The purposes of this study were to characterize measures of fluid intake and perception of thirst in women over a 6-week period of exercise-heat acclimation and outdoor training and examine if this lengthy acclimation period would result in changes in fluid intake that differ from those previously reported in men utilizing a shorter acclimation protocol of 8–10 days. Voluntary water intake (11–17 °C) and perception of thirst were measured in a group of 5 women (21–26 yr) undergoing exercise-heat acclimation for 90 min/day, 3 days/wk (36 °C, rh 50–70%) and outdoor training 3 days/wk for 6 weeks. Decreased drinking during acclimation was characterized by a decrease in the number of drinks (35 ± 10 to 17 ± 5; p < .05), greater time to first drink (9.9 ± 2.0 to 23.1 ± 4.7 min; p < .05), and a decrease in total volume ingested per week (3310 ± 810 to 1849 ± 446 ml; p < .05) through the 6-week study. Mean perceived thirst measurements remained low and showed only slight variance (3 ± 0.4 to 5 ± 0.4). These observations support a psycho-physiological response pattern different than that previously observed during 8–10 day acclimation protocols in men.
J.K. Ormerod is with the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Science at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1493. T.A. Elliott is with the Metabolism Unit at Shriners Burn Hospital, Galveston, TX 77550. T.P. Scheett is with the School of Human Performance and Recreation at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406. J.L. VanHeest, L.E. Armstrong, and C.M. Maresh are with the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-1110.