Effect of beverage osmolality on intestinal fluid absorption during exercise

C. V. Gisolfi, R. W. Summers, G. P. Lambert, T. Xia

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To determine how osmolality of an orally ingested fluid-replacement beverage would alter intestinal fluid absorption from the duodenum and/or jejunum during 85 min of cycle exercise (63.3 ± 0.9% peak O2 uptake) in a cool environment (22°C), seven subjects (5 men, 2 women, peak O2 uptake = 54.5 ± 3.8 ml · kg-1 · min-1) participated in four experiments separated by 1 wk in which they ingested a water placebo (WP) or one of three 6% carbohydrate (CHO) beverages formulated to give mean osmolalities of 197, 295, or 414 mosmol/kgH2O. CHO solutions also contained 17-18 meq Na+ and 3.2 meq K+. Nasogastric and multilumen tubes were fluoroscopically positioned in the gastric antrum and duodenojejunum, respectively. Subjects ingested a total of 23 ml/kg body mass of the test solution, 20% (370 ± 9 ml) of this volume 5 min before exercise and 10% (185 ± 4 ml) every 10 min thereafter. By using the rate of gastric emptying as the rate of intestinal perfusion (G. P. Lambert, R. T. Chang, D. Joensen, X. Shi, R. W. Summers, H. P. Schedl, and C. V. Gisolfi. Int. J. Sports Med. 17: 48-55, 1996), intestinal absorption was determined by segmental perfusion from the duodenum (0-25 cm) and jejunum (25-50 cm). There were no differences (P > 0.05) in gastric emptying (mean 18.1 ± 1.3 ml/min) or total fluid absorption (802 ± 109, 650 ± 52, 674 ± 62, and 633 ± 74 ml · 50 cm-1 · h-1 for WP, hypo-, iso-, and hypertonic solutions, respectively) among beverages; but WP was absorbed faster (P < 0.05) from the duodenum than in the jejunum. Of the total volume of fluid ingested, 82 ± 14, 74 ± 6, 76 ± 5, and 68 ± 7% were absorbed for WP, hypo-, iso-, and hypertonic beverages, respectively. There were no differences in urine production or percent change in plasma volume among solutions. We conclude that total fluid absorption of 6% CHO- electrolyte beverages from the duodenojejunum during exercise, within the osmotic range studied, is not different from WP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1941-1948
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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