Normative Data for Sweat Rate and Whole-Body Sodium Concentration in Athletes Indigenous to Tropical Climate

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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  • 1 University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine
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This study determined normative data for sweat rate (SR) and whole-body (WB) sweat sodium concentration [Na+] in athletes indigenous to a tropical climate, categorized by age, gender, and sport classification. We analyzed data from 556 athletes (386 adult and 170 young) in endurance (END), team/ball (TBA), and combat (COM) sports exercising in tropical environments (wet bulb globe temperature = 29.4 ± 2.1 °C). SR was calculated from change in body weight corrected for urine output and fluid/food intake. Sweat was collected using absorbent patches, and regional [Na+] was determined using an ion selective analyzer and normalized to WB sweat [Na+]. Data are expressed as mean ± SD. SR was higher in males compared with females in both young (24.2 ± 7.7 ml·kg−1·hr−1 vs. 16.7 ± 5.7 ml·kg−1·hr−1) and adult (22.8 ± 7.4 ml·kg−1·hr−1 vs. 18.6 ± 7.0 ml·kg−1·hr−1) athletes, in END sports in girls (END = 19.1 ± 6.0 ml·kg−1·hr−1; TBA = 14.6 ± 4.5 ml·kg−1·hr−1), and in adult males (END = 25.2 ± 6.3 ml·kg−1·hr−1; TBA = 19.1 ± 7.2 ml·kg−1·hr−1; COM = 18.4 ± 8.5 ml·kg−1·hr−1) and females (END = 23.5 ± 5.6 ml·kg−1·hr−1; TBA = 14.2 ± 5.2 ml·kg−1·hr−1; COM = 15.3 ± 5.2 ml·kg−1·hr−1); p < .05. WB sweat [Na+] was higher in adult athletes than in young athletes (43 ± 10 mmol/L vs. 40 ± 9 mmol/L, p < .05). These norms provide a reference range for low, low average, average high, and high SR and WB sweat [Na+], which serve as a guide for fluid replacement for athletes who live and train in the tropics.

Rivera-Brown and Quiñones-González are with the Center for Sports Health and Exercise Sciences, Department of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA. Rivera-Brown is also with the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA.

Rivera-Brown (anita.rivera@upr.edu; aniriver.brown@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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