Hydration during exercise

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Five young unacclimatised subjects were exposed for 4 h at 34‡ C (10‡ C dew-point temperature and 0.6 m · s−1 air velocity), while exercising on a bicycle ergometer: 25 min work — 5 min rest cycles for 2 hours followed by 20 min work — 10 min rest cycles for two further hours. 5 experimental sessions were carried out: one without rehydration (NO FLUID) resulting in 3.1% mean loss of body weight (δ Mb), and four sessions with 20‡ C fluid ingestion of spring water (WATER), hypotonic (HYPO), isotonic (ISO) and hypertonic (HYPER) solutions to study the effects of fluid osmolarity on rehydration. Mean final rehydration (±SE) after fluid intake was 82.2% (±1.2). Heart rate was higher in NO FLUID while no difference among conditions was found in either δ Mb or hourly sweat rates. Sweating sensitivity was lowest in the dehydration condition, and highest in the WATER one. Modifications in plasma volume and osmolarity demonstrated that NO FLUID induced hyperosmotic hypovolemia, ISO rehydration rapidly led to plasma isoosmotic hypervolemia, while WATER led to slightly hypoosmotic normovolemia.

It is concluded that adequate rehydration through ingestion of isotonic electrolyte-sucrose solution, although in quantities much smaller than evaporative heat loss, rapidly restored and expanded plasma volume. While osmolarity influenced sweating sensitivity, the plasma volume changes (δ PV) within the range −6%⩽δ PV⩽+4% had little effect on temperature adjustments in our conditions.