Effects of Dehydration on Cerebrovascular Control During Standing After Heavy Resistance Exercise

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2012 Jun;112(11):1875-83. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01217.2011. Epub 2012 Mar 29.


We tested the hypothesis that dehydration exacerbates reductions of middle cerebral artery blood velocity (MCAv) and alters cerebrovascular control during standing after heavy resistance exercise. Ten males participated in two trials under 1) euhydration (EUH) and 2) dehydration (DEH; fluid restriction + 40 mg furosemide). We recorded finger photoplethysmographic arterial pressure and MCAv (transcranial Doppler) during 10 min of standing immediately after high-intensity leg press exercise. Symptoms (e.g., lightheadedness) were ranked by subjects during standing (1-5 scale). Low-frequency (LF) oscillations of mean arterial pressure (MAP) and mean MCAv were calculated as indicators of cerebrovascular control. DEH reduced plasma volume by 11% (P = 0.002; calculated from hemoglobin and hematocrit). During the first 30 s of standing after exercise, subjects reported greater symptoms during DEH vs. EUH (P = 0.05), but these were mild and resolved at 60 s. While MAP decreased similarly between conditions immediately after standing, MCAv decreased more with DEH than EUH (P = 0.02). With prolonged standing under DEH, mean MCAv remained below baseline (P ≤ 0.01), and below EUH values (P ≤ 0.05). LF oscillations of MAP were higher for DEH at baseline and during the entire 10 min of stand after exercise (P ≤ 0.057), while LF oscillations in mean MCAv were distinguishable only at baseline and 5 min following stand (P = 0.05). Our results suggest that mean MCAv falls below a "symptomatic threshold" in the acute phase of standing after exercise during DEH, although symptoms were mild and transient. During the prolonged phase of standing, increases in LF MAP and mean MCAv oscillations with DEH may help to maintain cerebral perfusion despite absolute MCAv remaining below the symptomatic threshold.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Dehydration / physiopathology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Resistance Training* / methods
  • Young Adult