European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 105, Issue 6, pp 959–967 | Cite as

Change in body mass accurately and reliably predicts change in body water after endurance exercise

  • Lindsay B. BakerEmail author
  • James A. Lang
  • W. Larry Kenney
Original Article


This study tested the hypothesis that the change in body mass (ΔBM) accurately reflects the change in total body water (ΔTBW) after prolonged exercise. Subjects (4 men, 4 women; 22–36 year; 66 ± 10 kg) completed 2 h of interval running (70% VO2max) in the heat (30°C), followed by a run to exhaustion (85% VO2max), and then sat for a 1 h recovery period. During exercise and recovery, subjects drank fluid or no fluid to maintain their BM, increase BM by 2%, or decrease BM by 2 or 4% in separate trials. Pre- and post-experiment TBW were determined using the deuterium oxide (D2O) dilution technique and corrected for D2O lost in urine, sweat, breath vapor, and nonaqueous hydrogen exchange. The average difference between ΔBM and ΔTBW was 0.07 ± 1.07 kg (paired t test, P = 0.29). The slope and intercept of the relation between ΔBM and ΔTBW were not significantly different from 1 and 0, respectively. The intraclass correlation coefficient between ΔBM and ΔTBW was 0.76, which is indicative of excellent reliability between methods. Measuring pre- to post-exercise ΔBM is an accurate and reliable method to assess the ΔTBW.


Hydration status Prolonged exercise Fluid replacement Deuterium oxide Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy 



The authors are grateful to the subjects for their participation in this study. Additionally, we thank Cynthia Bartok for her advice on TBW procedures and calculations, Josh Stapleton for his assistance with FTIR procedures, Mosuk Chow and Dennis Passe for their statistical consultation, Jane Pierzga, John Jennings, Matt Kenney, Jose Flores, Ben Miller, Doug Johnson, and Randy McCullough for their technical assistance, and the General Clinical Research Center nursing staff for their medical support. Support for this study was provided by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and the General Clinical Research Center Grant MO1 RR010732.


  1. Armstrong LE (2007) Assessing hydration status: the elusive gold standard. J Am Coll Nutr 26:575S–584SPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Baker LB, Lang JA, Kenney WL (2008) Quantitative analysis of serum sodium concentration after prolonged running in the heat. J Appl Physiol 105:91–99. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00130.2008 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartok C, Schoeller DA, Clark RR, Sullivan JC, Landry GL (2004) The effect of dehydration on wrestling minimum weight assessment. Med Sci Sports Exerc 36:160–167. doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000106855.47276.CD PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brooks GA, Mercier J (1994) Balance of carbohydrate and lipid utilization during exercise: the “crossover” concept. J Appl Physiol 76:2253–2261PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Byers FM (1979) Extraction and measurement of deuterium oxide at tracer levels in biological fluids. Anal Biochem 98:208–213. doi: 10.1016/0003-2697(79)90728-0 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cheuvront SN, Haymes EM (2001) Thermoregulation and marathon running: biological and environmental influences. Sports Med 31:743–762. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200131100-00004 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cheuvront SN, Montain SJ, Sawka MN (2007) Fluid replacement and performance during the marathon. Sports Med 37:353–357. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200737040-00020 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohen J (1988) Statistical power analysis for behavioral sciences. Earlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 48–52Google Scholar
  9. Consolazio FC, Johnson RE, Pecora LJ (1963) The computation of metabolic balances. In: Physiological measurements of metabolic function in man. McGraw-Hill, New York, pp 313–339Google Scholar
  10. Davis JM, Lamb DR, Burgess WA, Bartoli WP (1987) Accumulation of deuterium oxide (D2O) in body fluids following ingestion of D2O-labeled beverages. J Appl Physiol 63:2060–2066PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Dill DB, Costill DL (1974) Calculations of percentage changes in volumes of blood, plasma, and red cells in dehydration. J Appl Physiol 37:247–248PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Gudivaka R, Schoeller DA, Kushner RF, Bolt MJG (1999) Single- and multifrequency models for bioelectrical impedance analysis of body water compartments. J Appl Physiol 87:1087–1096PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. King RF, Cooke C, Carroll S, O’Hara J (2008) Estimating changes in hydration status from changes in body mass: considerations regarding metabolic water and glycogen storage. J Sports Sci 26:1361–1363. doi: 10.1080/02640410802192768 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lukaski HC, Johnson PE (1985) A simple, inexpensive method of determining total body water using a tracer dose of D2O and infrared absorption of biological fluids. Am J Clin Nutr 41:363–370PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Maughan RJ, Shirreffs SM, Leiper JB (2007) Errors in the estimation of hydration status from changes in body mass. J Sports Sci 25:797–804. doi: 10.1080/02640410600875143 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mitchell JW, Nadel ER, Stolwijk JAJ (1972) Respiratory weight losses during exercise. J Appl Physiol 32:474–476PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Noakes TD, Sharwood K, Speedy D, Hew T, Reid S, Dugas J, Almond C, Wharam P, Weschler L (2005) Three independent biological mechanisms cause exercise-associated hyponatremia: evidence from 2, 135 weighed competitive athletic performances. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102:18550–18555. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0509096102 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rogers G, Goodman C, Rosen C (1997) Water budget during ultra-endurance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 29:1477–1481. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199711000-00014 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Sawka MN (1992) Physiological consequences of hypohydration: exercise performance and thermoregulation. Med Sci Sports Exerc 24:657–670PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Sawka MN, Burke LM, Eichner ER, Maughan RJ, Montain SJ, Stachenfeld NS (2007) American College of sports medicine position stand: exercise and fluid replacement. Med Sci Sports Exerc 39:377–390. doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000272779.34140.3b PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schoeller DA (1996) Hydrometry. In: Human body composition. Human Kinetics, Champaign, pp 25–44Google Scholar
  22. Schoeller DA, Kushner RF, Taylor P, Dietz WH, Bandini L (1985) Measurement of total body water: isotope dilution techniques. In: Ross conference on medical research. Ross Laboratories, ColumbusGoogle Scholar
  23. Sherman WM, Plyley MJ, Sharp RL, Van Handel PJ, McAllister RM, Fink WJ, Costill DL (1982) Muscle glycogen storage and its relationship with water. Int J Sports Med 3:22–24. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1026056 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shoukri MM, Pause CA (1999) Statistical analysis of reliability measurements. In: Statistical methods for health sciences, 2nd edn. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 20–28Google Scholar
  25. Trundnowski RJ, Rico RC (1974) Specific gravity of blood and plasma at 4 and 37°C. Clin Chem 20:615–616Google Scholar
  26. Wong WW, Cochran WJ, Klish WJ, Smith EO, Lee LS, Klein PD (1988) In vivo isotope-fractionation factors and the measurement of deuterium- and oxygen-18 dilution spaces from plasma, urine, saliva, respiratory water vapor, and carbon dioxide. Am J Clin Nutr 47:1–6PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lindsay B. Baker
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • James A. Lang
    • 1
  • W. Larry Kenney
    • 1
  1. 1.Noll Laboratory, Kinesiology DepartmentPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Gatorade Sports Science InstituteBarringtonUSA

Personalised recommendations