The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of active heat acclimation on the sweat osmolality and sweat sodium ion concentration vs. sweat rate relationship in humans. Eight healthy male volunteers completed 10 days of exercise in the heat. The mean exercising heart rate and core temperature were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) by 18 beats/min and 0.6 degrees C, respectively, following heat acclimation. Furthermore, sweat osmolality and the sweat sodium ion concentration vs. sweat rate relationships were shifted to the right. Specifically, the slopes of the relationships were not affected by heat acclimation. Rather, heat acclimation significantly reduced the y-intercepts of the sweat osmolality and sweat sodium relationships with sweat rate by 28 mosmol/kgH(2)O and 15 mmol/l, respectively. Thus there was a significantly lower sweat sodium ion concentration for a given sweat rate following heat acclimation. These results suggest that heat acclimation increases the sodium ion reabsorption capacity of the human eccrine sweat gland.