Long distance runners present upregulated sweating responses than sedentary counterparts

PLoS One. 2014 Apr 7;9(4):e93976. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093976. eCollection 2014.

Abstract

Relatively few studies have investigated peripheral sweating mechanisms of long-distance runners. The aim of this study was to compare peripheral sweating mechanisms in male long-distance runners, and sedentary counterparts. Thirty six subjects, including 20 sedentary controls and 16 long-distance runners (with 7-12 years of athletic training, average 9.2±2.1 years) were observed. Quantitative sudomotor axon reflex testing (QSART) with iontophoresis (2 mA for 5 min) and 10% acetylcholine (ACh) were performed to determine axon reflex-mediated and directly activated (DIR, muscarinic receptor) sweating. Sweat onset time, sweat rate, number of activated sweat glands, sweat output per gland and skin temperature were measured at rest while maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) were measured during maximal cycling. Sweat rate, activated sweat glands, sweat output per gland, skin temperature and VO2max were significantly higher in the trained runners than in the sedentary controls. Sweat onset time was significantly shorter for the runners. In the group of long-distance runners, significant correlations were found between VO2max and sweat onset time (r2 = 0.543, P<0.01, n = 16), DIR sweat rate (r2 = 0.584, P<0.001, n = 16), sweat output per gland (r2 = 0.539, P<0.01, n = 16). There was no correlation between VO2max and activated sweat glands. These findings suggest that habitual long-distance running results in upregulation of the peripheral sweating mechanisms in humans. Additional research is needed to determine the molecular mechanism underlying these changes. These findings complement the existing sweating data in long-distance runners.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletes
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Running / physiology*
  • Skin Temperature / physiology*
  • Sweating / physiology*
  • Up-Regulation
  • Young Adult

Grant support

The authors have no funding or support to report.