How Much You Sweat During Sport

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How Much You Sweat During Sport

Have you ever wondered how much you sweat during your sport?

The average person sweats between 0.8 – 1.4 litres per hour (L/h) of exercise. However individual sweat rates vary. The rate of sweating also varies depending on the type of activity, the intensity of exercise and environmental conditions (air temperature, humidity and body exposure to sunlight).

A change in body weight due to water loss of 1% is a marker of early dehydration. At 2% water loss, athletes will experience a decline in physical and mental performance. If water loss is greater than 2% it can become life threatening..

How Much You Sweat During SportWith sweat rates of up to 2 Litres per hour amongst active sports people it does not take long to become dehydrated. For example, a 70 kg athlete undergoing intensive training, with a sweat rate of 2 Litres per hour, will hit the 2% dehydration level within the first hour of exercise.

The optimal sports hydration strategy begins with calculating your individual sweat rate. Your sweat rate tells you how much fluid you have lost, and therefore how much fluid you need to consume per hour of exercise. This can be difficult to do ‘on the run’.

Use the following table as a guide to calculate mean fluid losses under varying conditions for different sports and training, and therefore how much fluid you need to consume per hour of exercise:

Exercise type
rate (L/h)
temperature (0C)
humidity (%)
10 kmf12.8 km/h1.49 19-24
m14.6 km/h1.83 19-24
30 km1.25 9-1730-90
2 hoursm63% VO2max1.41 2240-45
42.2 km9.3-15.5 kg/h1.1 21-2650-60
42.2 kmf9-12 km/h0.54 6-2445-85
m9-12 km/h0.81 745-85
42.2 kmm8.7-16.1 km/h0.96 10-1273
42.2 kmm15.9 km/h1.52 2037
42.2 km9.8-15 km/h0.69-1.27 12-23
56 km10.4-14.8 km/h0.96-1.00 11.3-25.8
80 minm70% VO2max1.43 20
80 minm70% VO2max1.1 20
3 hoursm60% VO2max1.21 3122
3 hours (intervals)m33-44% VO2max0.62 33-4428
2 hoursm50% VO2max1.25 30
40 kmf30 km/h0.75 19-25
m32 km/h1.14 19-25
1 hourm50% VO2max0.39 2553
17 minm35-45% VO2max0.29 3045
fCompetition0.8 2678
mCompetition1.2 2541
mCompetition1.0 1056
Training0.8 3035
mTraining1.0 2541
Training0.7 961
m2.1 3340
m0.8 137
m2.0 137
m1.3 1955
NetballfCompetition1.0 2266
f0.9 1643
fTraining0.7 2836
fTraining0.7 1930
BasketballmCompetition1.6 2341
mCompetition1.6 1936
fCompetition0.9 2660
fCompetition1.0 1758
mTraining1.4 2734
Training1.0 2024
fTraining0.7 2543
Training0.7 1756
WaterpolomCompetition0.8 27
mTraining0.3 2717
AFLm1.4 12-1555-88
m1.8 2752
Rugby Unionm2.2 18-2018-20
m1.7 21-2378-85
m2.2 20-2274-82
mForwards2.6 24-2530-32
Cricketm0.5 2365
m0.7 3322
m1.4 3330

Adapted from: Rehrer, N. J., and L. M. Burke. Sweat losses during various sports. Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics. 53;4: S13-S16, 1996.

Cameron West

Cameron is the Director of Pro Training Programs



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