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Learn how to apply current physiology and nutrition research to improve your health and performance.

Your Athletic Clothes Make You Look Good But Your Body Pays The Price

It’s an odd thought, but the fabrics you wear affect your biology more than you might think. Compounds in your technical athletic gear can build up in your body over time, leading to hormone imbalance, inflammation, and even cancer.

Your exposure is two-fold. First, your skin is exposed directly; second, particles called microfibers are making their way into our food supply.[1]

So take off that technical athletic gear, put on your favorite 100% cotton tee, and read on.

Synthetic fabrics like polyester, acrylic, elastane, acetate, and nylon carry several downsides. They’re made from plastics, petroleum products, or heavily processed wood fiber, and they typically undergo extensive chemical treatment to get them into soft, wearable form. Common chemicals in synthetic clothing production include:

Nonylphenols: Estrogenic hormone disruptors linked to breast cancer and decreased fertility in men.[2] Chemical analyses from Greenpeace have found nonylphenols in synthetic clothing from common brands, sometimes in quite high concentrations.[3][4]

Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs):[5] PFCs disrupt your hormones, and they don’t break down.

Phthalates: Components of plastic that mimic estrogen and increase cancer risk,[6] are common in screen-printed shirts and polymer-based fabrics like polyester and nylon.[7] All the tested pieces of clothing had phthalates in very low concentrations, but phthalates store in your body over time.[8][9] You probably don’t want chronic low-level exposure if you can avoid it.

Synthetic clothing also releases microfibers when you wash it. The little bits of plastic are the number one source of shoreline debris.[10] A 2001 study found that they absorb other toxic chemicals in the ocean, becoming concentrated [8], and then they end up in the seafood we eat.

Clear your closet of synthetic clothing. Go for natural fibers like cotton, hemp, silk, and wool instead. 

DF Apparel 

Our company's slogan has been "Stronger for Life" since the beginning. We can't improve the lives of our members if our apparel didn't do the same. Our Stronger for Life T-Shirts are made with 100% cotton and are digitally printed. This keeps the Nonlyphenols, PFCs, and Phthalates out of your system and out of our environment. Get your Stronger for Life T-Shirt or Stronger for Life Long Sleeve Shirt today in black, white, or dark gray today to make your body and the environment Stronger for Life! 

What Else Can I Do?

Avoiding Certain Fabrics. Stay away from polyester, elastane, acetate, rayon, and acrylic. They can create subtle inflammation when you wear them. If you are going to wear them, get them blended with cotton, which is neutral.

Opting for Blends. 100% cotton clothing is best. Hemp, silk, and wool are all good choices, too. If you can’t avoid synthetics altogether, go for cotton blends. Or just go naked. Problem solved.

Wear Cotton Underwear. Whatever you do, keep synthetics away from your private bits. One researcher outfitted his lab rats with polyester pants (yes, this is real), and found that it reduced their sex drive, owing to changes in electrical currents you-know-where.[13]  Don’t worry, everything went back to normal a few months after the rats stopped wearing polyester pants.

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