Undergarments For Wicking Sweat

Undergarments For Wicking Sweat

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Proper undergarments can enhance the quality of your workouts.

Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images

When it comes to exercise wear, your clothes are only as good as their foundation. Underwear creates the base for the rest of your workout gear and contributes to your overall comfort. After all, the last thing you want to think about when working out is sweaty, uncomfortable underwear. Undergarments made from synthetic fabric blends can help wick sweat away from your body, keeping you cool, dry and comfortable.


Some fabrics -- like cotton -- breathe well but don't wick moisture away from your body. Other fabrics -- like wool -- can absorb moisture, but become heavy and hot during exercise. Moisture-wicking undergarments don't just breathe well or absorb your sweat, they actually wick, or pull, the sweat away from your body and then transfer that moisture to another layer of clothing. Since excessive sweating can make exercise uncomfortable or, when exercising in the winter, can make you cold, it's important to choose undergarments that help to keep you dry using performance fabrics designed specifically to wick moisture away from your body.


There aren't any special tricks when it comes to wicking undergarments -- it all boils down to the fabric from which the underwear is made. In general, synthetic fabrics are best, notes outfitter REI. That's because they contain a blend of fabrics that work well with moisture, such as spandex and polyester. Both silk and wool can wick moisture away effectively, but may not be best for undergarments as they may need special care.

Other Layers

Wicking undergarments work best underneath another layer. You may think that just working out in a bra or undershirt alone will keep you the coolest, but without another layer to transfer moisture to, performance fabrics may not be as effective. Instead, add a light second layer -- Sierra Trading Post suggests a cotton or nylon mid-layer -- that will still be breathable but can work with your undergarments to keep you feeling dry.

Buying Guide

When searching for moisture-wicking undergarments, keep in mind that such garments aren't meant to eliminate or even prevent you from sweating. Rather, they're designed to help you feel drier faster. Look for undergarments that have features like mesh panels to keep you cool. You may not be able to try on undergarments, so purchase a couple of different options and give them a test run before committing to a larger order. Everyone is different, so what works best for you and your sweat level might not work for everyone else.