Innovative apparel now is one of the methods to ensure that health, function and performance are maintained over the required period of time in the requisite environment. Man-made products and environments of the future will be able to sense and react to activities of individuals in order to provide experiences and services that will elevate quality of life while coexisting seamlessly with humans and the natural environment.

The human body undergoes profound changes during physical exercise. Humans have to maintain a thermal balance and fluid balance in order to be able to function properly. The human heat balance depends on climate, exercise intensity, garment properties, and individual aspects like training status.Wearing the right clothes reduces the speed at which we lose our body heat (or in the extreme heat, reduces the speed with which we gain body heat).

In rest, humans produce about 100 W of heat and during exercise this may increase to more than 2000 W. To maintain thermal balance the heat needs to released. If more heat is lost than produced, the core temperature of the body will slightly drop, we start feeling uncomfortable, and we have the tendency to look for warmer garments. If more heat is produced than lost, our core temperature will increase, we will experience discomfort, and we have the tendency to remove garments to maintain the thermal balance. Check out to view more.

In sports, it is a challenge to establish an optimum garment system to maintain a correct balance. If the core temperature increases above a certain threshold, sweating will occur and the produced sweat must be allowed to evaporate in order to restore the thermal balance. Sweating leads to dehydration and we have to restore the lost water by drinking to maintain the fluid balance. Clothes also forms a thermal and water vapor barrier between the skin and the environment. Thus, when cycling in the heat, bicycle clothing should be minimized in order not to compromise heat loss.

A minimum of sportswear is required for ethical reasons, for identification (such as the start number), and ensure feet protection. Sometimes, these clothes may also help in reducing radiative heat gain. It is clear that the clothing insulation has to be adapted to exercise intensity in order to maintain thermal equilibrium. If we have intermittent exercise periods in the cold and do not adapt clothing insulation, heat production will exceed heat loss.

Consequently, the body core temperature will increase and sweat will accumulate in the clothing. During the rest periods of intermittent exercise, the sweat will evaporate and generate extra cooling (also called after-chill). This may lead to discomfort as well as performance decrement. In particular, when the cold is so intense that shivering occurs, valuable glycogen sources are used from the muscles that would otherwise have been the essential fuel for sports performance. It is therefore critical to carefully determine the required clothing insulation and to adapt it when necessary when exercising in the cold. In cycling events in mountainous areas, the cyclists are sometimes in snow storms with insufficient cycling clothes and the resulting muscle cooling leads to the inability to sprint away from the group.