The Whole Dirty Truth: Do We Need To Shower After Every Workout?
In a perfect world, we’d have plenty of time after a sweat sesh to stretch, rinse and refuel before getting on with our day. But life – and lack of time – often gets in the way, leading to little or no stretching, a quick snack on the go, and no shower until later (which, let’s admit it, smells as stinky as it sounds).
But besides the obvious stench factor that comes along with skipping a shower post-workout, the lack of hygiene (no judgment!) is actually detrimental to our health, putting our body and immune system at risk.
Sweat can lead to bacteria
When we don’t shower after sweating, the moisture trapped between our clothes and skin can lead to breakouts, rashes and infections. And it ain’t pretty – think staph, ringworm, E. coli, the list goes on. That’s why the CDC recommends showering immediately after exercise. Holly L. Phillips, M.D., breaks it down: “Your workout may have caused a microabrasion in your skin, and that can allow microbes to get into your body.”
If you can’t remove your sweaty clothes and rinse off within 10 minutes of working out, your next best option is to wipe your body down with a damp towel. Better yet, use a post-workout body wipe, like ShowerPill, as a shower alternative to help keep your skin healthy and clean until you are able to get to a shower. Created by athletes, one individually wrapped wipe cleans your entire body and kills 99.9 percent of bacteria.
It's not a fun subject to think about, but we do have options for how to prevent the contraction and spread of sweat-related infection. Just like making sure we get in our workout, all it takes is a little planning ahead.