Effect of hypohydration on peripheral and corticospinal excitability and voluntary activation
Hunter, Steven P.
Mileva, Katya N.
Public Library of Science
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We investigated whether altered peripheral and/or corticospinal excitatory output and voluntary activation are implicated in hypohydration-induced reductions in muscle isometric and isokinetic (90°.s(-1)) strength. Nine male athletes completed two trials (hypohydrated, euhydrated) comprising 90 min cycling at 40°C, with body weight losses replaced in euhydrated trial. Peripheral nerve and transcranial magnetic stimulations were applied during voluntary contractions pre- and 40 min post-exercise to quantify voluntary activation and peripheral (M-wave) and corticospinal (motor evoked potential) evoked responses in m. vastus medialis. Both maximum isometric (-15.3±3.1 vs -5.4±3.5%) and isokinetic eccentric (-24.8±4.6 vs -7.3±7.2%) torque decreased to a greater extent in hypohydrated than euhydrated trials (p<0.05). Half relaxation time of the twitch evoked by peripheral nerve stimulation during maximal contractions increased after exercise in the hypohydrated (21.8±9.3%) but stayed constant in the euhydrated (1.6±10.7%; p = 0.017) condition. M-wave amplitude during maximum voluntary contraction increased after exercise in the heat in hypohydrated (10.7±18.0%) but decreased in euhydrated condition (-17.4±16.9%; p = 0.067). Neither peripheral nor cortical voluntary activation were significantly different between conditions. Motor evoked potential amplitude increased similarly in both conditions (hypohydrated: 25.7±28.5%; euhydrated: 52.9±33.5%) and was accompanied by lengthening of the cortical silent period in euhydrated but not hypohydrated condition (p = 0.019). Different neural strategies seem to be adopted to regulate neural drive in the two conditions, with increases in inhibitory input of either intracortical or corticospinal origin during the euhydrated trial. Such changes were absent in the hypohydrated condition, yet voluntary activation was similar to the euhydrated condition, perhaps due to smaller increases in excitatory drive rather than increased inhibition. Despite this maximal isometric and eccentric strength were impaired in the hypohydrated condition. The increase in peripheral muscle excitability evident in the hypohydrated condition was not sufficient to preserve performance in the face of reduced muscle contractility or impaired excitation-contraction coupling.
Open Access journal
Copyright: © 2013 Bowtell et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Vol. 8 (10), article e77004
Place of publication