Sweat rate and sweat composition during heat acclimation

Lisa Klous, Cornelis De Ruiter, Puck Alkemade, Hein Daanen*, Nicola Gerrett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The purpose of this study was to determine local sweat rate (LSR) and sweat composition during heat acclimation (HA). For ten consecutive days of HA, eight participants cycled in 33 °C and 65% relative humidity at an intensity such that a rectal temperature of 38.5 °C was reached within ~40 min, followed by a 60-min clamp of this rectal temperature (i.e., controlled hyperthermia). Four participants extended HA by a 28-day decay period and five consecutive days of heat re-acclimation (HRA) using controlled hyperthermia. Sweat from the upper arm and upper back was collected three times during each heat exposure session. LSR and sweat sodium, chloride, lactate, and potassium concentrations were determined. Relative to HA day 1, LSR was increased at the final day of HA (day 10) (arm: +58%, P < 0.001; back: +36%, P < 0.05). Concentrations of sodium, chloride, and lactate significantly (P < 0.05) decreased to ~60% at HA day 10 compared to day 1 on the arm and back. Potassium concentration did not significantly differ on HA day 10 compared to day 1 (arm: +11%, P > 0.05; back: +8%, P > 0.05). The induction patterns of the sudomotor adaptations were different. Whilst LSR increased from HA day 8 on the arm and from HA day 7 on the back, sodium and chloride conservation already occurred from HA day 3 on both skin sites. Lastly, the sweat lactate reduction occurred from HA day 6 on the arm and back. Initial evidence is provided that adaptations were partly conserved after decay (28 days) and that a 5-day HRA may be sufficient to restore HA adaptations. In conclusion, ten days of exercise-induced HA using controlled hyperthermia led to increases in LSR and concomitant reductions of sweat sodium, chloride, and lactate concentrations, whilst potassium concentrations remained relatively constant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102697
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Early online date26 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Controlled hyperthermia
  • Heat acclimation
  • Lactate
  • Sodium
  • Sweat composition
  • Sweat rate


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