Nutritional Articles

Exercise and stress: impact on adaptive processes involving water and electrolytes

Published: 2005-07-07

Brief content of the article
Coenen reviews the effects of “ exercise” on thermoregulation and hydration and electrolyte status of the horse. The review starts with an introduction regarding reactions to stressful conditions and consecutively deals with topics like “water and electrolytes: impact of electrolyte stress or stressful conditions” , “can the horse regulate sweat rate and sweat composition to limit the negative balance?” and “strategies for the care of the exercising horse” . The author suggests that it is important that horse care before, during and after exercise involves improving hydration and electrolyte status and the use of NaCL as a feed in a watery solution. This solution should be iso- or hypo tonic. The horse should also have the possibility to drink an adequate quantity of water after salt intake. The author suggests that there is no evidence for recommending a specific procedure for feeding salty feeds. However, it is suggested to give salty supplements about 4 hours before exercise. With respect to the use of electrolytes, this article suggests to use two types of electrolytes: one without potassium (K) for use prior or during exercise and a second one for supplementation after exercise (including K). The author further suggests that offering a ration that increases the capacity to manage the heat generated by strenuous exercise may be beneficial.
Keywords: water; electrolytes; potassium; sodium; supplements; acid-base balance; thermoregulation.

Coenen, M. 2005. Exercise and stress: impact on adaptive processes involving water and electrolytes. Livestock production science 92: 131-145.

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