Evidence of a greater onset threshold for sweating in females following intense exercise

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2007 Nov;101(4):487-93. doi: 10.1007/s00421-007-0525-5. Epub 2007 Aug 2.


We evaluated the hypothesis that females would show a greater postexercise hypotension and concurrently a greater increase in the onset threshold for sweating. Fourteen subjects (7 males and 7 females) of similar age, body composition, and fitness status participated in the study. Esophageal temperature was monitored as an index of core temperature while sweat rate was measured by using a ventilated capsule placed on the upper back. Subjects cycled at either 60% (moderate) or 80% (intense) of peak oxygen consumption (VO2speak) followed by 20-min recovery. Subjects then donned a liquid-conditioned suit used to regulate mean skin temperature. The skin was then heated (approximately 4.3 degrees C.h(-1)) until sweating occurred. Esophageal temperatures were similar to baseline before the start of whole body warming for all conditions. The postexercise threshold values for sweating following moderate and intense exercise were an esophageal temperature increase of 0.10+/-0.02 and 0.22+/-0.04 degrees C, respectively for males, and 0.15+/-0.03 and 0.34+/-0.01 degrees C, respectively for females. All were elevated above baseline resting (P<0.05) and a significant sex-related difference was observed for sweating threshold values following intense exercise (P<0.05). This was paralleled by a greater decrease in mean arterial pressure in females at the end of the 20-min recovery (P<0.05). In conclusion, females demonstrate a greater postexercise onset threshold for sweating, which is paralleled by a greater postexercise hypotensive response following intense exercise.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anaerobic Threshold / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Temperature / physiology
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Skin Temperature / physiology
  • Sweating / physiology*