Hypohydration and exercise: effects of heat acclimation, gender, and environment

J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol. 1983 Oct;55(4):1147-53. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1983.55.4.1147.


This study examined the effects of heat acclimation and subject gender on treadmill exercise in comfortable (20 degrees C, 40% rh), hot-dry (49 degrees C, 20% rh), and hot-wet (35 degrees C, 79% rh) environments while subjects were hypo- or euhydrated. Six male and six female subjects, matched for maximal aerobic power and percent body fat, completed two exercise tests in each environment both before and after a 10-day heat acclimation program. One exercise test was completed during euhydration and one during hypohydration (-5.0% from baseline body weight). In general, no significant (P greater than 0.05) differences were noted between men and women at the completion of exercise for rectal temperature (Tre), mean skin temperature (Tsk), or heat rate (HR) during any of the experimental conditions. Hypohydration generally increased Tre and HR values and decreased sweat rate values while not altering Tsk values. In the hypohydration experiments, heat acclimation significantly reduced Tre (0.19 degrees C) and HR (13 beats X min-1) values in the comfortable environment, but only HR values were reduced in hot-dry (21 beats X min-1) and hot-wet (21 beats X min-1) environments. The present findings indicated that men and women respond in a physiologically similar manner to hypohydration during exercise. They also indicated that for hypohydrated subjects heat acclimation decreased thermoregulatory and cardiovascular strain in a comfortable environment, but only cardiovascular strain decreased in hot environments.

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization*
  • Adult
  • Dehydration / physiopathology*
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Male
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Sex Factors