An interesting fact: Sweat is made up of water, together with small amounts of ammonia, urea, salts, sugar, and our own unique scent signature – our pheromones. This combination of elements is actually odourless, but these are broken down into fatty acids by bacteria secreted by apocrine glands in our armpits and groin, and this process causes the unpleasant smell we associate with sweat.
We may try to mask this odour with perfumes, deodorants and antiperspirants, but sweating is actually an important function of the body. It helps to regulate body temperate, especially during physical excursion when the muscles heat up, by cooling us down, and can also give the palms of your hands a bit of grip in sports like rugby and gymnastics. Too much sweat though can also be a problem, in which case athletes use a sticky agent to grip the ball or the bars.
But as important as sweating is, there’s nothing quite like the smell of sweaty sports or gym kit to make you reach for the deodorant! Because these clothes are often made with synthetic material, which is not effectively penetrated by most laundry detergents, the smell can linger even after a couple of washes. And it’s not just smells that can linger – bacteria, viruses and mould that can cause inflammatory skin conditions, yeast infections and contagious fungal infections caused by mould-like parasites are not killed unless clothes are washed at at least 60° C/140° F.
In the professional team sports environment, where many players’ kit is washed together, these bacteria and other contagious nasties like ringworm, can infect other players kit even if it comes out looking and smelling clean, unless it is washed at damagingly high temperatures.
Wintergreen™offers the perfect solution: our Sportswear Pre-Soak, developed to not only neutralise unpleasant odours but also to eliminate bacteria, viruses and fungus that thrive on moist surfaces, without the need for high temperature washing which can damage clothes, cause colours to run, and increase your electricity bill. The antimicrobial properties also make it an ideal choice for washing masks and other protective clothing during a global corona-virus pandemic!
Our sports massage therapist and all-round natural health guru, Daliah Hurwitz, explains how an unpleasant odour can actually affect sporting performance, “Our olfactory sensory neuron receptors, found in a small patch of tissue inside the nose, are directly connected to a very ancient part of the brain called the limbic system, which deals with emotions, memories, motivation and learning.”
“A smell can therefore affect how we feel as well take us back to a time and place in our memories. It can motivate us or shut us down, and in the sporting world we want to make sure as few external things as possible have the ability to do that. That is why it is so important that when athletes put on their kit, it’s a positive experience in all ways - it would be a huge pity to derail physical progress and motivation before a game or competition just because of a bad smell.”
The natural fragrances inWintergreen™Sportswear Pre-Soak – Citronellol and Linalool with their floral and citrusy aromas - have been specifically chosen for their uplifting and mood-boosting properties. They reduce stress and anxiety while at the same time facilitating alertness and concentration.
Just one capful in a bucket with one gallon of water will soak a surprising amount of kit - simply soak for 20 minutes and then wash as usual. For best results turn clothing, especially sports wear, inside out to target areas where sweat and dead skins cells cling. As used by the USA Eagles!
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