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Blood and urinary measures of hydration status during progressive acute dehydration

POPOWSKI, LEROY A.; OPPLIGER, ROBERT A.; PATRICK LAMBERT, G.; JOHNSON, RALPH F.; KIM JOHNSON, ALAN; GISOLFI, CARL V.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2001 - Volume 33 - Issue 5 - pp 747-753
BASIC SCIENCES: Original Investigations

POPOWSKI, L. A., R. A. OPPLIGER, G. P. LAMBERT, R. F. JOHNSON, A. K. JOHNSON, and C. V. GISOLFI. Blood and urinary measures of hydration status during progressive acute dehydration. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 33, No. 5, 2001, pp. 747–753. Purpose: To determine whether: a) plasma osmolarity (Posm) is sensitive to small incremental changes in hydration status, b) urine specific gravity (Usg) can accurately identify a state of euhydration, c) Usg is a sensitive indicator of a change in hydration status, and d) Usg correlates with Posm.

Methods: Euhydrated (Posm = 288 ± 4 mOsm·L-1) subjects (N = 12) were dehydrated by 5% of their body weight via exercise in the heat (40°C, 20% RH). Posm, urine osmolarity (Uosm), and Usg were measured at 1%, 3%, and 5% dehydration, and 30 and 60 min of recovery (rec). Subjects consumed water in recovery equal to their loss of body weight.

Results: Posm increased incrementally with each successive increase in percent body weight loss (%BWL). Usg was not significantly different from baseline until 3% BML. Uosm was not significantly different from baseline until 5% BWL. Usg correlated moderately (r = 0.46, P > 0.10) with Posm but reasonably well (r = 0.68, P < 0.02) with Uosm.

Conclusions: Posm accurately identifies a state of euhydration and is sensitive to changes in hydration status during acute dehydration and rehydration. Usg and Uosm are also sensitive to changes in hydration status but lag behind during periods of rapid body fluid turnover and therefore correlate only moderately with Posm during acute dehydration.

Departments of Exercise Science and Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242

September 1999

July 2000

Deceased June 3, 2000

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.