Glycerol hyperhydration: physiological responses during cold-air exposure.J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Aug; 99(2):515-21.JA
Hypohydration occurs during cold-air exposure (CAE) through combined effects of reduced fluid intake and increased fluid losses. Because hypohydration is associated with reduced physical performance, strategies for maintaining hydration during CAE are important. Glycerol ingestion (GI) can induce hyperhydration in hot and temperate environments, resulting in greater fluid retention compared with water (WI) alone, but it is not effective during cold-water immersion. Water immersion induces a greater natriuresis and diuresis than cold exposure; therefore, whether GI might be effective for hyperhydration during CAE remains unknown. This study examined physiological responses, i.e., thermoregulatory, cardiovascular, renal, vascular fluid, and fluid-regulating hormonal responses, to GI in seven men during 4 h CAE (15 degrees C, 30% relative humidity). Subjects completed three separate, double-blind, and counterbalanced trials including WI (37 ml water/l total body water), GI (37 ml water/l total body water plus 1.5 g glycerol/l total body water), and no fluid. Fluids were ingested 30 min before CAE. Thermoregulatory responses to cold were similar during each trial. Urine flow rates were higher (P = 0.0001) with WI (peak 11.8 ml/min, SD 1.9) than GI (5.0 ml/min, SD 1.8), and fluid retention was greater (P = 0.0001) with GI (34%, SD 7) than WI (18%, SD 5) at the end of CAE. Differences in urine flow rate and fluid retention were the result of a greater free water clearance with WI. These data indicate glycerol can be an effective hyperhydrating agent during CAE.