Wearable sensors enable the monitoring of an individual’s sweat composition in real time. In this work, we recorded real-time sweat chloride concentration for 12 healthy subjects in three different protocols involving step changes in exercise load and compared the results to laboratory-based analysis. The sensor results reflected the changes in exercise load in real time. On increasing the exercise load from 100 W to 200 W the sweat chloride concentration increased from 12.0 ± 5.9 to 31.4 ± 16 mM (mean ± SD). On decreasing the load from 200 W to 100 W, the sweat chloride concentration decreased from 27.7 ± 10.5 to 14.8 ± 8.1 mM. The half-time associated with the change in sweat chloride, defined as the time at which the concentration reached half of the overall change, was about 6 minutes. While the changes in sweat chloride were statistically significant, there was no correlation with changes in sweat rate or other physiological parameters, which we attribute to intra-individual variation (SD = 1.6–8.1 mM). The response to exercise-induced sweating was significantly different to chemically-induced sweating where the sweat chloride concentration was almost independent of sweat rate. We speculate that this difference is related to changes in the open probability of the CFTR channel during exercise, resulting in a decrease in reabsorption efficiency at higher sweat rates.
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