The (in)dependency of blood and sweat sodium, chloride, potassium, ammonia, lactate and glucose concentrations during submaximal exercise

L. Klous, C. J. de Ruiter, S. Scherrer, N. Gerrett, H. A.M. Daanen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: To reduce the need for invasive and expensive measures of human biomarkers, sweat is becoming increasingly popular in use as an alternative to blood. Therefore, the (in)dependency of blood and sweat composition has to be explored. Methods: In an environmental chamber (33 °C, 65% relative humidity; RH), 12 participants completed three subsequent 20-min cycling stages to elicit three different local sweat rates (LSR) while aiming to limit changes in blood composition: at 60% of their maximum heart rate (HRmax), 70% HRmax and 80% HRmax, with 5 min of seated-rest in between. Sweat was collected from the arm and back during each stage and post-exercise. Blood was drawn from a superficial antecubital vein in the middle of each stage. Concentrations of sodium, chloride, potassium, ammonia, lactate and glucose were determined in blood plasma and sweat. Results: With increasing exercise intensity, LSR, sweat sodium, chloride and glucose concentrations increased (P ≤ 0.026), while simultaneously limited changes in blood composition were elicited for these components (P ≥ 0.093). Sweat potassium, lactate and ammonia concentrations decreased (P ≤ 0.006), while blood potassium decreased (P = 0.003), and blood ammonia and lactate concentrations increased with higher exercise intensities (P = 0.005; P = 0.007, respectively). The vast majority of correlations between blood and sweat parameters were non-significant (P > 0.05), with few exceptions. Conclusion: The data suggest that sweat composition is at least partly independent of blood composition. This has important consequences when targeting sweat as non-invasive alternative for blood measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-816
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Ammonia
  • Blood
  • Electrolytes
  • Glucose
  • Lactate
  • Sweat


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