Hydration effects on thermoregulation and performance in the heat

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2001 Apr;128(4):679-90. doi: 10.1016/s1095-6433(01)00274-4.


During exercise, sweat output often exceeds water intake, producing a water deficit or hypohydration. The water deficit lowers both intracellular and extracellular fluid volumes, and causes a hypotonic-hypovolemia of the blood. Aerobic exercise tasks are likely to be adversely effected by hypohydration (even in the absence of heat strain), with the potential affect being greater in hot environments. Hypohydration increases heat storage by reducing sweating rate and skin blood flow responses for a given core temperature. Hypertonicity and hypovolemia both contribute to reduced heat loss and increased heat storage. In addition, hypovolemia and the displacement of blood to the skin make it difficult to maintain central venous pressure and thus cardiac output to simultaneously support metabolism and thermoregulation. Hyperhydration provides no advantages over euhydration regarding thermoregulation and exercise performance in the heat.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Temperature Regulation*
  • Body Water*
  • Dehydration*
  • Exercise
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance