Total Body Water, Electrolyte, and Thermoregulatory Responses to Ad Libitum Water Replacement Using Two Different Water Delivery Systems During a 19-km Route March

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Nolte, HW, Nolte, K, and van der Meulen, J. Total body water, electrolyte, and thermoregulatory responses to ad libitum water replacement using two different water delivery systems during a 19-km route march. J Strength Cond Res 29(11S): S88–S93, 2015—Hands-free hydration systems are often advocated for improved hydration and performance in military populations. The aim was to assess whether such systems indeed result in improved hydration in exercising soldiers. Subjects were required to complete a route march while consuming water ad libitum from either a hydration bladder (BG) or traditional canteen (CG). Water intakes of 538 ml·h−1 (BG) and 533 ml·h−1 (CG) resulted in no differences for changes in body mass, serum [Na+], plasma osmolality, total body water, or time required to complete the march. There were no differences between peak exercise core temperature of the BG (38.9° C) and CG (38.7° C) groups. There were no differences between the groups for fluid balance, thermoregulation, or performance. This is a not a surprising finding because the amount of fluid consumed ad libitum is determined by changes in serum osmolality and not the fluid delivery system as often proposed.

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