Abs hold the secret to sweating it out says Sydney Health Sciences
A University of Sydney Health Sciences study has uncovered new temperature sensors in the abdominal area of the body that are responsible for independently altering our sweat output.
The discovery was made as part a larger program of research investigating the impact of ingesting hot versus cold fluids when exercising.
“We were able to prove that cold drinks don’t always have the cooling effect that people anticipate when exercising in a hot environment and in doing so also uncovered new internal sensors within the body which were responding to the temperature of the ingested fluid,” said Dr Ollie Jay from the Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences.
Known as thermoreceptors, these internal sensors which are stimulated by changes in temperature, appear to be located not in the mouth or throat as many originally thought, but further along the gastrointestinal tract.
While previous studies had suggested that cold and warm fluid ingestion had an impact on whole body sweat loss, no previous research could pinpoint the timing, or specific skin or body location of such changes.
Dr Jay’s study design allowed this discovery by comparing the results of those who consumed the hot and cold fluids orally, swirling it around in their mouth only, and those who had it injected directly into their stomach via a nasogastric tube while exercising.
The results showed large decreases in sweating when the cold fluid was injected directly into the stomach, but no such changes were seen when mouth-swilling cold water.
These findings suggest that the sensors responsible are located in the abdominal area. It also showed that when exercising in the heat a cold drink causes an immediate suspension of sweating—the key way in which our bodies cool down.
“The heat that our body loses to warm up the cold drink after it is ingested in countered by the fact that the body decreases the heat that we lose through sweating,” Dr Jay said. “So you may feel cooler for having had a cold drink, but in reality the body’s core and skin temperatures are the same as when ingesting a body temperature drink.”
About the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney
The Sydney Faculty of Health Sciences is a world leader in health research, sciences and education. The faculty achieves this through encouraging international collaboration across all research endeavours, and through strategic partnerships that are global in their reach.
The faculty strives constantly for excellence in intellectual enquiry, academic freedom and integrity. To support these goals, they provide an engaging and stimulating student-centred learning and teaching environment, attracting some of the best students and researchers in Australia.
Master of Exercise Physiology
The Master of Exercise Physiology is designed to produce graduates who possess the knowledge, competencies and clinical experience required for safe and effective clinical exercise practice.
Students will explore metabolism and physiology, human motor learning and control, the principles of exercise programming, nutrition and pharmacology, and musculoskeletal principles of exercise. Integrated clinical practice instruction, practicums, and case studies will provide the advanced skills and experience essential for professional practice.
Clinical placements are undertaken in both the public and private sectors. Students will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the career path they have chosen, and its place in the contemporary health system.
Program: Master of Exercise Physiology
Location: Cumberland campus (in Lidcombe, a suburb of Sydney), New South Wales
Semester intake: March 2015
Duration: 2 years
Application deadline: October 1, 2014