Here’s a question you probably haven’t been asked today: is it necessary to wear a supporter while running?
Some of you may read that question and immediately wonder, “is this something I should have been doing all along?” or maybe “what is a supporter?”
I know for me personally, “supporter” isn’t the term typically used for the product I intend to discuss. Instead, it is more often known as a jock strap, or a cup.
Does the question make a little more sense now? Hopefully it does, now let me break it down for you even more.
Do I need to wear supporter for running OR jogging?
The short answer is No.
If you’re a wicket keeper on a Cricket team, or an MMA fighter then yes, I would strongly suggest wearing an athletic supporter. However, when running or jogging, it’s not exactly necessary, nor is it recommended.
Let me tell you why…
Men’s bodies adapt very well to their surroundings. You are probably familiar, and even have experience with the phenomenon of a shrinking penis in the cold or cold water.
When faced with cold temperatures, a man’s penis and testicles shrink in order to draw themselves closer to the warmth of your body.
When running, especially when running long distances, a man’s body naturally redirects blood flow to other parts of his body leaving the scrotum and penis to retract, in the same fashion as when it’s faced with cold temperatures. This natural reaction allows the testes to rest snugly against the body and keeps them from uncomfortably flopping around while a man is running.
It’s science. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?
If you however needed another reason to believe that you don’t need to wear an athletic supporter while running, you know if the body’s natural defense wasn’t a good enough reason for you, fear not.
Instead of spending money on a jock strap or cup, let me point you into the direction of a different material item that may be a more worthwhile investment for you runners.
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Here we go…this is big…running shorts!
I know, it’s hard to believe that there is a product out there designed to assist your body’s natural functions during their time of need, but alas, we have running shorts.
Running shorts have a built in liner that not only provides a little extra support, but some motion control as well. The liner helps keep your junk even more secure to avoid that uncomfortable flopping around, without the obnoxious bulk of a cup.
And the best part is that liner also helps keep everything tucked away so your before, during, and after run stretches, don’t leave you at risk of being arrested for public indecency! I’d definitely consider a decent pair of running shorts a valuable investment in your future.
If you do decide that wearing an athletic supporter during your running exercise is the route you want to take, here is what you can expect.
Wearing a supporter is going to essentially have the same affect on a man’s penis as what the combination of allowing the body to perform naturally and a good pair of running shorts will do. Wearing a cup or jock strap will hold the scrotum tightly to the body to prevent that uncomfortable flopping around that we keep coming back to.
However, wearing a supporter obstructs the body’s natural process. When running without a supporter, a man can experience a lot more freedom and air flow, even through the liner of those trusty running shorts. So while the body is heating up due to the exercise, the temperature of the scrotum and penis is regulated.
When a man wears a supporter, that airflow is restricted causing the area enclosed to become a lot hotter and higher in temperature. Now as we know, a man’s body knows how to adapt.
The scrotum is designed to move up and down in this situation as its temperature varies, in an effort to maintain a constant degree. (In the comfort of those running shorts of course to avoid causing a scene!)
But when a man is wearing an athletic supporter, the scrotum is unable to move freely.
The body’s natural attempt to regulate the temperature of the scrotum is met with adversity. And it’s a losing battle. It simply cannot happen. If that is something that sounds comfortable to you, then by all means, strap up! However, it is really, really, not necessary.
Before I get too carried away in my warnings against wearing an athletic supporter, there may be a time when it could be considered appropriate, however, the actual chances of it happening to you are slim to none. Nonetheless, it is still worth exploring.
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What does the experts say?
Joel Gheen, a semi-competitive distance runner, who mentions a lot of the same topics above in his response to this very same question, recalls a time during his high school days when wearing a jock strap became essential.
As a high school athlete, Gheen described that he suffered from a hydrocele injury. In short, hydrocele injuries are not really painful but they do result in a fluid build up in the scrotum due to a burst or rupture somewhere. Now Gheen goes into a lot more detail describing how a jock strap came in handy for him, as well as providing a rather interpretive image to help get the point across.
I’ll spare those details and just leave the link to his post here for you to see for yourself.
I will leave you with his final words of advice, which are that if it hurts for you to run without a jock strap, you probably need to see a doctor.
Whether you’re an avid runner, or you’re just getting started on your fitness journey, I think it’s safe to assume that you can forgo the probably awkward experience of buying an athletic supporter.
In fact, I encourage you to spend your money instead on a few decent pairs of running shorts. Running at it’s core is about freedom, therefore, it should be done freely in all aspects. It’s probably best to just let nature…run it’s course on this one.