Does Sweat Deserve a Bad Reputation? -- Russell Athletic Sweatxpert Investigates

Aug 08, 2006, 01:00 ET from Russell Athletic

    ATLANTA, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- As bodily functions go, sweating is
 highly underrated. Sweat is blamed for wet handshakes in job interviews,
 ruined clothes on first dates and the terrible stench of athletic locker
 rooms. However, Russell Athletic's Sweatxpert, Dr. Larry Kenney, explains
 that physically active people cannot function without sweating.
     "Despite its bad rep, the right type of sweat (the body produces two
 types) efficiently managed, can be beneficial," said Kenney, professor of
 physiology and kinesiology at Penn State and Russell Athletic Sweatxpert.
     Being drenched in sweat is not appealing. However, sweat actually acts
 as your body's radiator by protecting you from overheating. By wearing
 performance material, such as Russell Athletic's Dri-Power(R) clothing, the
 benefits of sweat can be maintained while still keeping a person dry and
     According to Kenney, during even moderate exercise, body temperature
 would increase at a rate of one degree Celsius every six to seven minutes
 without sweating. This would cause the body to overheat quickly and can
 create potentially dangerous health problems. Evaporation of heat puts the
 brakes on the body's temperature climb, but exercisers should be cautious
 of extreme temperatures that can still cause heat exhaustion.
     "Two to five million eccrine glands, producers of the good sweat that
 cools the body during exercise, secrete sweat directly onto the skin
 surface and are scattered over the body surface," said Sweatxpert Kenney.
     The distribution of eccrine sweat glands is non-uniform, varying from
 less than 50 to as many as 800 glands per square centimeter of skin. The
 highest densities of eccrine sweat glands are found on the palms of the
 hands and soles of the feet.
     With millions of sweat glands, managing sweat becomes an important
 task. Products like Russell Athletic's Dri-Power(R) and the latest
 innovation, Dri- Power(R) Fleece, performance fabric can actually bring
 eccrine sweat to the surface of the material in order to evaporate more
 efficiently and effectively.
     Kenney explains that while performing heavy exercise in hot conditions,
 the body can lose more than two liters of sweat per hour. In fact, with
 adequate fluid replacement, maximal daily sweat rates under severe exercise
 conditions can be in the range of 10 to 15 liters!
     However, by using Russell Athletic's Dri-Power(R) clothing, those 10 to
 15 liters will be wicked to the clothing's surface to evaporate more
     Eccrine sweat is odorless, colorless and relatively dilute. In fact, if
 humidity is fairly low the sweat produced from eccrine glands evaporates
 quickly, making the body cooler. It is the other sweat glands, called
 apocrine glands, which secrete sweat into hair follicles causing odor and
 clothing stains.
     Although embarrassing stories about sweat run rampant, sweat does not
 deserve its bad reputation. After all, wouldn't it be much more
 embarrassing to overheat and faint in public?
     W. Larry Kenney is professor of physiology and kinesiology at Penn
 State University where he teaches and conducts research at Noll Laboratory.
 His research interests include the cardiovascular and thermoregulatory
 responses to heat stress and dehydration, control of human skin blood flow
 and the biophysics of heat exchange between human beings and the
 environment. NIH- funded work focuses on the effects of aging on the
 ability to tolerate and adapt to environmental challenges. Dr. Kenney is a
 fellow and past president of the American College of Sports Medicine. He
 also chairs the Gatorade Sports Science Institute's Science Advisory Board
 and has been recently named Russell Athletic's Sweatxpert.
     Russell Corporation is a leading branded athletic and sporting goods
 company marketing athletic apparel, uniforms, footwear and equipment for a
 variety of sports, outdoor and fitness activities. The company's major
 brands include Russell Athletic(R), JERZEES(R), Spalding(R), Brooks(R),
 Huffy Sports(R), Bike(R), Moving Comfort(R), AAI(R) and Mossy Oak(R).
 Russell Corporation is dually headquartered in Alexander City, Alabama, and
 Atlanta, Georgia, and employs 15,000 people worldwide. The company's common
 stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RML and its
 Web site address is

SOURCE Russell Athletic