This study compared a field versus reference laboratory technique for extracting (syringe vs. centrifuge) and analyzing sweat [Na +] and [K +] (compact Horiba B‐722 and B‐731, HORIBA vs. ion chromatography, HPLC) collected with regional absorbent patches during exercise in a hot‐humid environment. Sweat samples were collected from seven anatomical sites on 30 athletes during 1‐h cycling in a heat chamber (33°C, 67% rh). Ten minutes into exercise, skin was cleaned/dried and two sweat patches were applied per anatomical site. After removal, one patch per site was centrifuged and sweat was analyzed with HORIBA in the heat chamber (CENTRIFUGE HORIBA) versus HPLC (CENTRIFUGE HPLC). Sweat from the second patch per site was extracted using a 5‐mL syringe and analyzed with HORIBA in the heat chamber (SYRINGE HORIBA) versus HPLC (SYRINGE HPLC). CENTRIFUGE HORIBA, SYRINGE HPLC, and SYRINGE HORIBA were highly related to CENTRIFUGE HPLC ([Na +]: ICC = 0.96, 0.94, and 0.93, respectively; [K +]: ICC = 0.87, 0.92, and 0.84, respectively), while mean differences from CENTRIFUGE HPLC were small but usually significant ([Na +]: 4.7 ± 7.9 mEql/L, −2.5 ± 9.3 mEq/L, 4.0 ± 10.9 mEq/L (all P < 0.001), respectively; [K +]: 0.44 ± 0.52 mEq/L ( P < 0.001), 0.01 ± 0.49 mEq/L ( P = 0.77), 0.50 ± 0.48 mEq/L ( P < 0.001), respectively). On the basis of typical error of the measurement results, sweat [Na +] and [K +] obtained with SYRINGE HORIBA falls within ±15.4 mEq/L and ±0.68 mEq/L, respectively, of CENTRIFUGE HPLC 95% of the time. The field (SYRINGE HORIBA) method of extracting and analyzing sweat from regional absorbent patches may be useful in obtaining sweat [Na +] when rapid estimates in a hot‐humid field setting are needed.
This study compared a field versus reference laboratory technique for extracting (SYRINGE vs. CENTRIFUGE) and analyzing sweat [Na +] and [K +] (compact HORIBA B‐722 and B‐731 versus ion chromatography, HPLC) collected with regional absorbent patches during exercise in a hot‐humid environment. The HORIBA analyzers provided highly reliable test‐retest and day‐to‐day measurements of sweat [Na +] and [K +]. The 95% limit of agreement between the SYRINGE HORIBA field technique and the reference laboratory‐based CENTRIFUGE HPLC technique was ±15.4 mEq/L and ±0.68 mEq/L for [Na +] and [K +], respectively; which may be acceptable in a field‐testing context, when simply aiming to estimate electrolyte losses for the purpose of identifying athletes/workers at greater risk for large electrolyte losses.