Fluid balance in exercise dehydration and rehydration with different glucose-electrolyte drinks

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Summary

After exercise dehydration (3% of body weight) the restoration of water and electrolyte balance was followed in 6 male subjects. During a 2 h rest period after exercise, a drink of one of four solutions was given as 9×300 ml portions at 15 min intervals: control (C-drink), high potassium (K-drink), high sodium (Na-drink) or high sugar (S-drink). An exercise test (submaximal and supramaximal work) was performed before dehydration and after rehydration. Dehydration reduced plasma volume by 16%, a process reversed on resting even before fluid ingestion began, due to release of water accumulated in the muscles during exercise. After 2 h rehydration, plasma volume was above the initial resting value with all 4 drinks. The final plasma volumes after the Na-drink (+14%) and C-drink (+9%) were significantly higher than after the K- and S-drinks. The Na-drink favoured filling of the extracellular compartment, whereas the K- and S-drinks favoured intracellular rehydration. In spite of the higher than normal plasma volume after rehydration, mean heart rate during the submaximal test was 10 bpm higher after rest and rehydration than in the initial test, and was not different between the drinks. The amount of work which could be performed in the supramaximal test (105% \(\dot V_{O_{_2 max} } \) ) was 20% less after exercise dehydration and subsequent rest and rehydration than before. This reduction was similar for all drinks, and may be due to a decreased muscle glycogen content (70% of initial) at the time of the second test.

Danish National Institute of Occupational Health