Whether you’re burning calories at the gym or dripping down your forehead on a sweltering day, sweating is hard to avoid. But now new research suggests you can find out a lot from your perspiration.
In a recent study published in the journal Analytical Chemistry, scientists were able to determine key health markers of an individual.
Researchers from the University at Albany analysed the sweat samples of 25 participants and 50 fake sweat samples. The team was able to easily differentiate the sweat samples by looking at the three chemicals – urea, glutamate and lactate.
One such use for the new research could be identifying people at a crime scene – analysts suggest that you’d be able to quickly identify how many suspects as well as narrowing down from a larger list.
“I hope to be able to one day analyse sweat at a crime scene and then say, ‘we are looking for someone who is tall, white, female, in very good physical shape’ or ‘an old male with liver disease,’” says forensic chemist Jan Hamalek.
“Fingerprints remain the same and can be faked, but the sweat composition is always changing,” continues Halámek. “So if I steal a sweat sample somehow, it will not be valid to unlock your phone after a few hours.”
Other important uses involve monitoring the health of people involved in high-intensity workplaces – assessing stress and hydration levels by analysing chemicals found in sweat.