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Aviat Space Environ Med. 1998 Oct;69(10):936-43.

Sodium chloride-citrate beverages attenuate hypovolemia in men resting 12 h at 2800 m altitude.

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Laboratory for Human Environmental Physiology, NASA-Ames Research Center, Moffett Field 94035-1000 CA, USA.



The mechanism for reduction and restoration of total body water and plasma volume (PV) during initial exposure to acute altitude (ALT) is not clear but may involve involuntary dehydration; i.e., delayed voluntary fluid intake.


Ten men (24 +/- SD 3 yr, 180.8 +/- 8.1 cm height, 78.8 +/- 12.8 kg weight, 1.99 +/- 0.19 m2 surface area, and 12.2 +/- 4.0% body fat) were in a semi-reclining position for 12 h in a chamber at 2800 m (539 mmHg) ALT or at 321 m (732 mmHg; ground). They ate a controlled breakfast (450 kcal + 3 ml x kg(-1) H2O) on the ground, and lunch and dinner at ALT (or on the ground) for a total daily intake of 2850 kcal (14% PRO, 67% CHO, 16% fat, 2.6g NaCl). At hour 10 they consumed fluid-electrolyte beverages or water (12 ml x kg(-1), 948 ml x d(-1)) in 4 sessions at weekly intervals. Beverage compositions were: a) 185 mEq x L(-1) Na+, 283 mOsm x kg(-1); b) 21.6 mEq x L(-1) Na+, 365 mOsm x kg(-1); c) water at ALT; and d) water on the ground.


After 10 h at ALT % deltaPV (Hb-Hct) decreased (p < 0.05) by: a) 9.0 +/- SE 1.5%; b) 6.2 +/- 1.7%; c) 7.4 +/- 2.2%; and d) by 9.0 +/- 2.4%, respectively. After drinking from 1000-1030 h, PV at 1200 h changed by: a) +8.3 +/- SE 2.0% (p < 0.05); b) +2.8 +/- 2.7% (NS); c) -0.9 +/- 1.5% (NS); and d) by +0.8 +/- 3.5% (NS), respectively. The similar ground-induced hypovolemia suggests a response to confinement rather than an ALT effect and involuntary dehydration does not appear to be implicated.


The significant increase in PV after consuming the (a) NaCl-NaCitrate beverage indicates that drink ionic composition appears to be more important than its osmolality for restoring PV in these conditions. Practical considerations: Because this hypovolemia was probably due to the confinement rather that reduced ambient pressure, appropriate countermeasures could be consumption of isotonic beverages, elastic stockings, leg exercise, and leg elevation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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