Wear This, You Stinker

By Jennifer Huget
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hey, you on the StairMaster, dripping like a walrus. You may think your sweat don't stink, but your gym-mates may beg to differ.

Luckily you can -- with a hard look at some new product claims and a modest outlay of cash -- outfit yourself so you can sweat like a pig yet smell like a rose.

Purveyors of workout clothing have long been attuned to comfort, style and utility. Now many are adding odor resistance to the mix, drawing on age-old methods of battling body funk along with hot new technologies to keep you fresh while you jump, jog, lift, cycle, stretch, work in the garden, take the stairs, endure anxious conversations with your boss, etc.

Some products contain substances that absorb odors as they're produced. Others target the bacteria that do the producing, suppressing their activity or even killing them. Still others work to make the environment on your skin and clothes less conducive to bacteria's smelly ways. Some of these approaches sound gimmicky, but experts say that most have merit.

(Note to men: While the products pictured inside are mostly for women, they're all available in masculine styles, too. So you're not off the hook, stink-wise.)

Jennifer Huget is a regular contributor to the Health section. Comments: health@washpost.com.

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