1. Nine healthy adult subjects consumed four types of proprietary liquid diet of similar volume and calorific value but of different nutritional composition. The effects on resting cardiac output, mean blood pressure and pulse rate were measured.
2. A significant rise in cardiac output occurred with the balanced, protein and carbohydrate diets but not with the fat diet. The greatest rise was seen with the balanced diet. Water alone had no effect on cardiac output.
3. The average time taken to reach peak cardiac output was shortest with the carbohydrate diet and longest with the fat diet.
4. The increases in cardiac output resulted from a rise in both pulse rate and stroke volume. The carbohydrate diet produced the most sustained rise in pulse rate but the least sustained elevation in stroke volume.
5. No significant changes were seen in mean blood pressure when each liquid meal was compared with water.
6. Our data show that the increase in cardiac output with liquid ingestion is related to the dietary components. These effects are additive.