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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1997 Oct;83(4):1152-8.

Restoration of fluid balance after exercise-induced dehydration: effects of alcohol consumption.

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  • 1University Medical School, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, United Kingdom.


The effect of alcohol consumption on the restoration of fluid and electrolyte balance after exercise-induced dehydration [2.01 +/- 0.10% (SD) of body mass] was investigated. Drinks containing 0, 1, 2, and 4% alcohol were consumed over 60 min beginning 30 min after the end of exercise; a different beverage was consumed in each of four trials. The volume consumed (2,212 +/- 153 ml) was equivalent to 150% of body mass loss. Peak urine flow rate occurred later (P = 0.024) with the 4% beverage. The total volume of urine produced over the 6 h after rehydration, although not different between trials (P = 0.307), tended to increase as the quantity of alcohol ingested increased. The increase in blood (P = 0.013) and plasma (P = 0.050) volume with rehydration was slower when the 4% beverage was consumed and did not increase to values significantly greater than the dehydrated level (P = 0.013 and P = 0.050 for blood volume and plasma volume, respectively); generally, the increase was an inverse function of the quantity of alcohol consumed. These results suggest that alcohol has a negligible diuretic effect when consumed in dilute solution after a moderate level of hypohydration induced by exercise in the heat. There appears to be no difference in recovery from dehydration whether the rehydration beverage is alcohol free or contains up to 2% alcohol, but drinks containing 4% alcohol tend to delay the recovery process.

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