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Sweat, the production of a watery excretion from the skin in the process of sweating.
Sweat is not pure water; it always contains a small amount (0.2 - 1%) of solute. When a person moves from a cold climate to a hot climate, adaptive changes occur in their sweating mechanisms. This process is referred to as acclimatisation: the maximum rate of sweating increases and its solute composition decreases. The volume of water lost in sweat daily is highly variable, ranging from 100 to 8,000 mL/day. The solute loss can be as much as 350 mmol/day (or 90 mmol/day acclimatised) of sodium under the most extreme conditions. In a cool climate & in the absence of exercise, sodium loss can be very low (less than 5 mmols/day). Sodium concentration in sweat is 30-65 mmol/l, depending on the degree of acclimatisation.
Sweat is readily visualized by a topical indicator such as iodinated starch (minor test) or sodium alizarin sulphonate. Both of which undergo a dramatic colour change when moistened by sweat. A thermoregulatory sweat test can evaluate the body’s response to a thermal stimulus by inducing sweating through a hot box ⁄ room, thermal blanket or exercise. Failure of the topical indicator to undergo a colour change during thermoregulatory sweat testing indicates hypohidrosis, and further tests may be required to localize the lesion.
Sweat contains mainly water. It also contains minerals, as well as lactate and urea. Mineral composition will vary with the individual, the acclimatisation to heat, exercise and sweating, the particular stress source (exercise, sauna, etc.), the duration of sweating, and the composition of minerals in the body. An indication of the minerals content is: sodium 0.9 gram/liter, potassium 0.2 gram/liter, calcium 0.015 gram/liter, magnesium 0.0013 gram/liter. Also many other trace elements are excreted in sweat, again an indication of their concentration is (although measurements can vary fifteenfold): zinc (0.4 mg/l), copper (0.3 - 0.8 mg/l), iron (1 mg/l), chromium (0.1 mg/l), nickel (0.05 mg/l), lead (0.05 mg/l).  . Probably many other less abundant trace minerals will leave the body through sweating with correspondingly lower concentrations. In humans sweat is hyposmotic relative to plasma.
Other components in sweat
Sweat and anxiety
Sweat and drugs
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