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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692

Abstract

MACHADO-MOREIRA, Christiano Antônio; VIMIEIRO-GOMES, Ana Carolina; SILAMI-GARCIA, Emerson  and  RODRIGUES, Luiz Oswaldo Carneiro. Exercise fluid replacement: is thirst enough?. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2006, vol.12, n.6, pp. 405-409. ISSN 1517-8692.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922006000600020.

The present work proposes a review about exercise fluid replacement and a discussion whether, during exercise, the fluid ingested according to thirst is sufficient to maintain hydration. Exercise sweat loss, mainly in the heat, can cause dehydration, can alter the hidroelectrolyte balance, disturb thermoregulation, presenting a health risk and/or impairing the athletic performance. It has been asserted that athletes do not drink, spontaneously, the sufficient fluid volume to prevent dehydration during the physical activity. Thus, international recommendations to fluid replacement during physical activities have been proposed. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), about 500 mL of fluid on the two hours before the exercise must be ingested. During exercise, they propose that athletes should start fluid replacement since the beginning in regular periods and should drink enough fluid to restore all the sweating losses or ingest the maximal volume tolerated. The National Athletic Trainer's Association (NATA) proposes the following recommendations: ingestion of 500 to 600 mL of water two or three hours before exercise or other sport drink and ingestion of 200 to 300 mL 10 to 20 minutes before exercise starting. During exercise, the fluid replacement should match the sweating and urine losses and at least should maintain hydration status reaching maximal body weight losses of 2%. After the exercise, fluid replacement must restore all the fluid losses accumulated. In addition, ACSM and NATA asserted about fluid temperature and palatability, beverage carbohydrate and electrolyte additions according to exercise duration and intensity and recommended hydration schedules to provide easier access to fluid ingestion. However, other authors contest the use of hydration schedules based on predetermined fluid volumes and suggest that fluid replacement according to thirst is enough to maintain body homeostasis.

Keywords : Thirst; Hydration; Exercise.

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