Renal and cardiovascular responses to water immersion in trained runners and swimmers

  • V. A. Convertino
  • D. L. Tatro
  • R. B. Rogan


The purpose of this study was to determine if fluid-electrolyte, renal, hormonal, and cardiovascular responses during and after multi-hour water immersion were associated with aerobic training. Additionally, we compared these responses in those who trained in a hypogravic versus a 1-g environment. Seventeen men comprised three similarly aged groups: six long-distance runners, five competitive swimmers, and six untrained control subjects. Each subject underwent 5 h of immersion in water [mean (SE)] 36.0 (0.5)°C to the neck. Immediately before and at each hour of immersion, blood and urine samples were collected and analyzed for sodium (Na), potassium, osmolality, and creatinine (Cr). Plasma antidiuretic hormone and aldosterone were also measured. Hematocrits were used to calculate relative changes in plasma volume (%ΔVpl). Heart rate response to submaximal cycle ergometer exercise (35% peak oxygen uptake) was measured before and after water immersion. Water immersion induced significant increases in urine flow, Na clearance (CNa), and a 3–5% decrease in Vpl. Urine flow during immersion was greater (P < 0.05) in runners [2.4 (0.4) ml · min−1] compared to controls [1.3 (0.1) ml · min −1]. However, %A Vpl, CCr, CNa and \(C_{{\text{H}}_{\text{2}} {\text{O}}}\) during immersion were not different (P > 0.05) between runners, swimmers, and controls. After 5 h of immersion, there was an increase (P < 0.05) in submaximal exercise heart rate of 9 (3) and 10 (3) beats · min−1 in both runners and controls, respectively, but no change (P > 0.05) was observed in swimmers. Since swimmers did not experience elevated exercise tachycardia following water immersion compared to runners and sedentary controls, we conclude that exercise training in a hypogravic environment attenuates the acute cardiovascular adaption to microgravity. This effect of hypogravic aerobic training was not associated with the degree of hypovolemia and associated diuresis and natriuresis.

Key words

Diuresis Natriuresis Hypogravity Exercise training Renal function 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. A. Convertino
    • 1
  • D. L. Tatro
    • 2
  • R. B. Rogan
    • 3
  1. 1.Biomedical Operations and Research OfficeNational Aeronautics and Space Administration, University of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.The Bionetics Corporation, Kennedy Space CenterUSA
  3. 3.Exercise and Sports Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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