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J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Aug 22;7:28. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-7-28.

Comparative effects of selected non-caffeinated rehydration sports drinks on short-term performance following moderate dehydration.

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Creighton University Health Sciences Center, Omaha, NE, USA.



The effect of moderate dehydration and consequent fluid replenishment on short-duration maximal treadmill performance was studied in eight healthy, fit (VO2max = 49.7 +/- 8.7 mL kg-1 min-1) males aged 28 +/- 7.5 yrs.


The study involved a within subject, blinded, crossover, placebo design. Initially, all subjects performed a baseline exercise test using an individualized treadmill protocol structured to induce exhaustion in 7 to 10 min. On each of the three subsequent testing days, the subjects exercised at 70-75% VO2max for 60 min at 29-33 degrees C, resulting in a dehydration weight loss of 1.8-2.1% body weight. After 60 min of rest and recovery at 22 C, subjects performed the same treadmill test to voluntary exhaustion, which resulted in a small reduction in VO2max and a decline in treadmill performance by 3% relative to the baseline results. Following another 60 min rest and recovery, subjects ingested the same amount of fluid lost in the form of one of three lemon-flavored, randomly assigned commercial drinks, namely Crystal Light (placebo control), Gatorade(R) and Rehydrate Electrolyte Replacement Drink, and then repeated the treadmill test to voluntary exhaustion.


VO2max returned to baseline levels with Rehydrate, while there was only a slight improvement with Gatorade and Crystal Light. There were no changes in heart rate or ventilation with all three different replacement drinks. Relative to the dehydrated state, a 6.5% decrease in treadmill performance time occurred with Crystal Light, while replenishment with Gatorade, which contains fructose, glucose, sodium and potassium, resulted in a 2.1% decrease. In contrast, treatment with Rehydrate, which comprises fructose, glucose polymer, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, amino acids, thiols and vitamins, resulted in a 7.3% increase in treadmill time relative to that of the dehydrated state.


The results indicate that constituents other than water, simple transportable monosaccharides and sodium are important for maximal exercise performance and effective recovery associated with endurance exercise-induced dehydration.

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