Hydration - Sweat Rate

Hydration - Sweat Rate

Contributed by: Dawn Holmes, MS, RD, CSSD, LD – Dawn is a sports dietitian with The Runner’s Clinic at OhioHealth, a clinic by runners for runners. 

  • Hydration Station – Sweat Rate
    Ever wonder why some people are drenched at the end of a run and others are just damp?  What about the salty residue on your face? These are all examples of sweat rates.  While each person sweats to cool his or her body, the amount varies from 16-70 ounces per hour.   It’s not just water you lose; you lose electrolytes too, hence the salty residue.  The majority are sodium and chloride. 

    So are you a heavy sweater…salty sweater… light sweater…?  Everyone has a unique sweat rate; therefore, the hydration strategy should be as well.
    Heavy Sweaters:

    • Soaked clothing
    • Can wring out your shirt and have a puddle
    • May experience muscle cramping
    • Thirsty

    Salty Sweaters:

    • White powder or gritty residue after running
    • Skin tastes salty and if you rub your eyes, it will sting
    • More likely to experience muscle cramping
    • Crave salty foods – pretzels, chips, broth
    • Thirsty

     ‘Normal’/Light Sweater:

    • You sweat and your clothes are wet in areas, but not soaked
    • No significant gritty or white residue after a run

    Now what?

    • Weight yourself before and after a run, without clothing.  (Void before the first weight and after the second one).  The change in weight reveals the amount of fluid lost as sweat. 
    • Replace each pound with 16 to 24 ounces of fluid. 
    • The next time you run, increase your fluid intake to better match your sweat loss.  Add another couple ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. 
    • If you have salty residue, be sure to use electrolyte-containing fluids.  Or use salty snacks like pretzels and tortilla chips. 

    Contributed by: Dawn Holmes, MS, RD, CSSD, LD – Dawn is a sports dietitian with The Runner’s Clinic at OhioHealth, a clinic by runners for runners. 

    Source: Sawka MN, Burke L, Eichner R, Maughan RJ, Montain SJ, Stachenfeld N. American College of Sports Medicine: exercise and fluid replacement position stand. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2007; 377-390. http://www.acsm-msse.org/pt/pt-core/template-journal/msse/media/0207.pdf
    picture: http://earth911.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/water-bottle.jpg?84cd58

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