A new study by Japanese researchers, published in the 'Experimental Physiology' journal, has revealed that men sweat much more and better than women.
For their study, the researchers asked a group of men and women to cycle continuously for an hour in a controlled climate with the pace steadily increasing. They looked at the differences between the subjects' sweating response to changes in exercise intensity.
Men who were physically fit sweat more readily than anyone else, and males, in general, also appeared to benefit more from physical training than did women. This difference became more pronounced as the activity level increased, the findings revealed.
"It appears that women are at a disadvantage when they need to sweat a lot during exercise, especially in hot conditions," the media quoted study leader Yoshimitsu Inoue of Osaka International University as saying.
Previous researches have shown a link between the male sex-hormone testosterone, physical training and an increase in sweat rate.
Although they did not measure the hormone among their subjects, the researchers suggest the hormone may play a role in their results. And, this is also the first study to probe sex differences in effects of physical training on sweating response during exercise.
The findings have implications for exercise and heat tolerance in humans, including shedding light on why the sexes cope differently with extremes of temperature such as heat waves, say the researchers.
Inoue believes there may be an evolutionary reason why men and women have evolved to sweat differently. He said: "Women generally have less body fluid than men and may become dehydrated more easily.
"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 labour."