Do you have a low, moderate or high concentration of sodium in your sweat? Do you know how much sodium you lose in sweat? Did you know that the sodium concentration in an individuals sweat can range from as low as 300 mg to as high as 3000 mg of sodium per one litre of sweat?
Use the Sweat Test Kit to learn the sodium concentration of your sweat. Knowing how much you lose determines how much you need to replace.
The test consists of a one-hour workout on a stationary bike or treadmill. Apart from learning the concentration of sodium in your sweat, the reason for the one-hour test is to identify the volume of sweat you lose, which will give you a better understanding of your sweat rate per hour.
How many of these sweat tests have you done? Over 1500 and counting
What intensity do I perform the test at? Ideally you would perform the test at an intensity as close to competition pace as possible. You can use heart rate, average km/h or wattage to measure intensity.
Why can’t I just do 30 minutes and double the number? The thing is with sweating we all start to sweat at different times and from different areas of our body. The amount of sweat you lose in 30 minutes may not be a true indication of how much sweat you lose in an hour. Some athletes won’t start sweating until well after 30 minutes, but at 40 minutes it looks like someone has thrown a bucket of water over them. The amount you sweat, what areas of the body you sweat from and at what point you start to sweat has nothing to do with how fit you are or how well heat acclimated you are. It’s simply your unique physiological makeup.
What information will I gather from the sweat test? You will learn the volume of sweat you lose based on the intensity and the environmental conditions the test is performed in. Remembering your sweat rate will change as intensity and the environmental conditions change.
You will learn the concentration of sodium that is present in your sweat. This is recorded in milligrams per one litre of sweat. The sodium concentration of your sweat is unique to you and it doesn’t change, which is why you only need to do the sodium test once. When you combine your sweat rate with the sodium concentration of your sweat you can calculate the accumulative amount of sodium you lose per hour.
While the concentration of sodium you lose doesn’t change the accumulative loss of sodium changes based on how much sweat you are losing. Put simply as sweat rate increases in warmer conditions so to does the amount of sodium you lose. Conversely when temperatures are cooler sweat rates are lower and so is the amount of sodium you lose. Therefore the amount you drink is dictated by your unique physiological makeup and the conditions you are experiencing at the time. Unless you train and compete consistently in the same conditions your hydration strategy will need to change to suit the conditions.
Another important reason for the test being one-hour is to learn how many calories you are expending based on the intensity you do the test at. Knowing your calorie expenditure per hour provides you with the information you need to plan your calorie intake accordingly.
Your sweat rate, sodium concentration in sweat and calorie expenditure is very important information to have when planning a nutrition strategy and the longer you are out competing, the more important these numbers become.