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Aaron Coutts, Peter Reaburn, Kerry Mummery and Mark Holmes

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of prior glycerol loading on competitive Olympic distance triathlon performance (ODT) in high ambient temperatures. Ten (3 female and 7 male) well-trained triathletes (VO2max = 58.4 ±2.4 ml-kg−1 min−1; best ODT time = 131.5 ± 2.6 min) completed 2 ODTs (1.5-km swim, 40-km bicycle, 10-km run) in a randomly assigned (placebo/ glycerol) double-blind study conducted 2 weeks apart. The wet-bulb globe temperature (outdoors) was 30.5 + 0.5 °C (relative humidity: 46.3 ± 1.1%; hot) and 25.4 + 0.2 °C (relative humidity: 51.7 ± 2.4%; warm) for day 1 and day 2, respectively. The glycerol solution consisted of 1.2 g of glycerol per kilogram of body mass (BM) and 25 ml of a 0.75 g · kg−1 BM carbohydrate solution (Gatorade®) and was consumed over a 60-min period, 2 hours prior to each ODT. Measures of performance (ODT time), fluid retention, urine output, blood plasma volume changes, and sweat loss were obtained prior to and during the ODT in both the glycerol and placebo conditions. Following glycerol loading, the increase in ODT completion time between the hot and warm conditions was significantly less than the placebo group (placebo 11:40 min vs. glycerol 1:47 min; p < .05). The majority of the performance improvement occurred during the final 10-km run leg of ODT on the hot day. Hyperhydration occurred as a consequence of a reduced diuresis (p < .05) and a subsequent increase in fluid retention (p < .05). No significant differences were observed in sweat loss between the glycerol and placebo conditions. Plasma volume expansion during the loading period was significantly greater (p < .05) on the hot day when glycerol appeared to attenuate the performance decrement in the heat. The present results suggest that glycerol hyperhydration prior to ODT in high ambient temperatures may provide some protection against the negative performance effects of competing in the heat.

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David M. Morris, Joshua R. Huot, Adam M. Jetton, Scott R. Collier and Alan C. Utter

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.

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Eric D.B. Goulet, Adrien De La Flore, Félix A. Savoie and Jonathan Gosselin

Hyperhydration consists in increasing total body water above euhydration level. This hydration technique has been demonstrated to improve work capacity ( Goulet et al., 2008 ) as well as cardiovascular and thermoregulatory functions ( Goulet, 2008 ), enhance orthostatic tolerance ( Easton et

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M.J. Anderson, J.D. Cotter, A.P. Garnham, D.J. Casley and M.A. Febbraio

This study examined the effect of glycerol ingestion on fluid homeostasis, thermoregulation, and metabolism during rest and exercise. Six endurance-trained men ingested either 1 g glycerol in 20 ml H2O · kg−1 body weight (bw) (GLY) or 20 ml H2O · kg−1 bw (CON) in a randomized double-blind fashion, 120 min prior to undertaking 90 min of steady state cycle exercise (SS) at 98% of lactate threshold in dry heat (35 °C, 30% RH), with ingestion of CHO-electrolyte beverage (6% CHO) at 15-min intervals. A 15-min cycle, where performance was quantified in kJ, followed (PC). Pre-exercise urine volume was lower in GLY than CON (1119 ± 97 vs. 1503 ± 146 ml · 120 min−1; p < .05). Heart rate was lower (p < .05) throughout SS in GLY, while forearm blood flow was higher (17.1 ± 1.5 vs. 13.7 ± 3.0 ml · 100 g tissue · min−1; < .05) and rectal temperature lower (38.7 ± 0.1 vs. 39.1 ± 0.1 °C; p < .05) in GLY late in SS. Despite these changes, skin and muscle temperatures and circulating catecholamines were not different between trials. Accordingly, no differences were observed in muscle glycogenolysis, lactate accumulation, adenine nucleotide, and phosphocreatine degradation or inosine 5-monophosphate accumulation when comparing GLY with CON. Of note, the work performed during PC was 5% greater in GLY (252 ± 10 vs. 240 ± 9 kJ;p < .05). These results demonstrate that glycerol, when ingested with a bolus of water 2 hours prior to exercise, results in fluid retention, which is capable of reducing cardiovascular strain and enhancing thermoregulation. Furthermore, this practice increases exercise performance in the heat by mechanisms other than alterations in muscle metabolism.

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Ioanna Athanasiadou, Sven Christian Voss, Wesal El Saftawy, Hind Al-Jaber, Najib Dbes, Sameera Al-Yazedi, Waseem Samsam, Vidya Mohamed-Ali, Mohammed Alsayrafi, Georgia Valsami and Costas Georgakopoulos

analysis, it was observed that, in many cases, urinary LH concentrations close to or below the threshold of 1.0 IU/L were related to low SG values (diluted samples, SG < 1.005). Based on anecdotal evidence, hyperhydration is being used by a number of athletes as a masking method, since urine dilution is

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L.P. Kilduff, E. Georgiades, N. James, R.H. Minnion, M. Mitchell, D. Kingsmore, M. Hadjicharalambous and Y.P. Pitsiladis

The effects of creatine (Cr) supplementation on cardiovascular, metabolic, and thermoregulatory responses, and on the capacity of trained humans to perform prolonged exercise in the heat was examined. Endurance-trained males (n = 21) performed 2 constant-load exercise tests to exhaustion at 63 ± 5 % VO2max in the heat (ambient temperature: 30.3 ± 0.5 °C) before and after 7 d of Cr (20 g · d–1 ’ Cr + 140 g • d–1 glucose polymer) or placebo. Cr increased intraccl-lular water and reduced thermoregulatory and cardiovascular responses (e.g., heart rate, rectal temperature, sweat rate) but did not significantly increase time to exhaustion (47.0 ± 4.7 min vs. 49.7 ± 7.5 min, P = 0.095). Time to exhaustion was increased significantly in subjects whose estimated intramuscular Cr levels were substantially increased (“responders”: 47.3 ± 4.9 min vs. 51.7 ± 7.4 min, P = 0.031). Cr-induced hyperhydration can result in a more efficient thermoregulatory response during prolonged exercise in the heat.

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Eric D.B. Goulet, Mylène Aubertin-Leheudre, Gérard E. Plante and Isabelle J. Dionne

The authors determined, through a meta-analytic approach, whether glycerol-induced hyperhydration (GIH) enhances fluid retention and increases endurance performance (EP) significantly more than water-induced hyperhydration (WIH). Collectively, studies administered 23.9 ± 2.7 mL of fuid/kg body weight (BW) with 1.1 ± 0.2 g glycerol/kg BW, and hyperhydration was measured 136 ± 15 min after its onset. Compared with WIH, GIH increased fluid retention by 7.7 ± 2.8 mL/kg BW (P < 0.01; pooled effect size [PES]: 1.64 ± 0.80, P < 0.01, N = 14). The use of GIH was associated with an improvement in EP of 2.62% ± 1.60% (P = 0.047; PES: 0.35 ± 0.13, P = 0.014, N = 4). Unarguably, GIH significantly enhances fluid retention better than WIH. Because of the dearth of data, the effect of GIH on EP must be further investigated before more definitive conclusions can be drawn as to its ergogenic property.

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Eric D.B. Goulet

Glycerol-induced hyperhydration (GIH) has been shown to improve fluid retention and endurance performance compared with water-induced hyperhydration. The goal of this article is to report on what is known and unknown about how glycerol-containing hyperhydration solutions (GCHSs) are processed at the stomach and intestine level, propose strategies to improve the efficacy of GIH, and provide research questions for future studies. Through statistical analyses, it is demonstrated that the effectiveness of GCHSs in increasing fluid retention is maximized when fluid ingestion is in the upper range of what is normally administered by studies (~26 ml/kg body weight) and the duration of the protocol is no longer than the time it takes for the glycerol-fluid load to be totally or nearly completely integrated inside the body. The rate of gastric emptying and intestinal absorption of GCHSs is unknown. However, based on an analysis of indirect evidence obtained from human studies, it is proposed that most glycerol (~80 g) and fluid (~1,700 ml) ingested during a typical GIH protocol can be integrated inside the body within 60–90 min. Whether the stress associated with competition could alter these figures is unknown. Research in rats indicates that combining glycerol with glucose at a 3:1 ratio accelerates intestinal absorption of both glycerol and water, thereby potentially improving the efficacy of GIH. Human studies must be conducted to determine how GCHSs are processed by the gastrointestinal system and whether adding glucose to GCHSs could improve the technique’s efficacy.

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Neil M. Johannsen, Zebblin M. Sullivan, Nicole R. Warnke, Ann L. Smiley-Oyen, Douglas S. King and Rick L. Sharp


To determine whether chicken noodle soup before exercise increases ad libitum water intake, fluid balance, and physical and cognitive performance compared with water.


Nine trained men (age 25 ± 3 yr, VO2peak 54.2 ± 5.1 ml · kg−1 · min−1; M ± SD) performed cycle exercise in the heat (wet bulb globe temperature = 25.9 ± 0.4 °C) for 90 min at 50% VO2peak, 45 min after ingesting 355 ml of either commercially available bottled water (WATER) or chicken noodle soup (SOUP). The same bottled water was allowed ad libitum throughout both trials. Participants then completed a time trial to finish a given amount of work (10 min at 90% VO2peak; n = 8). Cognitive performance was evaluated by the Stroop color–word task before, every 30 min during, and immediately after the time trial.


Ad libitum water intake throughout steady-state exercise was greater in SOUP than with WATER (1,435 ± 593 vs. 1,163 ± 427 g, respectively; p < .03). Total urine volume was similar in both trials (p = .13), resulting in a trend for greater water retention in SOUP than in WATER (87.7% ± 7.6% vs. 74.9% ± 21.7%, respectively; p = .09), possibly due to a change in free water clearance (–0.32 ± 1.22 vs. 0.51 ± 1.06 ml/min, respectively; p = .07). Fluid balance tended to be improved with SOUP (–106 ± 603 vs. –478 ± 594 g, p = .05). Likewise, change in plasma volume tended to be reduced in SOUP compared with WATER (p = .06). Only mild dehydration was achieved (<1%), and physical performance was not different between treatments (p = .77). The number of errors in the Stroop color–word task was lower in SOUP throughout the entire trial (treatment effect; p = .04).


SOUP before exercise increased ad libitum water intake and may alter kidney function.

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Chris Easton, Stephen Turner and Yannis P. Pitsiladis

The authors examined the effects of combined creatine (Cr) and glycerol (Gly) supplementation on responses to exercise in the heat. Subjects (N = 24) were matched for body mass and assigned to either a Cr or placebo (Pl) group. Twice daily during two 7-d supplementation regimens, the Cr group received 11.4 g of Cr·H2O and the Pl group received 11.4 g of glucose. Subjects in both groups also ingested 1 g of Gly/kg body mass (twice daily) in either the first or the second supplementation regimen. This design allowed 4 possible combinations of supplements to be examined (Pl/Pl, Pl/Gly, Cr/Pl, and Cr/Gly). Exercise trials were conducted pre- and post supplementation at 30 °C and 70% relative humidity. In the Pl group, total body water (TBW) increased by 0.50 ± 0.28 L after Gly and in the Cr group by 0.63 ± 0.33 L after Pl and by 0.87 ± 0.21 L after Gly. Both Cr/Pl and Cr/Gly resulted in significantly attenuated heart rate, rectal temperature, and perceived effort during exercise, although no regimen had any effect on performance. The addition of Gly to Cr significantly increased TBW more than Cr alone (P = 0.02) but did not further enhance the attenuation in HR, Tre, and RPE during exercise. These data suggest that combined Cr and Gly is an effective method of hyper hydration capable of reducing thermal and cardiovascular responses.