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This study compared the effectiveness of carbohydrate-electrolyte (CHO-E) fluid replacement versus water (WAT) on hydration status, physiological and subjective responses, and exercise performance during a 3 x 60-minute loaded (14 kg) treadmill walk in 35 degrees C ambient temperature and 55% humidity. CHO-E did not affect urine loss, plasma volume change (WAT = -3.0 +/- 1.6% vs. CHO-E = -1.1 +/- 1.6%), dehydration (WAT = 0.4 +/- 0.3% vs. CHO-E = 0.4 +/- 0.3% of body mass), or core body temperature (Tc) and heart rate (HR) responses. Endurance time was greater but not significantly different with CHO-E (WAT = 134 +/- 9 vs. CHO-E = 146 +/- 9 minutes). CHO-E increased the frequency of task completion (WAT = 21% vs. CHO-E = 50%), elevated blood glucose, and reduced perceived exertion. CHO-E offers potential to enhance exercise capacity by elevating blood glucose and thereby preventing hypoglycemia, maintaining high rates of carbohydrate oxidation, and/or preventing central fatigue; but provided no additional benefits with regard to hydration status and physiological function during loaded walking under heat stress.

Original publication




Journal article


Military medicine

Publication Date





715 - 721


Centre for Human Performance, Defence Medical and Environmental Research Institute, DSO National Laboratories, Republic of Singapore.


Humans, Heat Stress Disorders, Water, Blood Glucose, Isotonic Solutions, Treatment Outcome, Walking, Cross-Over Studies, Water-Electrolyte Balance, Physical Endurance, Adult, Singapore, Male, Physical Exertion