Hydration Trend topics: Hydration and active and healthy lifestyle

Thursday 11 de September 03:50 pm


Dr. Robert Murray

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Dr. Robert Murray

Bob Murray, PhD, FACSM is managing principal of Sports Science Insights, LLC, a consulting group that assists companies and organizations in need of targeted expertise in exercise science and sports nutrition.  SSI’s clients range from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies.

Prior to starting SSI, Dr. Murray was the co-founder and director of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute from 1985 to 2008.  Dr. Murray’s research on the hydration needs of athletes and the physiological and performance responses to fluid, carbohydrate, and electrolyte ingestion has contributed to the broader understanding of the importance of being well hydrated during exercise and of the role that carbohydrates and electrolytes play in helping athletes and non-athletes alike get the most out of their bodies during physical activity.

Dr. Murray has served on the faculties of Boise State University (1980-1985; Associate Professor), Ohio State University (1979-1980; Lecturer), and Oswego State University (1974-1977; Assistant Professor and Men’s Swimming & Diving Coach).  Bob received his PhD in exercise physiology from Ohio State University, is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, and an honorary member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Recent publications

Kenney, W.L. and R. Murray. Exercise Physiology. IOC Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine - Sports Nutrition. R.J. Maughan (ed.) Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 20-35, 2014.

Murray R. Sugar, Sports Drinks, and Performance. Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sucrose and Health. J.M. Rippe, ed. New York, NY: Humana Press, 293-308, 2014.

Murray R. Carbohydrate-Electrolyte Solutions. Foods, Nutrients and Food Ingredients with Authorised EU Health Claims. M. Sadler,  ed. Cambridge, UK: Woodhead Publishing, 349-372, 2014.

Murray, R. and W.L. Kenney. Exercise Physiology Illustrated. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics (to be published in 2015)

Murray, R. Fluid, Electrolytes, and Exercise. Sports Nutrition: A Guide for the Professional Working with Active People, 5th edition. C. Rosenbloom & E. Coleman (eds.) Chicago: American Dietetics Association, 106-127, 2012. 

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Trend topics en hidratación: Hidratación y la vida activa y saludable

Trend topics en hidratación: Hidratación y la vida activa y saludable

Trend topics en hidratación: Hidratación y la vida activa y saludable

Trend topics en hidratación: Hidratación y la vida activa y saludable


A balanced hydration improves the performance of all of the organs of human beings, from the cardiovascular function to the psychological and cognitive performance, and reduces stress in the cardiovascular process while dehydration increases it. Recent studies show that dehydration has a measurable effect on brain function, Robert Murray stated, Managing Principal of Sports Science Insights, LLC, a consulting group that assists companies and organizations in need of targeted expertise in exercise science and sports nutrition.

On the opening day of the Latin American Scientific Series, the expert explained that in spite of all the decades of investigation on the subject, it has not been possible to establish a hydration standard, because the state of hydration changes throughout the day and from one day to another. Moreover, with the scientific knowledge that normal physiological changes of the organism or genetic background affect the sweat rate, we reached the conclusion that people need different levels of fluids.

However, Murray detailed that there are some indicators to know how we need to hydrate and how much, for example, feeling thirst or urine color, where a dark shade indicates lack of fluids.

Although thanks to modern technology, some firms have developed smartphone apps that measure hydration needs in a customized manner.

Dr. Murray commented that in January 2007, a woman in California tried to win a contest that consisted in drinking the greatest amount of water without going to the bathroom. The prize: a video game console. In a matter of hours, the woman drank many liters of water to win the challenge. Hours later, back home, the woman started to have headaches but she did not pay much attention to them. In the afternoon, the woman died as a result of the excess of water she had drank, which affected her brain function. 

Sometimes, people drink great amounts of water before, during and after because they believe it is extremely healthy, he explained. Although it occurs isolatedly (like the woman in California), there have been cases of death due to excessive drinking of liters of water, something known as hyperhydration.

That macabre example helped Dr. Robert Murray to demonstrate that hyperhydration, as well as dehydration, can affect the normal functioning of almost all organs of the human being.

“If we want people to be successful in their daily lives, but above all, in their physical activity routines (subject matter of this Latin American Scientific Series), we have to make sure they hydrate”, Dr. Murray explained and went further: “We know that being dehydrated prevents us from feeling well. We also know that hydration is important during physical activity, throughout the day or when we are ill. So, why not prescribing hydration as part of a treatment for a healthy lifestyle?

After all, humans are like water bags. Water we lose constantly throughout the day.

Current values of hydration recommendations are 2.7 liters of water a day for women and 3.7 liters of water a day for men. Although it is important to mention that a water intake somewhat below the recommended amount of liters does not imply any death risks. 

However, just as excessive hyperhydration can cause death, the same happens with the cases of extreme dehydration. Murray remembered that summer in 1995 when Chicago suffered an unusual period of heat (several days above 40 degrees Celsius) and where many deaths produced by a combination of dehydration, heat stroke and heart failure were recorded.