To determine the differences in sweat composition between sweat induced by thermal stress alone and that induced by physical exercise, seven young healthy men first sat in a hot room and then performed running exercise. A 20-minute stay in a climate chamber at 40 degrees C resulted in a 5% reduction in body weight. The same body weight loss was induced by running exercise. Both sodium and chloride concentrations were much lower in the sweat induced by thermal exposure than that induced by the running exercise (p less than 0.01), while urea nitrogen and creatine concentrations were significantly higher after thermal exposure than after the running exercise (p less than 0.01). Potassium concentrations did not differ significantly with either procedure. These findings suggest that sweat composition varies with the kind of induction and that more salt seems to be lost through exercise-induced sweating than by just sitting in a hot environment.