Dehydration has been shown to hinder performance of sustained exercise in the heat. Consuming fluids before exercise can result in hyperhydration, delay the onset of dehydration during exercise and improve exercise performance. However, humans normally drink only in response to thirst, which does not result in hyperhydration. Thirst and voluntary fluid consumption have been shown to increase following oral ingestion or infusion of sodium into the bloodstream. We measured the effects of acute sodium ingestion on voluntary water consumption and retention during a 2-hr hydration period before exercise. Subjects then performed a 60-min submaximal dehydration ride (DR) followed immediately by a 200 kJ performance time trial (PTT) in a warm (30 °C) environment. Water consumption and retention during the hydration period was greater following sodium ingestion (1380 ± 580 mL consumed, 821 ± 367 ml retained) compared with placebo (815 ± 483 ml consumed, 244 ± 402 mL retained) and no treatment (782 ± 454 ml consumed, 148 ± 289 mL retained). Dehydration levels following the DR were significantly less after sodium ingestion (0.7 ± 0.6%) compared with placebo (1.3 ± 0.7%) and no treatment (1.6 ± 0.4%). Time to complete the PTT was significantly less following sodium consumption (773 ± 158 s) compared with placebo (851 ± 156 s) and no treatment (872 ± 190 s). These results suggest that voluntary hyperhydration can be induced by acute consumption of sodium and has a favorable effect on hydration status and performance during subsequent exercise in the heat.
Morris is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, TX. Huot is with the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Charlotte, NC. Jetton, Collier, and Utter are with the Dept. of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.