Sports + Sweating Playbook Volume 1
Sports Gear & Excessive Sweating: Here’s What You Should Know
For many, the Super Bowl means cool commercials, the halftime show, party snacks and, yeah, football. But through a hyperhidrosis lens, we can't help wondering…isn’t it sweaty in all that gear?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, participating in sports is associated with:
• Lower rates of stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide
• Increased self-esteem, confidence, cognitive performance, creativity, and life satisfaction
• Improved teamwork, social skills, life skills, empowerment, and self-control
But if you or your child is playing American football or any other gear-heavy sport for that matter, you’ve got to take care of the gear and equipment properly. It’s going to get sweaty, smelly, slippery, and - with time - broken down. This is true for nearly any athlete and is especially true if excessive sweating is in the mix.
Staying and being active is critical to good health. And, well, so is sweat. Join us as we tackle the serious challenges that come into play with sports and sweating.
Welcome to the kick off of our Sports + Sweating Playbook which is brought to you by the champions sweating it out at the International Hyperhidrosis Society. Whether it be on the world stage, tricked-out home gym, or a neighborhood scrimmage, we want you in the game. And, we are cheering you on!
Keep Gear Safe, Healthy and Fresh
- Wear moisture-wicking layers from the inside out, including: socks, underwear, sports bras, and undershirts.
- Use shoe liners and helmet liners to manage sogginess and slippage. Reusable cotton bra liners are also available.
- To keep sweat from running into eyes so vision is clear, choose old-school, John McEnroe-style sweatbands for the head or wrists for easy wiping.
- Track down extra gear so you can rotate items between being in use and drying. Having spare running shoes or a backup uniform can keep you feeling more comfortable and looking sharp. Ask families of players who’ve graduated or outgrown their items. Look for used gear at shops like Play It Again Sports. Talk to coaches and local youth athletic associations for more leads on reusable equipment.
Prevent Slip Ups
Have a small, absorbent cotton or microfiber towel ready to mop up perspiration or dry your hands. During the Super Bowl, for example, you’ll see compact towels hanging out of players' pants for this very purpose. Wash before first use to prevent dye streaks or the transfer of fuzzies from your hands to your face.
Absorbent, talc-free powders can be used almost anywhere, just try not to breathe them in during application. Powders keep you feeling drier, improve grip, and can help with sweat-related chafing that’s common between the thighs, in the underarms, under a sports bra, or between butt cheeks. Skin lubricants like BodyGlide or Vaseline All-Over Body Balm are also great for friction prevention. Apply before exercise or practice and keep small containers of both types of products in your gym bag for touch-ups.
If you need to hold a ball, bat, stick or racket:
- Wear grippy gloves and have multiple pairs in your bag or, uh, on-hand.
- Apply grip tape on the bat, stick or racket handles and keep extra tape nearby.
Remember, antiperspirants can be used almost anywhere including on the hands and feet and chest or bra area. And, iontophoresis is a good treatment option for hands and feet. Injections and combos of these treatments are all potential options, too, so talk to a knowledgeable healthcare provider to find a treatment plan that is appropriate for you.
The Post Game
As soon as your practice, workout or game is over:
- Change into dry clothes, ideally after a shower. But if that’s not possible until later, body wipes or a washcloth/sponge wipe-down and a fresh outfit will do.
- Make sure gear has a place where it can air out - don’t leave it in a bag, car, or locker but rather in a dry, well-ventilated space.
- Use a sanitizing spray and wipe down pads and helmets to prevent bacterial growth and odor.
- Avoid direct sun or heat on gear for long periods of time as UV light can degrade plastics and fade colors.
- Consider a specialized dryer or a fan to help dry shoes, pads, helmets, and gloves quickly and gently.
- Wash your uniform and practice gear promptly and according to the label instructions. There are numerous laundry detergents available now for sportswear that help remove sweat stains and odors.
- For drying, use hangers, a rack or clothesline as many uniforms will last longer if they are hung up to dry rather than put in the dryer.
- If daily laundry is not possible, soak sweaty clothes in a bucket of soapy water until you can wash them. This is when hand-me-down extra uniforms and gear can come in very handy.
For more products that can make athletic life with hyperhidrosis easier - including unique formulations of antiperspirants, a variety of flexible iontophoresis options, cooling apparel, sweat-proof garments, body fans and misters - visit our Fan Fave Products page and be sure to use the exclusive coupon codes available only to our community.
While being an athlete with hyperhidrosis presents extra challenges, the benefits of sports are worth it! Research shows that being part of a sports team, engaging in regular exercise and play, and making the related social connections are all helpful in boosting mood and greater well-being.
Through sports and fitness, we demonstrate we can do hard things and face difficult circumstances! These are valuable skills to nurture throughout life!
Stay tuned for Volume 2 of our Sports + Sweating Playbook coming soon. To help you thrive throughout winter, we’ll also share our Playbook for staying warm and dry, no matter how much you sweat and how cold it gets.