Should you be wearing underwear to workout? - London Style Active

Should you be wearing underwear to workout?

How harmful is your underwear during exercise

When it comes to activewear there are certainly some dos and don’ts. Do switch up your style, don’t reuse smelly workout gear. Fundamentally, wearing whatever feels comfortable to you is important whilst exercising, including your drawers.

Some people prefer to ditch the undies whilst working out and other’s in favour. Despite underwear possibly being a gym wardrobe malfunction, no matter how squat proof your leggings are, the main debate focusses on whether it is a health risk? Should you be wearing underwear to workout?

Should you be wearing underwear to workout? - London Style Active

Health risk?

Going commando? Surely that’s more unsanitary than wearing knickers? According to the experts, it’s not. Elle spoke with Dr. Nicole E. Williams of the Gynecology Institute of Chicago to find out what kind of underwear is ideal for exercise. William’s advises to stay clear from anything sheer, lace, or silky. “When you exercise in non-breathable underwear like that, your vagina suffocates,” Williams says, “As a result, you keep more moisture trapped in that area, which increases your risk for yeast infections and pH imbalance, which can lead to vaginitis (a condition leading to discharge, itching, and pain).” 

Style vs comfort

Besides trying to avoid getting a sweaty mat (yuck), avoiding panty lines is another mission itself. If you don’t mind slyly adjusting after every squat, then wearing a thong is a better option. However Williams says, “Wearing a thong during exercise can bring E.coli living in the rear toward the front as you move, increasing your risk for urinary tract infection.” If you do wear thongs to the gym, opt for one that is breathable and made of moisture-wicking fabrics.

Going commando

There are numerous health benefits that come from skipping the undies, including no rubbing/irritation and breathability. Nevertheless, yeast thrives in moist environments, so depending on the fabric of your bottoms, you might find the same problem occurring without wearing knickers.


No matter if it’s briefs, thongs or nothing at all, it’s important to shower as soon as possible after exercising to stop the risks of infections. Easy right? Well, you’ll be surprised by how many women endure a sweaty session followed by hours in damp clothing before showering. Yuk! Opt for bottoms that have a moisture-absorbing capability or built in underwear like these gorgeous tights from Gymshark.

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