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The purpose of this study was to quantify the variability and stability of 1st morning body mass (BM) fluctuations during daily exercise in the heat while following traditional fluid intake guidance. Data from 65 men were examined retrospectively. BM fluctuations were monitored over 4 to 15 consecutive days. Group daily variation in BM was 0.51 ± 0.20 kg. Group coefficient of variation was 0.66 ± 0.24%, normally distributed, and not related to either absolute BM (r = 0.04) or number of measurements (r = 0.34). Three days resulted in a similar variability estimate compared to 6 or 9 d, although precision was improved with 9 d. In conclusion, 3 consecutive BM measurements provide an accurate assessment of daily BM variability, which is less than 1% for active men when replacing 100% of sweat losses during exercise. The data also suggest that daily BM is a sufficiently stable physiological parameter for potential daily fluid balance monitoring.
The authors are with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA 01760.