The effect of dehydration on muscle metabolism and time trial performance during prolonged cycling in males

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This study combined overnight fluid restriction with lack of fluid intake during prolonged cycling to determine the effects of dehydration on substrate oxidation, skeletal muscle metabolism, heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72) response, and time trial (TT) performance. Nine males cycled at {~}65{%} VO2peak for 90 min followed by a TT (6 kJ/kg BM) either with fluid (HYD) or without fluid (DEH). Blood samples were taken every 20 min and muscle biopsies were taken at 0, 45, and 90 min of exercise and after the TT. DEH subjects started the trial with a -0.6{%} BM from overnight fluid restriction and were dehydrated by 1.4{%} after 45 min, 2.3{%} after 90 min of exercise, and 3.1{%} BM after the TT. There were no significant differences in oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide production, or total sweat loss between the trials. However, physiological parameters (heart rate [HR], rate of perceived exertion, core temperature [Tc], plasma osmolality [Posm], plasma volume [Pvol] loss, and Hsp72), and carbohydrate (CHO) oxidation and muscle glycogen use were greater during 90 min of moderate cycling when subjects progressed from 0.6{%} to 2.3{%} dehydration. TT performance was 13{%} slower when subjects began 2.3{%} and ended 3.1{%} dehydrated. Throughout the TT, Tc, Posm, blood and muscle lactate [La], and serum Hsp72 were higher, even while working at a lower power output (PO). The accelerated muscle glycogen use during 90 min of moderate intensity exercise with DEH did not affect subsequent TT performance, rather augmented Tc, RPE and the additional physiological factors were more important in slowing performance when dehydrated.




Logan-Sprenger, H. M., Heigenhauser, G. J. F., Jones, G. L., & Spriet, L. L. (2015). The effect of dehydration on muscle metabolism and time trial performance during prolonged cycling in males. Physiological Reports, 3(8).

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