Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 09, 464 - 471

Research article
Preexercise Urine Specific Gravity and Fluid Intake During One-Hour Running in a Thermoneutral Environment – A Randomized Cross-Over Study
Rafael P. Silva1, , Toby Mündel2, Janaína L. Altoé1, Mônica R. Saldanha3, Fabrícia G. Ferreira1, João C.B. Marins1
Author Information
1 Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa MG, Brazil
2 Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, New Zealand
3 Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa MG, Brazil

Rafael P. Silva
✉ Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Viçosa, Avenida PH Rolfs s/n – Centro. Viçosa – Minas Gerais, 36571-000. Brazil
Publish Date
Received: 13-04-2010
Accepted: 13-07-2010
Published (online): 01-09-2010
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Urine specific gravity is often used to assess hydration status. Athletes who are hypohydrated prior to exercise tend to ingest more fluid during the exercise, possibly to compensate for their pre exercise fluid deficit. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of additional fluid intake on fluid balance and gastrointestinal tract comfort during 1h running in a thermoneutral environment when athletes followed their habitual fluid and dietary regimes. Sixteen men and sixteen women ingested a 6% carbohydrate-electrolyte solution immediately prior to exercise and then every 15 minutes during two runs, with a consumption rate of 2 (LV, lower volume) or 3 (HV, higher volume) body mass. Urine specific gravity and body mass changes were determined before and after the tests to estimate hydration status. During exercise subjects verbally responded to surveys inquiring about gastrointestinal symptoms, sensation of thirst and ratings of perceived exertion. Plasma glucose, heart rate and blood pressure were also evaluated. Men had higher preexercise urine specific gravity than women (1.025 vs. 1.016 g·mL-1 HV; and 1.024 vs. 1.017 g·mL-1 LV) and greater sweat loss (1.21 ± 0.27 L vs. 0.83 ± 0.21 L HV; and 1.18 ± 0.23 L vs. 0.77 ± 0.17 LV). Prevalence of gastrointestinal discomfort increased after 45 min. No significant differences on heart rate, rate of perceived exertion, blood pressure or glycemia was observed with the additional fluid intake. From these results it appears that additional fluid intake reduces body mass loss and thirst sensation. When compared to the men, however, preexercise euhydration was more common in women and an increased fluid intake increases the risk of body mass gain and gastrointestinal discomfort.

Key words: Hydration, urine specific gravity, exercise, gender, gastrointestinal discomfort

           Key Points
  • There seems to be a wide variability in pre-exercise hydration status between male and female and efforts aimed at educating athletes about the importance of pregame hydration must be emphasized.
  • The fluid ingestion during running exercise in a moderate environment reduces body mass loss and thirst sensation, but an increased fluid intake at rates to match the fluid loss might raise the risk of body mass gain in women during prolonged activities.
  • Individual gastric tolerance and familiarization with fluid replacement should be taken into account when providing athletes with strategies for hydration during exercise.
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