Running In A Hoodie: A Good idea?

Running in a hoodie

Whether or not a runner wears comfortable and proper running attire when training is an important part of the sport. One of the worst experiences while running is feeling uncomfortable while trying to complete a long run. Some runners wear hoodies when running, whether in the hot or cold, to increase their core body temperature, making them sweat more. 

Running in a hoodie can help detox your body from toxins or reduce water mass as quickly as possible. The weight that is lost is only temporary because it is predominantly water mass and is not a healthy calorie-burning method for long-lasting weight management and loss. 

People who often desire to increase the amount of sweat produced while running comes from an understanding that sweating more means burning more calories and losing more weight. There have been various opinions regarding the accuracy of these methods and whether they are effective. 

Does Wearing A Hoodie While Running Burn More Calories?

The best way to lose calories as fast as possible is to consistently increase your heart rate for a set amount of time. One of the signs of an increased heart rate is sweating. Sweating is a physical sign of your body working hard and your heart rate at higher levels. 

Running in a hoodie does not equate to burning more calories. The extra layer will cause you to sweat more resulting in a loss of water, not fat.

Adding a thicker and heavier clothing layer, like a hoodie, to your body while running will enhance how much you sweat. It will cause you to sweat quicker into your run and for a longer time. 

The material of the hoodie acts as a layer of insulation to your body. This extra layer causes your heart rate to increase, and your blood begins to circulate throughout your body faster in an attempt to reduce your body temperature.

It is true that the more you sweat, the more you lose water. This water mass loss will show immediate signs of weight loss on the scale, but it is only temporary. A warmer body, increasing heart rate, and increased sweating does not equate to burning extra calories. 

It would be great if burning fat were as simple as wearing a hoodie and sweating a whole lot! There has been vast research done that proves that sweating during a workout has minimal to no effect on the number of calories burnt or the amount of fat lost.

The way calories are burnt through exercise is based on the output of energy in the workout. It is common for runners who run with hoodies to spend less energy on their run because of the mental effect of sweating and the extra heat under the hoodie. 

Often runners feel tired quicker or think they have worked hard enough based on the extra sweat, when in fact, they have spent less energy than they would have without the hoodie.

Although running with a hoodie may provide the instant results you want on the scale that day or week, the weight loss will not last long. The water mass you lost will return when you hydrate yourself and refuel your body properly. 

The Important Difference Between Weight Loss And Fat Loss

The scale has become the measuring beacon for success for many people aspiring to lose weight. The problem comes when people associate weight loss with fat loss and only measure their results based on the number on the scale.

The number on the scale represents your overall body weight which is made up of many different contributors. Losing fat is a much more specific goal than losing weight. 

When people talk about losing weight, they are generally talking about reducing the excessive fat levels in their bodies. 

Running with a hoodie does not contribute to the goal of burning fat in your body. Instead, it causes you to reduce your overall weight by reducing the water mass in your body through excessive sweating.

Most of the weight lost through sweating is regained within 24 – 48 hours!

The best way to burn fat is to get your muscles working harder and to spend energy in your workouts. Wearing comfortable clothing for working out will help you push your body further than your normal comfort zone. You can do this without giving yourself reasons to believe you are finished prematurely! 

The right way to burn fat is to make sure you are burning more calories through exercise than you are gaining through eating. You can do this healthily and sustainably, which strengthens your body instead of straining your body. 

What Are The Benefits Of Wearing A Hoodie While Running?

Although running in a hoodie may not be good for burning calories and losing fat, there are still other benefits to wearing one in certain situations.

You may be drawn to the benefits of looking good and feeling more fashionable while running, or maybe feeling a bit more like Rocky Balboa from the movies while working out. However, most of the legitimate reasons to run with a hoodie are based on the goal of detoxing or losing water mass.

Here are a few of those benefits:

  • Helps with warm-ups. Wearing a hoodie during the warm-up before a workout or a run helps warm your muscles and body temperature up quicker and more effectively.
  • It helps your body sweat, which can be good when trying to release and detox from toxins in your body and make working up a sweat easier.
  • Keeping your body warm during warm-ups and warm downs by wearing a hoodie can increase insulin sensitivity and nutrient delivery due to better blood flow from being warm.
  • Sweatshirts can be a benefit in a long run when running in extremely cold winter conditions. The hoodie can help keep your body warm as well as shield you from the wind.

Is Running In A Hoodie Safe?

Running always presents a risk of injury or fatigue. Running with a hoodie has its risks and safety cautions.

When running with a hoodie on, the biggest dangers are things like heat stroke, dehydration, and over-exhaustion. 

It is best to choose a hoodie that is made from performance materials that help allow sweat absorption and don’t soak up the sweat, making you feel heavy and wet.

If the hoodie does not fit properly, it can sometimes affect your movement and mobility and make you feel uncomfortable while running.

It is such an important thing to listen to your body when running in a hoodie. Your body will tell when something is not right or when you are reacting to running in a hoodie negatively.

If you start to feel dizzy, weak, lightheaded, nauseous or have serious struggle breathing, stop running immediately and remove the hoodie. 

These are basic symptoms of your body reacting to the heat from the hoodie and excessive sweating, which can cause rapid dehydration. 

Dizziness and nausea are common when a runner is becoming dehydrated or over-exhausted. The hoodie causes your body to overheat and sweat more than usual.

It is good to consider wearing a thin and light shirt underneath your hoodie. If you need to remove the hoodie, you have breathable material underneath to help return your body temperature to normal as fast as possible. 


Running in a hoodie has its benefits and is not necessarily a bad thing; however, it is important to use wisdom and educate yourself on why you want to run in one. The evidence suggests the main reason for wearing a hoodie while running is for fast weight loss through temporary water reduction or to detox your body quickly. 

Many professional sportsmen and women use this method to reduce weight fast before sporting competitive events. Still, it is always advised to make sure you are fully aware of the risks when deciding to run with a hoodie.

There are so many great options of running attire that can match any weather conditions or training requirements. Comfort and breathable material are what you are looking for when getting dressed for a run! 


Mark Norman

I've been running for over 6 years and now try to balance it with life as a dad to two young kids. I'm not super quick, I just try to run consistently, not always easy! I'm lucky enough to have run the London Marathon twice along with countless other half marathons and 10ks. I'm also one of the Run Directors at my local parkrun.

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