Simultaneous whole-body wash-down (WBW) and regional skin surface sweat collections were completed to compare regional patch and WBW sweat calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn) concentrations. Athletes (4 men, 4 women) cycled in a plastic open-air chamber for 90 min in the heat. Before exercise, the subjects and cycle ergometer (covered in plastic) were washed with deionized water. After the onset of sweating, sterile patches were attached to the forearm, back, chest, forehead, and thigh and removed on saturation. After exercise, the subjects and cycle ergometer were washed with 5 L of 15-mM ammonium sulfate solution to collect all sweat minerals and determine the volume of unevaporated sweat. Control trials were performed to measure mineral contamination in regional and WBW methods. Because background contamination in the collection system was high for WBW Mn, Fe, and Zn, method comparisons were not made for these minerals. After correction for minimal background contamination, WBW sweat [Ca], [Mg], and [Cu] were 44.6 ± 20.0, 9.8 ± 4.8, and 0.125 ± 0.069 mg/L, respectively, and 5-site regional (weighted for local sweat rate and body surface area) sweat [Ca], [Mg], and [Cu] were 59.0 ± 15.9, 14.5 ± 4.8, and 0.166 ± 0.031 mg/L, respectively. Five-site regional [Ca], [Mg], and [Cu] overestimated WBW by 32%, 48%, and 33%, respectively. No individual regional patch site or 5-site regional was significantly correlated with WBW sweat [Ca] (r = –.21, p = .65), [Mg] (r = .49, p = .33), or [Cu] (r = .17, p = .74). In conclusion, regional sweat [Ca], [Mg], and [Cu] are not accurate surrogates for or significantly correlated with WBW sweat composition.
Baker, Stofan, and Horswill are with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Barrington, IL. Lukaski is with the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Grand Forks, ND.