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Opportunities to determine optimal rates of fluid ingestion could reduce the mass soldiers might need to carry on military missions.The first objective was to evaluate the effects of an ad libitum fluid replacement strategy on total body water (TBW), core temperature, serum sodium concentrations [Na+], and plasma osmolality (POsm). The second objective was to determine if an ad libitum water intake was sufficient to maintain these variables during exercise. A third objective was to determine if changes in body mass are an accurate measure of changes in TBW.A field study was conducted with 15 soldiers performing a 16.4-km route march. The average age of 15 subjects was 27 yr (SD = 4.6 yr).Their mean hourly ad libitum fluid intake was 383 mL (SD = 150 mL). Predicted sweat rate was 626 ± 122 mL·h−1. Despite an average body mass loss of 1.0 kg (SD = 0.50 kg) TBW, POsm and serum [Na+] did not change significantly during exercise. There was a significant (P < 0.05) linear relationship with a negative slope between postexercise serum [Na+] and changes in both body mass and percentage of TBW. Postexercise POsm and serum [Na+] were significantly related (P < 0.05). Higher postexercise percentage of TBW was associated with lower postexercise POsm and serum [Na+] levels. There was no relation between percent body mass loss and postexercise core temperature (38.1°C ± 0.6°C).A mean ad libitum water intake of 383 mL·h−1, replacing approximately 61% of body mass losses during 4 h of exercise, maintained TBW, core temperature, POsm, and serum [Na+] despite a 1.4% body mass loss. A reduction in body mass of 1.4% (1.0 kg) was not associated with a reduction in TBW.