Heat and Dehydration Additively Enhance Cardiovascular Outcomes following Orthostatically-Stressful Calisthenics Exercise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Ashley Akerman
  • Sam Lucas
  • Rajesh Katare
  • James D Cotter

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Otago Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • Department of Physiology, Division of Health Sciences, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand


Exercise and exogenous heat each stimulate multiple adaptations, but their roles are not well delineated, and that of the related stressor, dehydration, is largely unknown. While severe and prolonged hypohydration potentially “silences” the long-term heat acclimated phenotype, mild and transient dehydration may enhance cardiovascular and fluid-regulatory adaptations. We tested the hypothesis that exogenous heat stress and dehydration additively potentiate acute (24 h) cardiovascular and hematological outcomes following exercise. In a randomized crossover study, 10 physically-active volunteers (mean ± SD: 173 ± 11 cm; 72.1 ± 11.5 kg; 24 ± 3 year; 6 females) completed three trials of 90-min orthostatically-stressful calisthenics, in: (i) temperate conditions (22°C, 50% rh, no airflow; CON); (ii) heat (40°C, 60% rh) whilst euhydrated (HEAT), and (iii) heat with dehydration (no fluid ~16 h before and during exercise; HEAT+DEHY). Using linear mixed effects model analyses, core temperature (TCORE) rose 0.7°C more in HEAT than CON (95% CL: [0.5, 0.9]; p < 0.001), and another 0.4°C in HEAT+DEHY ([0.2, 0.5]; p < 0.001, vs. HEAT). Skin temperature also rose 1.2°C more in HEAT than CON ([0.6, 1.8]; p < 0.001), and similarly to HEAT+DEHY (p = 0.922 vs. HEAT). Peak heart rate was 40 b·min−1 higher in HEAT than in CON ([28, 51]; p < 0.001), and another 15 b·min−1 higher in HEAT+DEHY ([3, 27]; p = 0.011, vs. HEAT). Mean arterial pressure at 24-h recovery was not consistently below baseline after CON or HEAT (p ≥ 0.452), but was reduced 4 ± 1 mm Hg after HEAT+DEHY ([0, 8]; p = 0.020 vs. baseline). Plasma volume at 24 h after exercise increased in all trials; the 7% increase in HEAT was not reliably more than in CON (5%; p = 0.335), but was an additional 4% larger after HEAT+DEHY ([1, 8]; p = 0.005 vs. HEAT). Pooled-trial correlational analysis showed the rise in TCORE predicted the hypotension (r = −0.4) and plasma volume expansion (r = 0.6) at 24 h, with more hypotension reflecting more plasma expansion (r = −0.5). In conclusion, transient dehydration with heat potentiates short-term (24-h) hematological (hypervolemic) and cardiovascular (hypotensive) outcomes following calisthenics.


Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2017