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A palatable flavor is known to enhance fluid intake during exercise; however, a fear of excessive kilojoule intake may deter female athletes from consuming a sports drink during training sessions. In order to examine this issue, we monitored fluid balance during 9 separate training sessions undertaken by junior elite female netball players (n = 9), female basketball players (n = 7), and male basketball players (n = 8). The beverages tested were water, a regular carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage (6.8% CHO, 18.7 mmol/L Na, 3.0 mmol/L K, 1130 kJ/L), and an identical tasting, low kilojoule electrolyte beverage (1% CHO, 18.7 mmol/L Na, 3.0 mmol/L K, 170 kJ/L). Each subject received each of the 3 drinks at 3 separate training sessions, in a randomized, balanced order. Subjects were aware of the beverage provided. Change in body mass over the training session was used to estimate body fluid change, while voluntary fluid intake was determined from the change in weight of drink bottles used in each session. The overall fluid balance on drinks classified as regular, low kilojoule, and water was -11.3 ml/h (95%CI -99.6 to 77.0), -29.5 ml/h (95%CI -101.4 to 42.5) and -156.4 ml/h (95%CI -215.1 to -97.6), respectively. The results indicate that, overall, better fluid balance was achieved using either of the flavored drinks compared to water. These data confirm that flavored drinks enhance fluid balance in a field situation, and suggest that the energy content of the drink is relatively unimportant in determining voluntary fluid intake.
M.R. Minehan and L.M. Burke are with the Department of Sports Nutrition in the Australian Institute of Sport, PO Box 176, Belconnen, ACT, 2616, Australia. M.D. Riley is with the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, Victoria 3168, Australia.