Role of whole foods in promoting hydration after exercise in humans

J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Oct;26(5 Suppl):592S-596S. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2007.10719664.


Various reports indicate that humans receive 20-25% of their daily water intake from food. Fruits, vegetables and other high-moisture foods, therefore, make an important contribution to total fluid intake. In addition, co-ingestion of other nutrients and ingredients can impact drinking behavior, absorption, distribution and retention of water, all of which contribute to the person's hydration state. Therefore, a food's hydration value derives from the interaction between its water content and the presence of these co-nutrients and ingredients. Research is reviewed in this paper showing increased voluntary fluid intake of young boys during exercise when the beverage is flavored and contains sodium chloride and carbohydrate. Additional research on rehydration after exercise and heat exposure showed improved recovery of plasma volume and fluid status when food was ingested before consuming water in the two hours after exercise. Collectively, these findings point to an interaction between fluid intake and co-ingested nutrients in regulating human hydration during and after exercise.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages
  • Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dehydration / prevention & control*
  • Drinking / physiology*
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Taste
  • Water / administration & dosage*
  • Water / analysis
  • Water / metabolism
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology*


  • Carbohydrates
  • Water