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Women Sweat Less Readily Than Men

Last Updated: October 08, 2010.

Finding may explain why heat waves hit females harder, researchers say.

FRIDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Men sweat more easily during exercise than women, a new study finds.

Japanese researchers instructed male and female volunteers to ride an exercise bicycle at varying levels of intensity and found that men are more efficient at sweating. Basically, women need to build up more body heat than men before they start sweating.

The findings were published online and in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Experimental Physiology.

"It appears that women are at a disadvantage when they need to sweat a lot during exercise, especially in hot conditions," study coordinator Yoshimitsu Inoue, of the Laboratory for Human Performance Research at Osaka International University, said in a news release from the journal's publisher.

Inoue added that the findings help improve understanding of why men and women cope differently with temperature extremes such as heat waves.

There may be an evolutionary reason why men sweat more easily than women, the study authors noted.

"Women generally have less body fluid than men and may become dehydrated more easily," Inoue said. "Therefore, the lower sweat loss in women may be an adaptation strategy that attaches importance to survival in a hot environment, while the higher sweat rate in men may be a strategy for greater efficiency of action or labor."

His advice? In hot weather, women should take more care than men. But, he added, "Both men and women can acclimate themselves better to heat if they exercise regularly before a heat wave comes."

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about sweating.

SOURCE: Experimental Physiology, news release, Oct. 7, 2010

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