HYDRATION SPORTS SCIENCE

/HYDRATION SPORTS SCIENCE

HEAT Sport Sciences, Inc. (HSS) is intensely focused on the unmet needs of the serious athlete.  All of our products and services are based on over a decade of research, and rigorously tested and validated at the highest levels of sport to maintain peak athlete performance and to address heat-related illnesses.

HSS is dedicated to developing proven performance-enhancement solutions that are healthy, all-natural & preferred by elite athletes. Our Athlete Sweat Test determines your unique hydration needs, and our LEVELEN™ Electrolyte products assure optimal performance through fluid & electrolyte balance.

We are the leaders in Hydration Sports Science.

#HydrationSportsScience

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Questions

Why Should I Get A Sweat Test?

Based on over 15 years of research, and data on thousands of athletes across numerous sports, athletes simply don’t sweat the same. General hydration guidelines are just that, general, and aren’t useful for helping the athlete determine their unique fluid and electrolyte needs. Your Sweat Profile is uniquely yours, and could differ dramatically from another (over a hundred fold), even if they have a similar diet, body type, size, etc. There are no metrics that can accurately predict what your hydration needs are, which is why a Sweat Test is so essential for those seeking to optimize their performance and minimize heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion, hyponatremia, and muscle cramping.

Our Testing Kit is self-administered, and provides us enough information to determine your unique hydration and electrolyte needs, down to the milligram.

Buy an Individual Sweat Test, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

What Are Electrolytes? How Do They Help Me?

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are essentially salts that can carry an electrical charge. The cells in your body rely on electrolytes to control cell membrane stability and to carry the electrical charges needed for muscle contractions caused by nerve impulses. Without electrolytes, the cells in your body couldn’t communicate with each other or perform these essential functions.

Adequate function of the nervous, cardiac, digestive and muscular systems all depend on a proper balance of electrolyte levels. Both normal body function, and athletic performance, are severely compromised if adequate levels of electrolytes are not present, especially in the heat.

One of the most obvious (and painful) signs of electrolyte loss is muscle cramping. But, muscle cramping is usually a sign that you missed your chance to maintain a proper electrolyte balance. Cramping is one of your body’s last warnings that it cannot continue normal muscle function without electrolyte replenishment. By the time you feel cramping, your performance has already been diminished for some time.

The problem can get worse than just muscle cramping. When your muscles cramp, this is caused by over-excited positive power charges in muscle cells, struggling to do their job with depleted electrolytes, just like a light flickering before it burns out. Severe and sustained muscle contractions caused by these unpredictable power surges can cause muscle pulls or strains, as your muscles involuntarily contract. These severe, sustained and involuntary muscle contractions can not only result in muscle damage but will decrease performance or disrupt exercise entirely. Maintenance of your electrolyte balance can help avoid these potentially severe problems.

Maintaining proper electrolyte balance isn’t just for athletes who’ve suffered from debilitating muscle cramps or pulled muscles. You need to provide your body with an adequate supply of electrolytes to maintain specific bodily functions, so you can perform at your peak. To ensure peak performance, you need electrolytes sending a steady stream of energy to all the cells in your body, to keep your body performing smoothly, without interruption or decreased power. No serious athlete should wait until the final signs of severe electrolyte depletion before replenishing electrolytes. You need to get out in front of electrolyte loss and maintain it before it becomes a performance problem.

An Individual Sweat Test is one of the simplest ways to determine the concentration of electrolytes in your sweat, allowing you to customize your replenishment program.

Buy an Individual Sweat Test to determine your body’s specific hydration & electrolyte needs, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

Are All Electrolytes Created Equal?

Not All Electrolytes are Created Equal

Electrolytes are salts that help your body perform essential functions. As you sweat, your body tries to naturally regulate the balance of electrolytes. In some cases, your body does this very well. For instance, when you train or compete, your muscle fibers break down. When your muscle fibers break down, potassium is released into the body. Your body does this very efficiently, even at modest levels of activity. So, potassium is not an electrolyte you need to worry about replenishing. Your body does that for you. Many sport drinks and endurance products contain potassium, which is one of many ingredients you don’t need, even for endurance athletes and muscle crampers. In fact, abnormally elevated blood potassium (hyperkalemia) can be very dangerous, even fatal. We recommend avoiding any supplementation of potassium.

Your body is less efficient at balancing other electrolytes like sodium (Na+), chloride (Cl-), and magnesium (Mg+). These electrolytes can quickly be depleted as you train or compete, leading to performance issues or muscle cramping. These electrolytes are key ingredients in LEVELEN™, in just the right amounts for you. This ensures you maintain your peak performance by managing the most essential electrolytes, while avoiding those which are less beneficial, or even harmful.

Buy an Individual Sweat Test to determine your body’s specific hydration & electrolyte needs, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

How Much Does Sweat Vary Between Athletes?

SWEAT RATE

The amount of sweat volume (rate of fluids lost) can vary greatly from one athlete to another, over a 37-fold difference. While sweat rate is slightly correlated to size (larger athletes typically sweat more) and gender (males sweat more than females), two athletes of similar size and gender can have very different sweat volumes. That is why sweat testing is critical for determining your exact fluid and electrolyte replenishment needs to maintain peak performance.

Sweat volume may vary considerably between sports, as well as between players in the same sport. When assessing sweat volume between runners and football players in identical conditions, our research revealed that football player sweat losses were over 9 liters per day compared to 3 liters per day for runners.

From the thousands of athletes tested, we have seen the following sweat rates:

AVERAGE: 1.68 liters per hour
MIN: 0.18 liters per hour
MAX: 6.70 liters per hour

ELECTROLYTE LOSSES

The graph below highlights electrolyte loss data from our research with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Philadelphia Eagles. As you can see, there was a dramatic variance in the overall amount of electrolytes lost (in this case sodium) from one athlete to another. Measured in milligrams per hour, there was over a 100-fold difference in electrolytes lost between athletes tested in our research.

Print

From athlete to athlete, individual electrolyte loss varies much more than fluid loss. As electrolyte depletion begins, there can be a gradual and subtle loss of performance. As electrolyte depletion becomes more extreme, debilitating muscle cramps can suddenly set in. For every athlete, the point at which performance is impaired or muscle cramps start is different. Guesswork is not the answer for maintaining your electrolyte balance. One-size-fits-all electrolyte solutions are not the key to your peak performance.
Sweat testing is the only way to know exactly what you need, and The LEVELEN ERS™ is the only integrated solution of testing and LEVELEN™ electrolyte replenishment products customized to your individual needs.

Buy an Individual Sweat Test to determine your body’s specific hydration & electrolyte needs, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

Does My Sweat Profile Change? How Often Should I Test?

Year over year: If you were tested today, and the same time last year…our studies indicate your results would be the same. The test is very accurate and allows for precise recommendations of your customized electrolyte replenishment solution. However, if your diet, weight, medications or level of activity change dramatically, this could affect your sweat composition. We recommend re-testing annually to ensure accurate recommendations of LEVELEN products.

Season to season: As the weather warms and cools, your body “acclimates” to new temperatures and humidity changes. In cooler weather, you typically sweat less with a higher concentration of electrolytes lost. In warmer weather, you tend to sweat more with a lower concentration of electrolytes. If you are a multi-season or multi-sport athlete, it is a good idea to perform several sweat tests per year to ensure you are replenishing the correct amount of electrolytes, based on the sport and/or weather conditions. For the serious athlete, this “fine tuning” dials in your hydration specifically to a workout, providing you with that extra edge.

Buy Multiple Sweat Tests (at a discount) to determine your body’s specific hydration & electrolyte needs, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

Sweat Testing Questions

What is a Simulated Sweat Test? How Does LEVELEN’s Test Differ?

Stimulated sweat tests are static tests that are medically approved for detecting Cystic Fibrosis. The problem with this method, in terms of athletic performance, is that the sweat composition generated by an artificial stimulus differs greatly from a true sample taken during physical activity. Eccrine sweat glands are stimulated when the body is hot (physical activity), and sweat produced by eccrine glands will have different electrolyte levels from aprocrine glands. Numerous studies have shown that this stimulated method results in elevated levels of electrolyte concentration, and not representative of true thermal sweating. These studies also measure chloride concentrations, and then estimate sodium and overall electrolyte levels.

We analyze each electrolyte independently, for a more accurate measure, rather than estimating anything. Even though Chloride and Sodium levels tend to correlate, we have seen many instances when the two differ greatly on our scale. This would result in grossly incorrect measurements from the stimulated sweat test.

We recommend you test in an environment similar to your normal training/competition conditions. We then customize your hydration & electrolyte replenishment program to address this authentic specific sweat profile, and not one from stimulated sweat.

Buy an Individual Sweat Test, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

Why Should I Get A Sweat Test?

Based on over 15 years of research, and data on thousands of athletes across numerous sports, athletes simply don’t sweat the same. General hydration guidelines are just that, general, and aren’t useful for helping the athlete determine their unique fluid and electrolyte needs. Your Sweat Profile is uniquely yours, and could differ dramatically from another (over a hundred fold), even if they have a similar diet, body type, size, etc. There are no metrics that can accurately predict what your hydration needs are, which is why a Sweat Test is so essential for those seeking to optimize their performance and minimize heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion, hyponatremia, and muscle cramping.

Our Testing Kit is self-administered, and provides us enough information to determine your unique hydration and electrolyte needs, down to the milligram.

Buy an Individual Sweat Test, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

My Blood Test says I’m “normal”, why do I need a Sweat Test?

When it comes to electrolytes, your body is very good at regulating your levels. Usually within an hour, your sodium and chloride levels will have returned to normal levels, even after suffering muscle cramps during competition. Our sweat test determines what your real-time losses will be, so we can scientifically replenish based on your specific needs and assure your levels will never drop below normal during an event. A blood test does not provide the real-time information needed to determine an individual’s specific fluid and electrolyte needs.

For example, your blood sodium levels should be 135 mmol/L to 145 mmol/L. Whether you are a muscle cramper or not, your blood tests will most likely be within this range.

How Much Does Sweat Vary Between Athletes?

SWEAT RATE

The amount of sweat volume (rate of fluids lost) can vary greatly from one athlete to another, over a 37-fold difference. While sweat rate is slightly correlated to size (larger athletes typically sweat more) and gender (males sweat more than females), two athletes of similar size and gender can have very different sweat volumes. That is why sweat testing is critical for determining your exact fluid and electrolyte replenishment needs to maintain peak performance.

Sweat volume may vary considerably between sports, as well as between players in the same sport. When assessing sweat volume between runners and football players in identical conditions, our research revealed that football player sweat losses were over 9 liters per day compared to 3 liters per day for runners.

From the thousands of athletes tested, we have seen the following sweat rates:

AVERAGE: 1.68 liters per hour
MIN: 0.18 liters per hour
MAX: 6.70 liters per hour

ELECTROLYTE LOSSES

The graph below highlights electrolyte loss data from our research with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Philadelphia Eagles. As you can see, there was a dramatic variance in the overall amount of electrolytes lost (in this case sodium) from one athlete to another. Measured in milligrams per hour, there was over a 100-fold difference in electrolytes lost between athletes tested in our research.

Print

From athlete to athlete, individual electrolyte loss varies much more than fluid loss. As electrolyte depletion begins, there can be a gradual and subtle loss of performance. As electrolyte depletion becomes more extreme, debilitating muscle cramps can suddenly set in. For every athlete, the point at which performance is impaired or muscle cramps start is different. Guesswork is not the answer for maintaining your electrolyte balance. One-size-fits-all electrolyte solutions are not the key to your peak performance.
Sweat testing is the only way to know exactly what you need, and The LEVELEN ERS™ is the only integrated solution of testing and LEVELEN™ electrolyte replenishment products customized to your individual needs.

Buy an Individual Sweat Test to determine your body’s specific hydration & electrolyte needs, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

Does My Sweat Profile Change? How Often Should I Test?

Year over year: If you were tested today, and the same time last year…our studies indicate your results would be the same. The test is very accurate and allows for precise recommendations of your customized electrolyte replenishment solution. However, if your diet, weight, medications or level of activity change dramatically, this could affect your sweat composition. We recommend re-testing annually to ensure accurate recommendations of LEVELEN products.

Season to season: As the weather warms and cools, your body “acclimates” to new temperatures and humidity changes. In cooler weather, you typically sweat less with a higher concentration of electrolytes lost. In warmer weather, you tend to sweat more with a lower concentration of electrolytes. If you are a multi-season or multi-sport athlete, it is a good idea to perform several sweat tests per year to ensure you are replenishing the correct amount of electrolytes, based on the sport and/or weather conditions. For the serious athlete, this “fine tuning” dials in your hydration specifically to a workout, providing you with that extra edge.

Buy Multiple Sweat Tests (at a discount) to determine your body’s specific hydration & electrolyte needs, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

How Do I Perform a Sweat Test?

Just like elite professional & collegiate teams and athletes, you can now determine your unique sweat profile (sweat rate & electrolyte loss), and end the electrolyte replenishment guessing game. Our LEVELEN Electrolyte Replenishment System (ERS™) is the only integrated solution of sweat testing and electrolyte replenishment products customized to your needs.

The video below details how to perform a self-administered sweat test. Once we receive your test sample and analyze it, you will receive a detailed Sweat Profile Report and Dashboard. This includes an hourly hydration strategy and specific recommendations of LEVELEN products that are customized for your specific electrolyte replenishment needs.

 

 

SWEAT TESTING Instructions (CrossFit-Specific Instructions)

Important: During this test, consume fluids as you normally do for a workout of typical intensity and duration. You need to record the precise amount of fluid consumed during the full duration of your workout (between your pre- and post-workout weighings). For the most representative results, you should perform the sweat test while training in the activity, intensity, and environmental conditions representative of the competition you are training for (e.g. Marathon training by running on a hot day).

  1. arm_patchClean the outside of your forearm below the elbow (part facing UP when palm is turned DOWN) with alcohol swab and allow to dry. (see figure)
  2. Apply “sweat patch” to cleaned area outside of your forearm just prior to the workout.
  3. Empty bladder and weigh yourself (wearing no/minimal clothing), noting weight on information card. Note workout conditions on information card (temperature and humidity, if possible).REMEMBER: From this point until you record your post-workout weight, you must track how much fluid you consume (in ounces or milliliters). Ideally, don’t consume any fluids during your workout, or drink as little as possible.
  4. Begin your workout.
  5. It is best to remove the sweat patch between 30 and 40 minutes after your workout begins, or when the patch is fully saturated. Peel open the sweat patch and remove the gauze only with the provided tweezers to avoid touching the sample.
  6. Place the gauze only into the plastic vial, close lid so it “snaps” securely, and place contents into clear bag and seal. Continue your workout.
  7. After your workout, wipe off sweat and weigh yourself again (wearing minimal or no clothing). Note weight, test duration and intensity, and fluids consumed, if any, on the information card.
  8. Mail the completed information card & sweat sample back to us in the provided return mailer. In case your sample gets lost in the mail, take a picture of the tracking label.

What Do You Test For?

The Sweat Test measures your sweat volume (sweat rate) and sweat composition (electrolyte concentrations). Both measurements are instrumental in understanding how your body reacts to exertion and what specific replenishment you need to maintain proper electrolyte balance under physical stress, as well as preventing heat-related illness.

Electrolytes measured: Sodium (Na+), Potassium (K+), Chloride (Cl-)

Based on your results, we determine the amount of electrolytes lost in sweat that need to be replenished, down to the milligram. No more trial-and-error guessing with your hydration.

Buy an Individual Sweat Test to determine your body’s specific hydration & electrolyte needs, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

Why Do I Need to Weigh Myself?

Sweat Rate. In order for us to get an accurate measurement of your sweat volume, it is important to weigh yourself both before and after the duration of your workout. Since sweat can be absorbed in your clothing, you should weigh yourself with minimal/no clothing. For the post-workout weight, please wipe off any sweat before weighing out. Your workout should ideally last for an hour.

The difference in your weight before & after your workout is the total amount of fluid lost in your sweat when you exercise. When you’re training or competing, you need to replenish those fluids. More importantly, what you drink must replenish the electrolytes lost to maintain peak performance and endurance. That is why we test for BOTH sweat volume & electrolytes lost as part of the Levelen ERS™.

For athletes that train & compete in various conditions, we recommend they keep a training log with the following information:

  1. Pre-weight
  2. Workout Duration
  3. Post-weight
  4. Amount of fluids consumed
  5. Workout Conditions (Temperature & Humidity)

This will allow us to determine your sweat rate for a given race condition.

Buy an Individual Sweat Test to determine your body’s specific hydration & electrolyte needs, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

Why Do I Measure How Much I Drink?

Sweat Rate. In order for us to get an accurate measurement of your sweat volume, we need to determine how much you consume during your workout. The amount of fluid you consume will affect your post-workout weight.

During the test, if possible, we recommend not drinking any fluids. This allows us to attain the most accurate reading of your sweat rate/volume.  We recognize that hydration may make you more comfortable during your workout, and be necessary for longer or more intense workouts. If you do drink fluids during the test, carefully enter the exact amount that you consumed on the information card provided with your Sweat Test Kit. This allows us to accurate measure your Sweat Rate, and compensate for your fluid intake.

Buy an Individual Sweat Test to determine your body’s specific hydration & electrolyte needs, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

How Do I Calculate My Sweat Rate?

To calculate your sweat loss per hour:

((Pre-Weight) – (Post-Weight) + (Fluids Consumed)) ÷ (Duration of Workout)

Example:

((73 kg) – (72 kg) + (0.5 liters)) ÷ (1 hour) = 1.5 liters per hour = Sweat Rate

Weights should be in kilograms, volume in liters, time in hours.

Since your sweat rate will vary based on conditions and acclimation, we recommend that endurance athletes, and other athletes that train & compete in various conditions, keep a training log with the following information:

  1. Pre-weight
  2. Workout Duration
  3. Post-weight
  4. Amount of fluids consumed
  5. Workout Conditions (Temperature & Humidity)

This will allow us to determine your sweat rate for a given race condition.

Buy an Individual Sweat Test to determine your body’s specific hydration & electrolyte needs, and take your performance to the next LEVEL.

How Long Do I Wear the Sweat Patch?

The Sweat Patch is used to collect a sample of your sweat, so we can analyze and determine the concentrations of various electrolytes in your sweat.

We highly recommend that you keep the patch on for at least 30 minutes, and up to a full hour. You should work out continuously the entire time.

Your test should be conducted in similar conditions as your usual workout (e.g., level of intensity, indoors vs. ourdoors). We recognize this may require you to wear the patch longer, for instance if you are a long distance runner or cyclist. Please try to plan your training routine so the test is as close to one hour as possible. This will help avoid your patch from becoming over-saturated with sweat.

LEVELEN/Consumption-related Questions

How do I use LEVELEN? Using Your Individual Sweat Profile

Once you complete your LEVELEN™ Sweat Test, you will receive an e-mail with your detailed Individual Sweat Profile and Dashboard.

Your Recommended Fluid & Electrolyte Replenishment Program will be based on your Individual Sweat Profile, the Duration of your workout/competition, and your specific Sport/Activity.

CONSUMPTION CALCULATION | CUSTOMIZE TO SPORT/ACTIVITY