In this series of blogs, as Chief Testing Officer (CTO) of SlayRX.com, I am going to tell you about why you should get tested, how the process goes, what you can expect to learn, and how to take action based on your results. I will also review standard sweat testing vs sweat analysis.
Sweat Testing Part 1: The Lab
#TestDontGuess is a hashtag and slogan we use a lot at SlayRx. It means to dial it in versus taking a lazy guess at what your body needs. Everyone’s physiology is different, and hydration is not a one size fits all approach. For too many years now athletes have thrown darts at an electrolyte board trying to figure out how much they sweat, and how many electrolytes to replenish their bodies. This often leads to haphazard results when you are dehydrated or even overhydrated.
There is a sweet spot and you can be much more on target with a little front end work. Your performance will be much improved and you may encounter much less suffering in whatever you do in the heat (e.g., team sports, endurance sports, roofing, lawn care, heating and air, etc.) if you are dialed in. This is precisely why we’ve built our indoor sweat testing and analysis lab and implemented our sodium concentration and sweat rate analysis testing protocols.
When you come in the lab, we ask you about what the normal environmental conditions are for the area you’re planning to train and/or race and simulate them inside one of our testing rooms. These include a bike room with a trainer or a walk/run room with a treadmill. Next, we go through all of the pre-test information gathering to determine your weight, as well as the weight of any hydration you plan to consume during the test.
In order to collect your sweat for testing we attach special gauze patches to your skin, all of which is done in a very sterilized way to avoid any contamination of the samples. Then it’s into either our bike or run testing room where you will be asked to exercise for an hour at close to your race pace or work effort. It’s important to give an effort close to what you plan to do in your event so we can be as accurate as possible on your loss per hour.
Post Test Procedures
After you’ve completed your test, we collect the skin gauze patches and extract your sweat for testing. This process requires your sweat to be analyzed through the special SlayRx sodium testing device that we have established as very reliable and valid. You will then re-weigh yourself along with any hydration left over from the test for your weight loss per hour. We will then analyze your sweat samples for sodium and potassium loss per liter. We then look at the electrolyte lost data combined with your sweat rate/fluid loss per hour and body weight to calculate your individual results.
Having the aforementioned data allows one of our SlayRx staff to advise which of our multiple level special hydration blends specifically designed for your loss level, along with how much fluid we think you should consume per hour to replenish your fluid loss. Then you can get to work with a firm grasp of your empirically derived and validly assessed suggestions. I will follow up next blog with an example of someone we tested results, the recommendations we gave him/her based on the testing, and how to implement a good hydration plan that can be integrated until just right.
Thanks for reading.
My staff, which includes a Registered Dietitian and certified coaches trained in the SlayRx methods, and I look forward to consulting with you. Book your personalized sweat test at our sweat testing facility in Atlanta, GA now at http://slayrx.com/sweat-testing