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

Peter G. Snell, Robert Ward, Chithan Kandaswami, Sidney J. Stohs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: 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.Methods: 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°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® and Rehydrate Electrolyte Replacement Drink, and then repeated the treadmill test to voluntary exhaustion.Results: 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.Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
JournalJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
StatePublished - Aug 22 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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