Cardiorespiratory effects of water ingestion during and after exercise

Int Arch Med. 2013 Sep 23;6(1):35. doi: 10.1186/1755-7682-6-35.


Background: In prolonged exercise, the state of hypohydration due to sweating raises physiological stress and induces a drop in sports performance. However, the impact of water intake in cardiorespiratory parameters when administered during and after physical activity has not been well studied. This study aimed to analyze the effects of water intake in heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), partial oxygen saturation (SpO2) and respiratory rate during and after prolonged exercise.

Methods: Thirty-one young males (21.55 ± 1.89 yr) performed three different protocols (48 h interval between each stage): I) maximal exercise test to determine the load for the protocols; II) Control protocol (CP) and; III) Experimental protocol (EP). The protocols consisted of 10 min at rest with the subject in the supine position, 90 min of treadmill exercise (60% of VO2 peak) and 60 min of rest placed in the dorsal decubitus position. No rehydration beverage consumption was allowed during CP. During EP, however, the subjects were given water (Vittalev, Spaipa, Brazil). The parameters HR, SBP, DBP, SpO2 and respiratory rate were measured at the end of the rest, in 30, 60 and 90 minutes of the activity, except the respiratory rate parameter, and at 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 minute post- exercise.

Results: The hydration protocol provided minimal changes in SBP and DBP and a smaller increase in HR and did not significantly affect SpO2 during exercise and better HR recovery, faster return of SBP and DBP and a better performance for SpO2 and respiratory rate post-exercise.

Conclusion: Hydration with water influenced the behavior of cardiorespiratory parameters in healthy young subjects.