Can a garment boost athletic endurance? Science says yes, and there’s data to back it up.
In a study done by scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder and published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Sports Medicine, two identical shirts were compared—one with Cocona Labs’ thermoregulating 37.5 Technology and one without. The athletes wearing the shirts made with 37.5 Technology performed at higher sustained output, aka endurance, 26 percent longer than those wearing identical shirts made without the technology.
But one needn’t be a professional athlete to benefit from 37.5 Technology—or an athlete at all. Sourcing Journal sat down with Scott Whipps, executive vice president of global apparel, Cocona Labs, to learn how its 37.5 Technology enhances performance and comfort, on the field and off.
Sourcing Journal: The study showed how 37.5 Technology aids athletic performance, but can it also provide more stamina just for getting through the day with energy? Or do the benefits really kick in when extreme exertion comes into play?
Scott Whipps: 37.5 Technology increases the efficiency of your body’s natural thermoregulating mechanism, where the body cools itself through evaporative cooling, or offloading heat through perspiration. Increasing the efficiency with which your body cools itself means you’re using less energy to manage core temperature, allowing you to use less energy to do the same amount of work, and thus increasing stamina.
Ultimately, this increased efficiency conserves the energy that would otherwise be used in the thermoregulation process, making it available for other physical outputs. Less time spent worrying about, and managing your comfort level can also help your ability to focus on the task at-hand, an important part of performance in many activities.
Does 37.5 Technology have different results outdoors vs indoors? In other words, does it work as well in the gym as it does on the field?
S.W.: The external conditions around you are less important to your personal comfort and performance than the conditions that exist next to your skin. Therefore, 37.5 Technology works equally well outdoors and indoors as a person only “feels” the microclimate right next to their skin, not the conditions within a larger room or space.
The human body optimizes comfort and performance through thermoregulation. High humidity combined with high temperatures reduce the body’s ability to cool itself, inhibiting thermoregulation. 37.5 Technology helps the body thermoregulate by reducing the relative humidity next to your skin. So, whether you’re indoors or outdoors, lying in bed or running an ultra-marathon, 37.5 Technology is working to optimize the conditions within your personal microclimate.
How is 37.5 Technology different from wicking? Can you help clarify any terminology misunderstandings?
S.W.: 37.5 Technology is not merely a wicking, quick-dry or phase-change technology. The dynamic thermoregulation benefits that 37.5 Technology provides are far greater. Apparel manufacturers have long touted fabric drying rates as an important metric to predict comfort—referred to as a fabric’s ability to “wick” sweat away from the skin. A review by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) showed that drying rate and wicking measurements are not predictive of comfort.
However, 37.5 Technology has been proven to decrease the rate of core temperature buildup and keep you cool more effectively than wicking, which only moves moisture. On the contrary, 37.5 Technology uses your body’s own infrared energy to remove moisture, delaying the onset of liquid sweat and expanding your comfort range, regardless of the activity.
People do sports in all sorts of temperatures. Is there a difference in how 37.5 Technology works in very hot versus warm weather?
S.W.: No, 37.5 Technology works to help keep your body at the ideal core temperature of 37.5°C and the microclimate next to your skin at the ideal relative humidity of 37.5 percent, regardless if the weather is warm, or very hot. Again, people only “feel” the microclimate right next to their skin, not the ambient conditions of a larger space.
While things like radiant heat from the sun or wind speed can affect the conditions within your microclimate, the area right next to your skin is the most important. Regardless of the conditions or activity, the active particles in 37.5 Technology are constantly working to optimize the conditions within your microclimate, helping to cool you when you’re hot and keep you warm when you’re cold.
Beyond performance apparel, how else can companies apply 37.5 Technology?
S.W.: While 37.5 Technology got its start in the world of high-performance sport and outdoor apparel, there are no end use limitations to the type of apparel or activities where comfort and performance can be delivered. In fact, one of our fastest growing markets is bedding.
Ultimately, our partners recognize the thermoregulation benefits and increased comfort 37.5 Technology provides across various product types. So, we find ourselves working with pinnacle brands across multiple categories. From outdoor athleisure to athletic gym wear, from formal menswear to casual women’s wear. We even had a partner recently launch children’s car seats using the technology to help manage heat and moisture next to the passenger’s back.
For more information on 37.5 Technology, click here.