Compression tights help increase blood flow and get you ready for your next run, but too much increase of blood flow can sour your ideas for a typical run. How many layers are you wanting to wear in the dead of winter—or spring? And the biggest question of all, do you wear underwear with compression tights?
You’d think that if you’re trying to lose weight, burn those calories and do everything in your power to elevate your performance, the more layers the better right? Wrong! While wearing a sweatshirt, sweatpants and even long underwear can increase the amount of sweat you put out, Compression tights exist as that base layer that should be resting against your skin.
Typically, you are not supposed to wear underwear beneath compression tights if your main goal is to wear the tights for working out/cardiovascular training. They’re designed to be that base layer—that underwear that gathers up all your sweat and gives you that extra edge in the form of working out.
Compression shorts (aptly named for runners) are designed with polyester and spandex. This allows for them to be aerodynamic and gives the wearer the possibility to run, with no duress, against any climate and current. They’re tight, trap body heat, but also allow for your skin to breathe freely and sweat appropriately against any climate you face.
The tights (shorts or longer, pant-like) tighten and compress your muscles which thereby increase blood flow and allow the nutrients that let you maintain a high amount of exertion during strenuous activity.
The use of compression shorts has multiple benefits but can be compounded into one: to improve the recovery period of your muscles. Due to how they compress your skin, the recovery rate of your muscles is sharply increased in order to allow them to regenerate quicker—post workout.
Compression tights also work to cut down chafing due to their design, post work-out you won’t be wanting to change back into your regular clothes so soon, rather, you’d want to bask in the post run/work/strenuous activity with the tights on, allowing your body to decompress by being compressed by the tight wear.
All of these benefits are solely missed if you wear a base layer of underwear beneath the compression tights (as noted below). You’ll have increased chafing, longer periods of rest post work-out, and would be uncomfortable.
Wearing underwear beneath the compression tights will hinder the performance of said tights. They’re designed for breathability, and while tight, give your body that extra fluid of motion you need during a workout. Sweating onto your underwear can cause your compression tights to dampen, and therefore nullify their intended use.
If you choose to wear underwear with your compression tights, know that it’s possible, though not completely advisable unless you have the proper type of underwear. Consider getting underwear that is considered seamless. Seamless underwear lacks those visible seams (that elastic band that wraps around your waist).
At the end of the day, someone can recommend you not wear something or say that you must. It’s all up to personal preference and if you prefer to wear underwear with your compression shorts (if that’s what your prefer) that’s entirely on you and do what makes you the most comfortable; just know the risks.