European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 110, Issue 6, pp 1209–1214 | Cite as

Water turnover in children and young adults

  • Elaine C. Rush
  • Purvi Chhichhia
  • Andrew E. Kilding
  • Lindsay D. Plank
Original Article


Water homeostasis is essential for life and optimal function and considerable interest surrounds the issue of recommendations for water consumption in healthy individuals. Objective data on water turnover in free-living individuals are limited, however. The aim of the present work was to measure water turnover in children and young adults using isotopically labeled water to provide objective data on magnitude and variability in relation to body weight, fat-free mass and physical activity level. Water turnover was measured by deuterated water dilution in 91 healthy children (40 boys, 51 girls; age 5–14 years) and 109 healthy young adults (80 women, 29 men; age 18–27 years) with a wide range of body mass index (13.3–51.8 kg/m2) and percent body fat (6.1–59.3%). Total energy expenditure (TEE) and resting metabolic rate were measured by the doubly labeled water technique and indirect calorimetry, respectively. Water turnover was 1.77 ± 0.57 (SD), 1.79 ± 0.44, 2.85 ± 0.82, and 3.90 ± 0.81 L/day in girls, boys, women, and men, respectively. Water turnover indexed to body surface area did not differ significantly between girls and women but was higher in men than boys. Water turnover indexed to TEE was 0.8 mL/kcal in girls and boys and 1.0 mL/kcal in women and men. This study provides objective data on water turnover for children and young adults in a temperate climate and shows that anthropometric parameters can account for the variation between girls, boys and women but not between these groups and the more active men.


Water turnover Children Young adults Doubly labeled water Deuterium dilution 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaine C. Rush
    • 1
  • Purvi Chhichhia
    • 1
  • Andrew E. Kilding
    • 1
  • Lindsay D. Plank
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Faculty of Health and Environmental ScienceAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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