The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of prior ingestion of coconut water on fluid retention and exercise capacity in the heat as well as signs of gastrointestinal distress. Eight physically active men were recruited (age 23 ± 3 years, height 176 ± 6 cm, body mass 78 ± 7 kg) and performed three exercise capacity trials on a cycle ergometer in the heat (34 ± 1°C) after the ingestion of one of the following drinks: a) plain water (PW), b) flavored drink (FD), and c) coconut water (CW). Ingestion of CW resulted in a longer time to exhaustion (p=0.029). Likewise, participants achieved a higher heart rate in the CW session when compared to the other trials (PW 183 ± 5 bpm, FD 184 ± 8 bpm, and CW 189 ± 8 bpm, p<0.05) and a reduced urine output after the coconut water ingestion (PW 214 ± 85 ml, FD 267 ± 90 ml, and CW 161 ± 73 ml, p<0.05) indicating a higher fluid retention of coconut water in comparison to plain water and the flavored drink. These results demonstrate that previous ingestion of coconut water improves exercise capacity in the heat and provide a reduced urine output in comparison to plain water and flavored drink. Also there is no evidence for GI distress.
hydration; performance; temperature