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Temperature of Ingested Water during Exercise Does Not Affect Body Heat Storage


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: June 2015 - Volume 47 - Issue 6 - p 1272–1280
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000533
Applied Sciences

Purpose The objective of this study was to examine the effect of ingested water temperature on heat balance during exercise as assessed by direct calorimetry.

Methods Ten healthy males (25 ± 4 yr) cycled at 50% V˙O2peak (equivalent rate of metabolic heat production (M-W) of 523 ± 84 W) for 75 min under thermocomfortable conditions (25°C, 25% relative humidity) while consuming either hot (50°C) or cold (1.5°C) water. Four 3.2 mL·kg−1 boluses of hot or cold water were consumed 5 min before and at 15, 30, and 45 min after the onset of exercise. Total heat loss (H L = evaporative heat loss (H E) ± dry heat exchange (H D)) and M-W were measured by direct and indirect calorimetry, respectively. Change in body heat content (ΔH b) was calculated as the temporal summation of M-W and H L and adjusted for changes in heat transfer from the ingested fluid (H fluid).

Results The absolute difference for H L (209 ± 81 kJ) was similar to the absolute difference of H fluid (204 ± 36 kJ) between conditions (P = 0.785). Furthermore, the difference in H L was primarily explained by the corresponding changes in H E (hot: 1538 ± 393 kJ; cold: 1358 ± 330 kJ) because H D was found to be similar between conditions (P = 0.220). Consequently, no difference in ΔH b was observed between the hot (364 ± 152 kJ) and cold (363 ± 134 kJ) conditions (P = 0.971) during exercise.

Conclusion We show that ingestion of hot water elicits a greater H L relative to cold water ingestion during exercise. However, this response was only compensated for the heat of the ingested fluid as evidenced by similar ΔH b between conditions. Therefore, our findings indicate that relative to cold water ingestion, consuming hot water does not provide a thermoregulatory advantage. Both hot and cold water ingestion results in the same amount of heat stored during prolonged moderate-intensity exercise.

Human and Environmental Physiology Research Unit, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA

Address for correspondence: Glen P. Kenny, Ph.D., Human and Environmental Physiology Research Unit, School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, 125 University Private, Room 367, Montpetit Hall, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5; E-mail:

Submitted for publication July 2014.

Accepted for publication September 2014.

© 2015 American College of Sports Medicine