Thirst and fluid intake following graded hypohydration levels in humans

Physiol Behav. 1987;40(2):229-36. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(87)90212-5.


The relationship among changes in thirst sensations, blood variables, and differential fluid intake in hypohydrated humans was examined. Seven subjects were hypohydrated by 0%, 3%, 5%, and 7% of their body weight on four separate trials which were systematically randomized between subjects. Hypohydration levels were achieved with a regimen of restricted food and fluid intake and moderate heat-exercise stress. Statistically significant linear and quadratic trends were found for the intensity of several sensations with progressive hypohydration levels. In general, plasma osmolality and renin activity increased and plasma volume decreased with increasing hypohydration levels. During a one hour period of ad lib drinking, all subjects consumed insufficient fluid to rehydrate back to baseline body weights. Using regression analyses, fluid intake was predicted by the magnitude of subjective and physiological indices of hypohydration. Results demonstrate that both hypovolemia and plasma osmolality contribute significantly to fluid intake in hypohydrated humans. The results also indicate that thirst sensations make a substantial contribution to differential fluid intake in humans.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dehydration / blood
  • Dehydration / physiopathology*
  • Drinking Behavior / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Renin / blood
  • Thirst / physiology*


  • Renin