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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-64627

Meyer, Michael; Knechtle, Beat; Bürge, Jolanda; Knechtle, Patrizia; Mrazek, Claudia; Wirth, Andrea; Ellenrieder, Birte; Rüst, Christoph A; Rosemann, Thomas (2012). Ad libitum fluid intake leads to no leg swelling in male Ironman triathletes - an observational field study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1):40.

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BACKGROUND: An association between fluid intake and limb swelling has been described for 100-km ultra-marathoners. We investigated a potential development of peripheral oedemata in Ironman triathletes competing over 3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling and 42.2 km running. METHODS: In 15 male Ironman triathletes, fluid intake, changes in body mass, fat mass, skeletal muscle mass, limb volumes and skinfold thickness were measured. Changes in renal function, parameters of skeletal muscle damage, hematologic parameters and osmolality in both serum and urine were determined. Skinfold thicknesses at hands and feet were measured using LIPOMETER(R) and changes of limb volumes were measured using plethysmography. RESULTS: The athletes consumed a total of 8.6 +/- 4.4 L of fluids, equal to 0.79 +/- 0.43 L/h. Body mass, skeletal muscle mass and the volume of the lower leg decreased (p <0.05), fat mass, skinfold thicknesses and the volume of the arm remained unchanged (p >0.05). The decrease in skeletal muscle mass was associated with the decrease in body mass (p >0.05). The decrease in the lower leg volume was unrelated to fluid intake (p >0.05). Haemoglobin, haematocrit and serum sodium remained unchanged (p >0.05). Osmolality in serum and urine increased (p <0.05). The change in body mass was related to post-race serum sodium concentration ([Na+]) (r = -0.52, p <0.05) and post-race serum osmolality (r = -0.60, p <0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In these Ironman triathletes, ad libitum fluid intake maintained plasma [Na+] and plasma osmolality and led to no peripheral oedemata. The volume of the lower leg decreased and the decrease was unrelated to fluid intake. Future studies may investigate ultra-triathletes competing in a Triple Iron triathlon over 11.4 km swimming, 540 km cycling and 126.6 km running to find an association between fluid intake and the development of peripheral oedemata.


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4 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:17 Sep 2012 13:02
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:57
Publisher:BioMed Central
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1186/1550-2783-9-40
PubMed ID:22937792

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