Thirst following water deprivation in humans

B. J. Rolls, R. J. Wood, E. T. Rolls

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191 Scopus citations


The effect of 24-h water deprivation and subsequent drinking on systemic fluid balance and subjective sensations has been determined in human beings. The deprivation caused significant intracellular and extracellular depletions, thirst, and a dry unpleasant tasting mouth. During rehydration, subjects drank 65% of their total intake within 2.5 min. The marked decrease in drinking rate thereafter, and the allevation of thirst, occurred before plasma dilution had become significant. This attenuation of drinking was subjectively attributed to stomach fullness. Presystemic factors may therefore be important for drinking termination in humans. Within 20 min systemic deficits were removed, but intermittent drinking continued at a low rat, reportedly to alleviate unpleasant oral sensations. Following rehydration, the concentrated urine of hydropenia had disappeared. However, the excretion of solute-free water varied between subjects. Plasma renin activity was significantly elevated by water deprivation, while after rehydration this activity had decreased to levels not significantly different from predeprivation values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R476-R482
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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