The Sweat Test ~ why would I want to do that?!
As an age group athlete training for a 70.3 this fall, I wanted to find out more about this Sweat Test I have been hearing about...this is what I've learned so far...
Precision Hydration Advanced Sweat Test service can now fully personalize your hydration strategy. Here’s why this is crucial to performing at your best...
Everyone loses a different amount of sodium in their sweat, from as little as 200mg per 32oz of sweat to as much as 2,000mg per 32oz!
This is largely genetically determined. So, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to hydration just doesn’t work.
Most sports drinks (Gatorade etc) contain 200-550mg of sodium per 32oz, whereas the average athlete loses about 950mg per 32oz!
Maintaining the sodium levels in your blood is crucial to performing at your best when you’re sweating for long periods.
Sodium helps you absorb and retain fluid, which keeps your blood volume up, reducing cardiovascular strain and fatigue.
It can also help you avoid cramps.
Just drinking water when you’re sweating over long periods dilutes your sodium levels, which can really impact your performance and could lead to hyponatremia. A recent study found 10% of athletes had hyponatremia at the end of an Ironman!
Watch how a Sweat Test is performed:
I am a big fan of hearing how a product/service has worked for others. Here are a few testimonials from elite athletes that are using Precision Hydration:
Seeking to beat my last 70.3 performance, I really want to know what a Sweat Test can do for me. My interest peaked when I read this blog on PH's website. The jist of the article is that athletes who adequately replaced the sodium lost in their sweat finished a middle distance triathlon an average of 26 minutes faster than those who didn’t.
Here's why sodium is so important for performing at your best:
- Everyone loses a different amount of sodium in their sweat. With testing, it has been determined that athletes sweat rate can vary greatly ~ as little as 200mg of sodium per 32oz of sweat to as much as 2000mg per 32oz.
- Sweat rates also vary from person to person of course; and from situation to situation for any given person (from almost nothing in cooler conditions and at low intensities, to several liters per hour during intense exercise in the heat).
- Your blood volume is gradually reduced as your sweat losses increase. That’s because sweat is drawn from your blood plasma. This increases the strain on your cardiovascular system, making it harder to pump blood to your skin to cool you down and to your working muscles.
- Figuring out whether your net losses are likely to be low, moderate, or high can be a great starting point for honing in on the level of sodium and fluid replacement that'll work best for you in different circumstances.
The two main inputs that drive your personal net sodium losses are...
- The total amount you sweat. This is a factor of your sweat rate and the number of hours you spend sweating during a given timeframe.
- Your sweat sodium concentration.
Playtri now has the ability to do the Sweat Test and help advise me on how much sodium replacement I need on my training and race days.
Sign me up, I can't wait to learn my stats and replacement recommendations!
To see all the performance testing at Playtri, please visit the website at: playtri.com/testing/
When you are ready to book your performance testing, email Morgan@playtri.com.