Hydration plays a major role in athletic performance and health, but you may be struggling to determine if you’re staying hydrated. One of the primary losses that you experience during a workout is through your sweat losses. The best way to find out how much you’re losing through your sweat is by performing a sweat test. Every person actually sweats differently, so using this test is a key factor when understanding your own body’s unique response to exercise and exertion.
Perform a Sweat Test
Start by taking a naked body weight before you’re about to workout. This is important since your clothes can actually absorb some of your sweat which may then change your results. Follow up with a warm-up and then exercise at your normal pace for an hour. Keep track of any water that you drink in ounces and avoid urinating in possible. After the hour is over, remove your clothes and then take another body weight.
Then subtract your post-run weight with your pre-run weight and convert that amount to ounces. Remember that one pound is 16 ounces of water. You’ll also have to add in the number of ounces of fluid that you drank if this is applicable. Through this simple test, you can determine exactly how much weight you lose per hour through sweat losses. Remember that you don’t have to lose a great deal of weight before your performance is affected. You only need to be about 1-2.5 percent dehydrated before your workout is compromised.
Rehydrate and Track
Once you know approximately how much water you lose through your sweat, you can use this calculation to ensure you’re getting enough fluid throughout your workout. To be on the safe side, use the amount of fluid that you lose by sweating and then add to that slightly. Even just five ounces more can make a difference. You’ll also have to remember that there is some variation in your performance from day today. The heat, humidity, and altitude all have an effect on your sweat patterns. If you really want to be more accurate, repeat the test several times in a variety of conditions to have a better measure of how much weight you lose through sweating.
It may be surprising to find out how much weight you lose through your sweat. Most people don’t realize how much their weight can fluctuate when they don’t hydrate appropriately. However, if you exercise outdoors, you’re going to lose a significant amount of body fluid that evaporates into the air. Your clothes and hair can also absorb some of your body’s sweat. Because almost every area of your body contains sweat glands, you’re going to lose water through almost every area of your body and many of your losses go unnoticed.
Understanding your sweat patterns can take some time to determine. However, this sweat test is a huge advantage for serious athletes and can keep you going without altering your performance so use it to make sure that you replenish any losses.