June 02, 2023
This month, our co-founder Doug Lynch had the pleasure of chatting with Jenny Scott and Dan Duran on ISSA’s fitness podcast “Trainers Talking Truth”! TTT is all about digging deep into the world of fitness. Jenny and Dan speak with coaches and industry experts to get insights on training, entrepreneurship in the fitness realm, and how physical fitness can impact our mental and environmental health. In this episode, Doug dives into “the science of sweat” – and how Zenkai Sports uses this biological function to our advantage to improve comfort and athletic performance.
» Listen to the full episode HERE!
First things first, let’s talk about sweat. Sweat is a natural response produced by our body when our internal temperature rises. This could be from physical exertion of any kind, high temperatures in our environment, or from running a fever. When our bodies get hot, we start to sweat. The part of the equation that actually cools us down, though, is when the sweat evaporates from our skin. The energy required to turn sweat into vapor comes from the heat produced by your body. This heat leaves your body with the sweat vapor, leaving you cooler than you were before. So, if sweat is helpful to our body, how did moisture-wicking fabric become the norm for athletic apparel?
Before synthetic, athletes were mostly wearing 100% cotton. Traditionally, cotton garments were cumbersome for heavy activity. In the 80s and 90s, sports companies like Nike, Reebok, and Under Armour began developing technical fabrics made from synthetic fibers that were moisture-wicking and lightweight, the selling point being that they would keep you dry and thereby enhance performance (according to them). As synthetic technical fabric became more affordable and widely available, it’s no wonder this new technology was eventually adopted by the fitness-focused.
Remember when we talked about how sweat keeps us cool as it evaporates? Well, when you wick it away before it evaporates, that important reaction doesn’t occur. The heat your body produces has nowhere to go and actually ends up causing you to sweat more. Instead of enhancing your performance, this overexertion actually hinders it.
So, back to co-founder Doug Lynch. He wanted to find a solution to the problems presented by synthetic sports apparel. Not only does it have a negative impact on athletic performance, but it has a negative impact on the planet; it’s derived from petroleum, doesn’t biodegrade, and breaks down into microplastics that pollute the environment. Zenkai apparel, on the other hand, uses a technology called Filium which transforms natural fibers like cotton into high-performing technical apparel that repels sweat (as opposed to wicking it).
“It’s the perfect middle-ground between wearing a 100% cotton T-shirt or synthetic shirt that’s ruining the planet.”
– Doug Lynch, Co-Founder of Zenkai Sports
Thanks to this hydrophobic technology, Zenkai apparel actually works with your sweat to keep you cool. Filium-activated garments repel water on the inside and outside, thus keeping a thin layer of sweat on your skin to cool you down while simultaneously keeping your clothes dry.
Fun fact: Water molecules are larger than air molecules. Zenkai clothing keeps moisture out without compromising on breathability!
Not only are they comfortable and functional, but Zenkai apparel is also better for the planet. Since our clothing is made from natural fibers, it’s biodegradable and breaks down at the end of its life cycle rather than sticking around and leaching nanoparticles into the environment. Next to the gas and oil industries, the textiles industry is the second largest polluter of our planet. Zenkai is aiming to change that by offering crazy comfortable technical apparel that improves your performance no matter what activity you’re doing.
But don’t take it from us. TTT host Jenny Scott tried Zenkai firsthand while she played three hours of beach volleyball. Afterwards she said, “I don’t feel sweaty, I don’t feel wet, and guess what guys? I did not stink.” If you’re curious about how your sportswear can actually enhance your athletic performance – or if you just want comfy, breathable clothing that feels dry and fresh at the end of the day – give Zenkai a try.
April 20, 2023
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