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Effect of acute hypohydration on glycemic regulation in healthy adults: a randomized crossover trial

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posted on 28.03.2019, 09:01 by Harriet A. Carroll, Iain Templeman, Yung-Chih Chen, Robert M. Edinburgh, Elaine K. Burch, Jake T. Jewitt, Georgie Povey, Timothy D. Robinson, William L. Dooley, Robert Jones, Kostas Tsintzas, Widet Gallo, Olle Melander, Dylan Thompson, Lewis JamesLewis James, Laura Johnson, James A. Betts
The aim of this study was to investigate the acute effect of hydration status on glycemic regulation in healthy adults and explore underlying mechanisms. In this randomized crossover trial, 16 healthy adults (8 men, 8 women) underwent an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) when hypohydrated and rehydrated after 4 days of pretrial standardization. One day before OGTT, participants were dehydrated for 1 h in a heat tent with subsequent fluid restriction (HYPO) or replacement (RE). The following day, an OGTT was performed with metabolic rate measurements and pre- and post-OGTT muscle biopsies. Peripheral quantitative computer tomography thigh scans were taken before and after intervention to infer changes in cell volume. HYPO (but not RE) induced 1.9% (SD 1.2) body mass loss, 2.9% (SD 2.7) cell volume reduction, and increased urinary hydration markers, serum osmolality, and plasma copeptin concentration (all P 0.007). Fasted serum glucose [HYPO 5.10 mmol/l (SD 0.42), RE 5.02 mmol/l (SD 0.40); P 0.327] and insulin [HYPO 27.1 pmol/l (SD 9.7), RE 27.6 pmol/l (SD 9.2); P 0.809] concentrations were similar between HYPO and RE. Hydration status did not alter the serum glucose (P 0.627) or insulin (P 0.200) responses during the OGTT. Muscle water content was lower before OGTT after HYPO compared with RE [761 g/kg wet wt (SD 13) vs. 772 g/kg wet wt (SD 18) RE] but similar after OGTT [HYPO 779 g/kg wet wt (SD 15) vs. RE 780 g/kg wet wt (SD 20); time P 0.011; trial time P 0.055]. Resting energy expenditure was similar between hydration states (stable between 1.21 and 5.94 kJ·kg 1 ·day 1 ; trial P 0.904). Overall, despite acute mild hypohydration increasing plasma copeptin concentrations and decreasing fasted cell volume and muscle water, we found no effect on glycemic regulation.


This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (Grant ES/J50015X/1) and the European Hydration Institute Graduate Research Grant.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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Journal of Applied Physiology






422 - 430


LEWIS, J. ... et al, 2019. Effect of acute hypohydration on glycemic regulation in healthy adults: a randomized crossover trial. Journal of Applied Physiology, 126 (2), pp.422-430.


© American Physiological Society


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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This is an Open Access article. It is published by the American Physiological Society under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/







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