People living in tropical climates spend much of their time in confined air-conditioned spaces, performing normal daily activities. This study investigated the effect of distilled water (W) or isotonic beverage (IB) on the hydration status in subjects living under these conditions. In a randomized crossover design, forty-nine healthy male subjects either consumed beverage or IB over a period of 8 h (8 h) in a controlled air-conditioned environment. Blood, urine, and saliva samples were collected at baseline and after 8 h. Hydration status was assessed by body mass, urine output, blood and plasma volume, fluid retention, osmolality, electrolyte concentration and salivary flow rate. In the IB group, urine output (1862 ± 86 mL vs. 2104 ± 98 mL) was significantly lower and more fluids were retained (17% ± 3% vs. 7% ± 3%) as compared to W (p
< 0.05) after 8 h. IB also resulted in body mass gain (0.14 ± 0.06 kg), while W led to body mass loss (−0.04 ± 0.05 kg) (p
= 0.01). A significantly smaller drop in blood volume and lower free water clearance was observed in IB (−1.18% ± 0.43%; 0.55 ± 0.26 mL/min) compared to W (−2.11% ± 0.41%; 1.35 ± 0.24 mL/min) (p
< 0.05). IB increased salivary flow rate (0.54 ± 0.05 g/min 0.62 ± 0.04 g/min). In indoor environments, performing routine activities and even without excessive sweating, isotonic beverages may be more effective at retaining fluids and maintaining hydration status by up to 10% compared to distilled water.
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