Unfortunately, they could also be smelling a whole lot worse when they’re laying around in your laundry container for some time, especially compared with a cotton T-shirt, suggests a recent study.
The reason for this is because odor-creating bacteria, known as micrococci, grows easier on polyester than cotton, the research found. It can be seen in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Although newly-secreted sweat doesn’t stink by itself, micrococci can make such sweat residue stink. These minuscule bacteria have what’s called an enzymatic potential for changing “long-chain fatty acids, hormones and amino acids into smaller — volatile — compounds, which have a typical malodor,” offered study analyst Chris Callewaert from Ghent University. Furthermore, he and his research team are now looking into what makes polyester so appealing to this type of bacteria.
During the research, Callewaert and a team of researchers used 26 people without skin infections or other medical ailments for participation in a one-hour long, high-intensity cycling session. Next, researchers put the shirts participants had worn while exercising into separately-sealed bags, where they sat for a full 28 hours in the darkness and at room temperature. The participants’ T-shirt materials included ones like cotton, synthetic, and even a combination of cotton-synthetic.
When the 28 hours ended, 7 judges, who’d been hand-picked primarily because of their hypersensitivity to odors, were asked to smell each T-shirt. They measured the overall pleasantness of the polyester shirts’ odors as being lower than the scents given off by the cotton shirts. Polyester clothes also smelled “more intense, more musty, more sweaty and more sour,” the researchers wrote, before concluding that the “qualitative differences were the largest for the sourness, strongness and mustiness.”
In other words, gym-goers– don’t forget to wash your dirty gym wear, and ASAP! Doing so could save your nostrils from plenty of pain later; not to mention, the nostrils of your family and friends who have been silently suffering.
Always remember to consult your physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.
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