Fluid ingestion does not influence intense 1-h exercise performance in a mild environment

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999 Mar;31(3):386-92. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199903000-00006.


Purpose: It is generally recommended that fluid be ingested during exercise at a rate that prevents body mass loss and prevents dehydration. It is, however, not known whether these recommendations are valid during intense endurance exercise in a mild environment. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of fluid ingestion volume on heart rate (HR), rectal temperature, plasma electrolytes, and performance during intense endurance exercise at 21 degrees C.

Methods: Eight well-trained men (26+/-1 yr; 79.6+/-3.5 kg; VO2peak = 5.05+/-0.17 L.min(-1) ; mean+/-SEM) cycled for 45 min at 80+/-1% VO2peak while receiving either no fluid replacement (NF), a volume of water that prevented body mass loss (FR-100 = 1.47+/-0.05 L), or 50% of this volume (FR-50 = 0.72+/-0.03 L). The 45-min exercise bout was followed immediately by a 15-min "all-out" performance ride.

Results: NF was associated with a 1.9+/-0.0% body mass loss, while FR-50 and FR-100 resulted in losses of 1.0 = 0.1% and 0.0+/-0.1%, respectively. Although values tended to be higher in NF, fluid ingestion had no significant effect on HR or rectal temperature during exercise. Reductions in plasma volume and increases in plasma sodium and potassium concentrations during exercise were largely unaffected by fluid ingestion. RPE increased to a similar extent during exercise in the three trials while a mild increase in the degree of stomach bloating/fullness was evident in FR-100. Work completed during the 15-min performance ride was similar in the three trials (NF: 273+/-8, FR-50: 267+/-8, FR-100: 269+/-9 kJ).

Conclusions: There appears to be little benefit from ingesting water during intense 1-h cycling exercise in mild environmental conditions since such ingestion has no significant effect on HR, body temperature, plasma volume, plasma electrolytes, or performance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature
  • Drinking*
  • Electrolytes
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Plasma Volume


  • Electrolytes