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The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of water and a 50 mmol/L NaCl solution on postexercise rehydration when a standard meal was consumed during rehydration. Eight healthy participants took part in two experimental trials during which they lost 1.5 ± 0.4% of initial body mass via intermittent exercise in the heat. Participants then rehydrated over a 60-min period with water or a 50 mmol/L NaCl solution in a volume equivalent to 150% of their body mass loss during exercise. In addition, a standard meal was ingested during this time which was equivalent to 30% of participants predicted daily energy expenditure. Urine samples were collected before and after exercise and for 3 hr after rehydration. Cumulative urine volume (981 ± 458 ml and 577 ± 345 mL; p = .035) was greater, while percentage fluid retained (50 ± 20% and 70 ± 21%; p = .017) was lower during the water compared with the NaCl trial respectively. A high degree of variability in results was observed with one participant producing 28% more urine and others ranging from 18–83% reduction in urine output during the NaCl trial. The results of this study suggest that after exercise induced dehydration, the ingestion of a 50 mmol/L NaCl solution leads to greater fluid retention compared with water, even when a meal is consumed postexercise. Furthermore, ingestion of plain water may be effective for maintenance of fluid balance when food is consumed in the rehydration period.
Evans, Miller, and Whiteley are with the School of Healthcare Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. James is with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, UK.