Should I Wear Underwear To the Gym? For Men and Women

We wear underwear all day long, which is why most people wear it even when working out at the gym. As there are several types of underwear, some are more suitable for gym wear than others. In the rest of this article, I will explain whether you should wear it while working out in the gym.

You should wear underwear to the gym because underwear absorbs sweat and protects the private parts from bacteria. You can skip wearing underwear if your gym clothes already have a built-in underwear section. The underwear you wear in the gym should be comfortable and not disturb you during exercise.

In the rest of this post, I’ll tell you what underwear is most comfortable to wear in the gym for men and women. And what you can wear if you don’t want to wear underwear during sporting activity.

Should I Wear Underwear To the Gym?

Underwear should be worn in the gym for a number of reasons:

  • We sweat a lot during exercise, and underwear made of absorbent materials absorbs sweat and protects our private areas from bacteria.
  • We can also wear shorts to the gym. Therefore, we need to wear underwear to cover our private areas. Alternatively, we can wear sportswear that already has underwear built in.

There are also some disadvantages to wearing underwear during exercise:

  • If the underwear we wear is uncomfortable enough, it can disturb us and chafe during exercise.
  • Wearing underwear during exercise often causes it to get ruined more quickly. It is, therefore, a good idea to have special underwear just for exercise.
  • Underwear can be visible through sports clothing, which can be particularly uncomfortable for women.

See why underwear made from natural materials is so much better than underwear made from synthetic materials.

BreathabilityIs a more breathable material than polyester and nylon.Is a breathable material like cotton.Is more breathable than nylon and as breathable as natural materials (cotton). Is breathable material, but not as polyester, because it is made to keep out cold and heat.
Moisture absorptionAbsorbs moisture but doesn’t dry quickly.Absorbs and repels moisture and dries quickly.Doesn’t absorb moisture and is quick drying material.Absorbs moisture and is quick drying material.
Sweat repellencyRepels sweat away from the skin.Repels sweat away from the skin.Repels sweat away from the skin.Repels sweat away from the skin.
ComfortLight-weighted, warm, soft, and smooth material.Light-weighted, warm, soft, and smooth material. Even more than cotton.Light-weighted and smooth material.Light-weighted, warm, soft, and smooth material.
Odor resistanceNatural materials such as cotton are odor resistant, so you will not have a bad smell from sweating.Bamboo is odor resistant.Synthetic materials such as polyester are NOT odor resistant, which means you may have a bad smell from sweating.Synthetic materials such as nylon are NOT odor resistant, which means you may have a bad smell from sweating.
Table comparing cotton, polyester, and nylon in underwear

You can read a full comparison of polyester and cotton as underwear materials here.

Cotton underwear is best for daytime wear and during sporting activities. Like other natural materials, cotton is very comfortable, soft, and stretchy. Wearing such underwear is pleasant because you don’t feel like you are wearing anything at all.

Bamboo, like cotton, is a natural material that, in my opinion, bamboo is more suitable for working out than cotton. Bamboo absorbs more sweat and dries faster. Therefore, your underwear will not get soaked during the gym session and will be more comfortable to wear.

Here you can read all 7 reasons why bamboo is a good material for underwear.

It is also pleasant for our private areas, as it absorbs and wicks away sweat. And it prevents the build-up of bacteria in intimate areas. It is important to shower after exercise and change your underwear.

What kind of underwear should I wear to the gym?

The underwear worn in the gym should be made from natural materials such as wool, cotton, and bamboo. Such materials are best because they are breathable, absorbent, sweat-wicking, and quick-drying. Underwear made of natural materials will not disturb you when you are exercising.

I suggest you have special underwear for the gym because underwear gets damaged faster during exercise, and you will have to throw it away quickly. It is also important to choose underwear that you are comfortable in. I find boxer briefs the most comfortable for men, as they fit my body well but still don’t disturb me when I’m working out.

Boxer briefs
Boxer briefs

I’ve written about what underwear is healthy for women in the past. You can read the full article here. I have found that briefs, bikinis, and cheeky underwear are best for women’s comfort.

Most popular and comfortable types of women underwear
Most popular and comfortable types of women’s underwear

This underwear offers enough support when worn, covers a large part of the skin, and is still elegant. If you want to avoid your underwear showing through tight-fitting sportswear when you exercise. Then it’s best to wear a thong or g-string to work out.

Thongs underwear

What to wear to the gym without underwear?

If you don’t want to wear underwear during exercise, you can wear sportswear that already has underwear built in. This type of sports underwear is most often found on runners, as running is best without underwear.

Sportswear with built-in underwear.
Sportswear with built-in underwear.

Such clothing is suitable for both women and men. Or we can wear just the leggings without needing underwear underneath. Some even swear by not wearing underwear even during the day. You can read more about the pros and cons of wearing underwear here.

Benefits of underwear with built-in underwear

The biggest advantage of sportswear with built-in underwear is that it will help you keep your underwear for longer. It is often the case that underwear wears out more quickly and starts to tear during sporting activities. With such sportswear, you will save money, even if this is not your private intention. You will be able to wear your cotton underwear for longer because it will not wear out as quickly and will be comfortable for longer.


My name is Gregor and I'm a sports and fashion enthusiast. Like you, I want my clothes to be good quality and comfortable. I hope my articles will help you choose the right underwear for you.

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