme newbie:
    >
    > Can someone please tell me the advantages of wearing
    > "technical clothing" (polypro and moisture-wicking fabrics)
    > when performing intense physical activity?
    >
    > It is my understanding that the human body sweats to cool
    > itself down (the sweat on the surface of our skin evaporates
    > and cools us down). If I am running a race in the heat of
    > summer, why would I *NOT* want to wear a fabric such as
    > cotton? Cotton retains water, which will hold my sweat
    > close to my body, cooling me down.


    It also might weigh you down. Cotton absorbs all
    the water it comes in contact with. You can wear
    cotton, but given the amount of sweat during running
    I doubt it'll keep you cooler while running. When you
    stop maybe, but during a run you'll just be warming
    the cotton. If you want max cooling try a synthetic
    fishnet tank top or none at all (assuming male.)

    > By using wicking fabrics, aren't we essentially moving the
    > sweat off of our skin? How exactly is this supposed to cool
    > down the body?
    >
    > Cotton is sometimes described as "dangerous" and "lethal" to
    > wear in survival situations, because of the hypothermic effect
    > it has on the body. But isn't this EXACTLY what I want when my
    > body's overheating?


    Well one, it doesn't have to be freezing air temps
    for the body's core to suffer from hypothermic
    issues. People can "freeze" to death in temps as
    warm as 50F. Two, I don't know what you mean by
    overheating. Heat exhaustion/failure of the body's
    thermoregulation is usually caused by a combination
    of things, including not enough fluids, electrolytes,
    and not being used to working in hot environments.
    If you're sweating a lot in hot weather even a wicking
    fabric can get pretty damp, just not as damp as cotton.
    I don't think a cotton vs. poly t-shirt will make
    that much difference but in colder temps the poly will
    still insulate and will dry faster.

    > I prefer the reply be sent to my email address ([email protected]),
    > but I will also check on UseNet for the reply.
    >
    > Thanks in advance to all who reply!!
     
  4. Tom Phillips wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > >
    > > At the risk of sounding like an extreme newbie:
    > >
    > > Can someone please tell me the advantages of wearing
    > > "technical clothing" (polypro and moisture-wicking fabrics)
    > > when performing intense physical activity?
    > >
    > > It is my understanding that the human body sweats to cool
    > > itself down (the sweat on the surface of our skin evaporates
    > > and cools us down). If I am running a race in the heat of
    > > summer, why would I *NOT* want to wear a fabric such as
    > > cotton? Cotton retains water, which will hold my sweat
    > > close to my body, cooling me down.

    >
    > It also might weigh you down. Cotton absorbs all
    > the water it comes in contact with. You can wear
    > cotton, but given the amount of sweat during running
    > I doubt it'll keep you cooler while running. When you
    > stop maybe, but during a run you'll just be warming
    > the cotton. If you want max cooling try a synthetic
    > fishnet tank top or none at all (assuming male.)
    >
    > > By using wicking fabrics, aren't we essentially moving the
    > > sweat off of our skin? How exactly is this supposed to cool
    > > down the body?
    > >
    > > Cotton is sometimes described as "dangerous" and "lethal" to
    > > wear in survival situations, because of the hypothermic effect
    > > it has on the body. But isn't this EXACTLY what I want when my
    > > body's overheating?

    >
    > Well one, it doesn't have to be freezing air temps
    > for the body's core to suffer from hypothermic
    > issues. People can "freeze" to death in temps as
    > warm as 50F. Two, I don't know what you mean by
    > overheating. Heat exhaustion/failure of the body's
    > thermoregulation is usually caused by a combination
    > of things, including not enough fluids, electrolytes,
    > and not being used to working in hot environments.
    > If you're sweating a lot in hot weather even a wicking
    > fabric can get pretty damp, just not as damp as cotton.
    > I don't think a cotton vs. poly t-shirt will make
    > that much difference but in colder temps the poly will
    > still insulate and will dry faster.
    >
    > > I prefer the reply be sent to my email address

    ([email protected]),
    > > but I will also check on UseNet for the reply.
    > >
    > > Thanks in advance to all who reply!!


    It occurs to me that modern engineering has yet to take 'moderate'
    advantage of material technology.

    For example, it would seem that one could construct a running shoe
    which would preserve sufficient 'energy' in the foot slap through
    restitutional 'bounce' so as to have a significant impact in the
    overall outcome. One limitation of <such> a techgnology might be a
    running shoe which wears out very quickly ...

    Hey, it's only 'money'! The glory of the win is <everything> ...

    Similarly, one could conceive of clothing which would store energy in
    the stretching and provide some of that energy back in the restitution
    of the former shape.

    When is "enough", enough?

    .... a serious issue for some of you
     
  5. Dot

    Dot Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > At the risk of sounding like an extreme newbie:
    >
    > Can someone please tell me the advantages of wearing "technical clothing" (polypro and moisture-wicking fabrics) when performing intense physical activity?


    I agree with most of what Tom said, but a couple other points.

    My understanding (no personal experience, trust me) is that cotton is
    used in hot races like Badwater where temperatures get above 120F for
    the cooling effect. Maybe our desert ultra expert (Steve C.) or others
    can comment. From what I've read, there's different approaches to what
    you wear depending on temperatures (hot or cold) and whether its
    hot/humid (nothing's going to evaporate anyway) or hot/dry.

    >
    > It is my understanding that the human body sweats to cool itself down


    Yes, but my understanding is that it may also sweat when the outer skin
    is cold and internal furnace kicks into overdrive. (I think I posted on
    this several months ago, but details aren't relevant at the moment.)


    > By using wicking fabrics, aren't we essentially moving the sweat off of our skin? How exactly is this supposed to cool down the body?


    Some of us run predominantly when the weather is 50F or below, sometimes
    down to -20F (others may go down to -60F). It's almost impossible to get
    the layering right so you don't get frostbite and don't sweat. Wicking
    fabrics remove the moisture.

    >
    > Cotton is sometimes described as "dangerous" and "lethal" to wear in survival situations, because of the hypothermic effect it has on the body. But isn't this EXACTLY what I want when my body's overheating?


    I've heard it said that any temperatures below your body temperature are
    potentially hypothermic temps. Hypothermia is when your body is losing
    more heat than it's producing. This is not good. It's particularly not
    good since the brain is one of the first things to stop normal
    functioning - that is, you lose the ability to recognize that you're in
    trouble and do something simple like put more clothes on.

    Ask the people that did Barkley this past weekend about clothes (not
    sure if anybody here did it or not).

    "Cotton kills" is the phrase frequently used, but as I mentioned,
    people wear cotton when it's hot. I wear cotton t-shirts in an indoor
    cross-training class, but then get cold when we stop to stretch.

    Keep in mind also that temperatures can vary radically over the course
    of a long race, so the best approach is to keep dry.

    FWIW, I've personally seen one DNF due to hypothermia, and I had a
    running friend end up in ER with body temperature in low 90s a month or
    so ago. (she's ok) And the problems are as likely, if not more likely,
    to occur at the front of the pack - at least it seems that way.

    Dot

    --
    "running is a mysterious journey that we take not just to beat other
    people or to stay in reasonable physical shape - but to find out more
    about ourselves" - Owen Anderson
     
  6. Janithor

    Janithor Guest

    x-no-archive: yes

    [email protected] wrote:
    > At the risk of sounding like an extreme newbie:
    >
    > Can someone please tell me the advantages of wearing "technical clothing" (polypro and moisture-wicking fabrics) when performing intense physical activity?
    >
    > It is my understanding that the human body sweats to cool itself down (the sweat on the surface of our skin evaporates and cools us down). If I am running a race in the heat of summer, why would I *NOT* want to wear a fabric such as cotton? Cotton retains water, which will hold my sweat close to my body, cooling me down.
    >
    > By using wicking fabrics, aren't we essentially moving the sweat off of our skin? How exactly is this supposed to cool down the body?
    >
    > Cotton is sometimes described as "dangerous" and "lethal" to wear in survival situations, because of the hypothermic effect it has on the body. But isn't this EXACTLY what I want when my body's overheating?
    >
    >
    > I prefer the reply be sent to my email address ([email protected]), but I will also check on UseNet for the reply.
    >
    >
    > Thanks in advance to all who reply!!



    Run a long run when it's 98 degrees in a cotton tshirt like I did last
    summer. You'll see why.
     
  7. Bumper

    Bumper Guest

    Speaking strictly for running in the deep south where temps and humidity
    often reach 95 degrees and 95% respectively, sweat really dosen't
    evaporate sufficently to get any cooling effect.

    The plus side of plastic shirts over cotton is that the chafe less, as
    the fabric is smoother and doesn't retain the sweat, see the thread on
    socks. If one wouldn't run in cotton socks why would one wear a cotton
    shirt?

    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > At the risk of sounding like an extreme newbie:
    >
    > Can someone please tell me the advantages of wearing "technical clothing"
    > (polypro and moisture-wicking fabrics) when performing intense physical
    > activity?
    >
    > It is my understanding that the human body sweats to cool itself down (the
    > sweat on the surface of our skin evaporates and cools us down). If I am
    > running a race in the heat of summer, why would I *NOT* want to wear a
    > fabric such as cotton? Cotton retains water, which will hold my sweat
    > close to my body, cooling me down.
    >
    > By using wicking fabrics, aren't we essentially moving the sweat off of
    > our skin? How exactly is this supposed to cool down the body?
    >
    > Cotton is sometimes described as "dangerous" and "lethal" to wear in
    > survival situations, because of the hypothermic effect it has on the body.
    > But isn't this EXACTLY what I want when my body's overheating?
    >
    >
    > I prefer the reply be sent to my email address ([email protected]),
    > but I will also check on UseNet for the reply.
    >
    >
    > Thanks in advance to all who reply!!
     
Loading...
Loading...