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This study determined the effect of dehydration and rehydration (DR) on performance, immune cell response, and tympanic temperature after high-intensity rowing exercis.


Seven oarswomen completed two simulated 2000-m rowing race trials separated by 72 h in a random, cross-over design. One trial was completed in a euhydrated (E) condition and the other using a DR protocol.


The DR condition resulted in a 3.33 ± 0.14% reduction in body mass (P < .05) over a 24-h period followed by a 2-h rehydration period immediately before the simulated rowing race. There was a greater change in tympanic temperature observed in the DR trial (P < .05). There were increases in the blood concentration of leukocytes, lymphocytes, lymphocyte subsets (CD3+, CD3+/4+, CD3+/8+, CD3/16+, CD4+/25+; P < .05) and decreases in lymphocyte proliferation and neutrophil oxidative burst activity immediately following the simulated race (P < .05) in both trials. Blood leukocyte and neutrophil concentrations were greater after exercise in the DR trial (P < .05). Whereas most immune measures returned to resting values after 60 min of recovery in both trials, lymphocyte proliferation and the concentrations of CD3+/4+ and CD4+/25+ cells were significantly lower than before exercise. Blood leukocyte and neutrophil concentrations were significantly higher before and after exercise in the E trial.


The effects of dehydration/rehydration did not negatively influence simulated 2000-m rowing race performance in lightweight oarswomen but did produce a higher tympanic temperature and had a differential effect on blood leukocyte, neutrophil, and natural killer (CD3/16+) cell concentrations after exercise compared with the euhydrated state.

Penkman, Sellar, Harber, and Bell are with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada, and Field is with the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.