Drinking a Structured Water Product on Markers of Hydration, Airway Health and Heart Rate Variability in Thoroughbred Racehorses: a Small-scale, Clinical Field Trial

Michael Ivan Lindinger (The Nutraceutical Alliance, Burlington, ON, Canada)
Foster Northrop (Northrop Equine, Louisville, KY, USA)


Racehorses in training are in situations of repeated stress that may have effects on hydration and health. It was hypothesized that daily consumption of a structured water (SW) product for 4 weeks will result in improved hydration, improved upper airway health and increased heart rate variability. Two groups of Thoroughbred racehorses matched for physiological, training and racing attributes were studied for 4 weeks. One group (n = 17) received 10 L (about 15%) of their daily water as SW (followed by ad libitum filtered deep well water) and the control group (n = 15) only filtered deep well water. Blood samples and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) measures were obtained at baseline, 2 and 4 weeks. Hydration was assessed using BIA. The upper airway was assessed by nasopharyngeal endoscopy at baseline and weekly within 60 minutes of breezing. On weekly breeze days heart rate was recorded at rest, during exercise and recovery and data were analysed for heart rate variability. Compared to controls, horses drinking SW showed increased hydration improved upper airway health post-breezing and increased heart rate variability. It is concluded that drinking 10 L daily of SW increased hydration and may have conferred some wellness benefits.


Exercise; Heart rate variability; Bioelectrical impedance analysis; Upper airway; Reactance; Phase angle; Resistance; BIA

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/vsr.v2i2.2380


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