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Hydration strategies for weight class athletes

Hydration strategies for weight class athletes

Toggle subnavigation Clinical Research Natural ways to boost energy Research Applied Flass Movement Science Education. As they improve, they should weivht data that is interchangeable with body mass and other physiological metrics beyond water content of the body. The color of your urine is a good indicator of your hydration status. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab.

Hydration strategies for weight class athletes -

Endurance activities lasting longer than three hours may require as much as mg of sodium per 8 ounce serving. There has been concern by parents, coaches, and athletes that sports drinks may contain too much sodium.

However, many fluid replacement drinks are low in sodium. An 8 ounce serving of a fluid replacement drink can have a sodium content similar to that of a cup of reduced fat milk. Most Americans consume too much sodium through processed and convenience foods, not through fluid replacement drinks.

The ideal fluid replacement beverage is one that tastes good, does not cause GI discomfort or distress when consumed in large volumes, promotes rapid fluid absorption and maintenance of body fluid, and provides energy to working muscles during intense training and competition.

The following guidelines for maintaining body fluid balance, improving performance in the heat, and preventing heat-related illness appear to be prudent based on current scientific knowledge.

Read the full Nutrition Guide and learn more about how to get peak performance with optimal nutrition. Fluids and Hydration. Preventing Dehydration. Athletes who are not sure how much fluid to drink can monitor hydration using two helpful techniques: Weighing themselves before and after practice.

For every kilogram pound lost during the workout, drink ~1. Checking urine color. Urine that is dark gold in color indicates dehydration.

Urine similar in color to pale lemonade is a sign of a hydrated athlete. URINE COLOR CHART Overhydrated: Almost clear yellow Hydrated: Pale shades of yellow Dehydrated: Bright yellow to darker yellow Extremely Dehydrated: Orange to brown if brown, consult a doctor.

What about Fluid Replacement Drinks? How Important are the Electrolytes Provided by Fluid Replacement Drinks? What is an ideal fluid replacement drink? Guidelines for Fluid Replacement. For intense training and long workouts, a fluid replacement drink containing carbohydrates may provide an important source of energy.

A percent carbohydrate beverage is typically most effective in maintaining fluid balance while supplying the muscles with fuel. The fluid consumed during activity should contain a small amount of sodium and electrolytes. The sodium may be beneficial for quicker absorption and replacement of sweat loss.

The beverage should be palatable and taste good. The athlete should drink ounces of cold fluid about minutes before workouts. If the workout is prolonged, add carbohydrates to the beverage at a percent concentration. Drink ounces of cold fluid during exercise at minute intervals.

Start drinking early in the workout because thirst does not develop until 2 percent of body weight has been lost, by which time performance may have begun to decline.

Avoid carbonated drinks, which can cause GI distress and may decrease the volume of fluid consumed. Avoid beverages containing caffeine, alcohol, and those promoted as energy drinks. Practice consuming fluids while you train.

Use a trial and error approach until you discover the fluids that work well for you and encourage hydration. In order to work as intended, this site stores cookies on your device. However, you may visit "Cookie Settings" to provide a controlled consent. To learn more about the cookies we use, please read our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Cookie settings ACCEPT ALL REJECT Read our Privacy Policy. Having trouble seeing our videos? Additionally, inadequate replacement of sodium, the predominant electrolyte lost through sweat, is thought to exacerbate the decline of these factors [ 7 ]. Hydration beverages that replace both fluid and electrolytes lost through sweat have been employed over the last several decades, as evident with the widely available commercial sports drink market.

However, there is no one universal hydration strategy that athletes can utilize to mitigate dehydration-associated performance declines because each individual sweats at a different rate and loses a unique amount of sodium through this sweat [ 8 ]. In a convenience sample of athletes, Baker et al.

Based on these numbers, many commercially available sports drinks do not supply enough sodium to replace the amount lost through sweat for many athletes. This prompts the question of whether it is worthwhile to create a hydration plan tailored to the individual athlete or if a more universal strategy is adequate.

Compounded with this, is past research, which has shown that athletes seldom have a thorough understanding of what they should be drinking, how much they should be drinking, or how often they should be drinking [ 10 , 11 , 12 ].

A more recent analysis by Abbey et al. Research has also indicated that a majority of athletes have a tendency to rely on a sense of thirst to inform them of when they should be drinking fluids during training sessions and competitions.

Unfortunately, when athletes rely on a sense of thirst alone, they do not voluntarily drink enough fluid to prevent the occurrence of dehydration during exercise [ 8 , 11 , 13 ]. This is exacerbated by the fact that a majority of athletes begin training or competition in a somewhat dehydrated state [ 8 , 11 , 14 ].

Overall, the research indicates that the sports performance of many athletes are likely being hindered by substandard hydration habits. In light of these findings, the purpose of this investigation was to determine whether a prescribed hydration plan that considers both fluid and sodium loss, improves the athletic performance of collegiate athletes engaged in a variety of sports.

Here, athletic performance is defined by several metrics: heart rate recovery, anaerobic power, and attention and awareness following a moderate to hard training session of at least min in duration. We also sought to contribute to the findings of Torres-McGehee et al.

Fifteen collegiate athletes from Merrimack College NCAA Division I ice hockey and II all other sports were recruited for this randomized, crossover study. Because the training sessions utilized in this study consisted of already-scheduled team training sessions, athletes were recruited from in-season sports that were currently engaged in heavy sports-specific training sessions.

Once recruited, participants underwent a qualitative assessment for hydration habits and knowledge. Participants were interviewed one-on-one by researchers to gauge hydration habits and knowledge pertaining to dehydration and overhydration. This subjective questionnaire consisted of a combination of open-response and multiple-choice questions.

The full list of questions are shown in the results section of this study. Following this, participants were assessed for sweat loss, then randomized to either a prescription hydration plan PHP or asked to continue with their normal hydration habits NHP.

Maximum heart rate was estimated with the formula, 0. Heart rate HR was recorded remotely using the Zephyr PSM Training System Zephyr Technology Corporation, Annapolis, MD, US [ 18 ]. Mean and peak heart rate were recorded throughout the entire training session, including just prior to warm up, warm up, and min cool down.

All measurements took place immediately before, during, or after a sports-specific training session. For example, hockey players recruited for this study underwent assessments during a full-pad, on ice, practice.

Similarly, Lacrosse players were assessed outdoors on the Lacrosse field during one of the teams harder practice sessions.

The overall design of this study is shown in Fig. Each participant completed a training session with their NHP and PHP, separated by 7 days. Randomized, cross-over study design to test the effectiveness of a prescription hydration plan on sports performance.

To determine the NHP for each participant, researchers observed the hydration habits of each athlete during at least one training session in addition to reviewing the results of the hydration survey noted earlier. No instruction was provided to athletes with regards to their NHP. Each participant was monitored during their NHP training session for compliance, particularly those who were randomized to follow a PHP first.

Researchers also controlled for pre-training hydration status by monitoring fluid consumption beginning at 60 min prior to the start of the sweat assessment, NHP, and PHP training sessions.

All fluids consumed during this study were kept at room temperature. Fluid loss from training was performed as described previously [ 9 ]. Briefly, nude weight was taken immediately prior to training.

Fluid bottles 32 oz of water or sports drink of choice lemon-lime flavored Gatorade® were measured out and provided to each participant.

Participants were instructed to only drink from his or her bottle and consumption of fluid was closely monitored during the training session. Participants were again weighed immediately afterwards nude weight, surface sweat removed via towel dry. The time of day, length of training session, temperature, and level of humidity during the session were also recorded.

For reference, all sweat assessments took place during the cooler months November—March within the New England region of the U. Fluid loss was determined from the change in pre-training to post-training body mass and corrected for fluid intake.

Sweat rate was expressed in L. Relative sweat rate was expressed as ml. Activation of the sweat inducer served to deliver enough pilocarpine for sweat gland stimulation equivalent to 5 min of iontophoresis at 1. Following induction, a macroduct sweat collector was placed over the skin where the red electrode was previously.

The collector contained a blue dye that allowed the researchers to observe the collection of sweat by capillary action. Fluid losses for each athlete determined previously were expressed in ounces. This time measurement was agreed upon by participants and coaches and represented a feasible fluid consumption plan during training sessions.

For example, if an 82 kg athlete with an absolute sweat rate of 1. consumed every 15 min. equivalent allowable sweat loss. at minimum that need to be made up via fluid consumption. of fluid consumed every 15 min at minimum. This participant would then be advised to consume between 2 oz.

to 12 oz. of fluid every 15 min of activity. The bottles used in this study were individually marked for quantity to delineate how much should be consumed at each 15 min interval.

The exact volumes would vary from athlete to athlete and each participant would be instructed to sip their bottle at each interval such that the fluid line was between the minimum and maximum.

For athletes engaging in training sessions that exceeded the fluid capacity of the bottle, multiple similarly marked bottles would be provided. Researchers monitored fluid consumption throughout the training session to gauge whether an athlete was on track with their prescribed volume.

This usually involved adding NaCl to 32 oz. of a commercially available sports drink or water depending upon which beverage-type was normally consumed by the individual. For example, if an athlete lost Lastly, 30 min prior to engaging in a PHP training session, participants were instructed to consume 8 oz of their prescribed beverage.

All testing was conducted in a quiet, dimly lit room with minimal outside distractions and consisted of three 10 min trials interspersed with five minute rest periods.

During these assessments, participants wore 3D glasses and were required to track designated objects on a screen as they moved in variable patterns and at subsequently faster speeds.

Each of the assessments began at a preliminary speed of 1. The degree of difficulty associated with the assessment progressively increased with every correct answer provided by the participants.

In contrast, the level of difficulty associated with the assessment progressively decreased with every incorrect answer. Each participant performed the neurotracker assessments before and immediately after the training sessions.

Changes in spatial awareness and attention were illustrated by comparing pre-training with post-training scores. To gauge lower body anaerobic power [ 25 ], three standing long jump tests SLJs were performed before and after the NHP or PHP training sessions.

The pre-training SLJs immediately followed the neurotracker assessments, while the post-training SLJs preceded the neurotracker.

Prior to completing the first of the three maximal SLJs, each participant completed two submaximal trials to become familiarized with the protocol. For the test itself, participants were instructed to stand with their feet should-width apart behind a starting line. Wilcoxon Signed Rank test for paired samples was conducted in order to determine if there was a significant difference in the pre and post athletic performance measurements and when participants followed their normal hydration plans compared to when they followed their individualized prescription hydration plans.

All data are presented as means ± SD except where otherwise specified. SPSS 23 for Windows IBM SPSS, Chicago, IL was used for all statistical analyses. GraphPad Prism® software version 6. Fifteen NCAA Division I and II athletes from three different sports participated in this study.

Participant demographics are shown in Table 1. Relative and absolute sweat rates were 1. Seven of the 15 participants engaged in min training sessions, 6 engaged in 70 min sessions, and 2 engaged in 65 min and min training sessions respectively. The duration and structure of the NHP and PHP training sessions did not differ for each participant.

All participants had practice in the afternoon or evening. The time of day of the NHP and PHP sessions did not differ among any of the athletes in this study.

The results of the fluid and hydration survey, including the normal hydration habits of the participants in this study are shown in Table 2.

Most participants consumed water during training, as it was usually the only fluid available. All participants in the study complied with their respective prescription hydration plans.

Compared with pre-training performance, participants jumped 2. shorter after training when following their NHP Fig. In contrast, when these participants followed a PHP, they jumped 2. farther post-training compared with pre-training performance. Similarly, attention and awareness improved when participants followed a prescription hydration plan.

After training with their NHP, participants on average experienced a non-significant reduction of 0. In contrast, when following their PHP, participants significantly improved object tracking ability by 0. Change in performance following a 45— min bout of moderate to hard training.

Heart rate recovery was faster post-training when participants followed a PHP as compared with their respective normal hydration plans Fig. These differences were significant at 10 min and 15 min post-training Table 3. Similarly, standing long jump performance as well as attention and awareness was also improved.

was large. This study investigated whether an individually tailored hydration plan improves performance outcomes for collegiate athletes engaged in seasonal sports.

All athletes in this study had practice in the afternoon or evening with the NHP and PHP sessions occurring at the same time of day for each individual. A prescription hydration plan PHP was created for each participant that was based on both fluid and sodium losses incurred during moderate to hard training sessions lasting at least 45 min in duration.

A maximum fluid consumption level for each PHP was established as a precaution, given that overhydration is a well-known risk factor for exercise-induced hyponatremia [ 27 ]. However, the likelihood of this occurring in this study was low given that the athlete cohort in this study engaged in training sessions lasting no more than min [ 28 ].

The results indicate that this approach was effective in improving heart rate recovery, attention and awareness, and mitigating the loss in anaerobic power that occurred from the training session.

Compliance was high with the prescribed volume of fluid well tolerated by the participants. While some athletes did remark that they could taste the extra sodium, this did not appear to affect the compliance to their prescribed hydration protocol, even among those who required the most salt added to their beverage.

To our knowledge, this is the first investigation to look at whether an individually tailored hydration plan improves athletic performance for collegiate athletes engaged in a variety of sports.

Previous work has shown that hydration plans based purely on fluid loss hold promise [ 13 ]. Bardis et al. The researchers found that power output was maintained throughout a training session consisting of three 5-km hill repeats, whereas when these cyclists consumed water ad libitum, their power output dropped with each successive repeat [ 13 ].

Other studies have examined the effects of isotonic beverages on sports performance, yet often compare such beverages to water [ 29 , 30 , 31 ]. In this study, because the specific beverage consumed by each participant was held consistent between the NHP and PHP training sessions, the results are not confounded by factors such as the carbohydrate composition of a beverage.

The PHP intervention manipulated only the fluid quantity and sodium consumed immediately before and during exercise. With the notable exception of endurance-focused sports drinks, many commercially available beverages do not match the sodium loss rate of many individuals.

For the majority of individuals engaged in recreational physical activity these drinks are more than sufficient. For elite and amateur athletes looking for every possible safe method to improve performance, the results of this study support commercial sweat testing in order to develop optimal hydration strategies.

This may hold especially true for athletes engaged in longer sporting events such as a marathon or Ironman triathlon, where the loss of fluid through sweat is substantial [ 32 ]. Supplementation with higher sodium sports drinks or salt capsules may be advisable for athletes engaged in prolonged exercise of 3 h or more in order to maintain serum electrolyte concentrations [ 33 , 34 ].

Based on these studies and others, the longer an event, the more critical it appears to be to have an adequate hydration plan in place that considers sweat rate and composition [ 1 , 34 ]. In our study, most of the participants engaged in training sessions lasting between 70 min to two hours and the benefits were apparent.

Lastly, in line with previous work, we also found that while most athletes in this study felt that their current hydration strategies were effective, the majority of this cohort reported feeling dehydrated after a training session [ 10 , 11 , 15 , 16 ]. The disconnect between ad libitum fluid consumption and hydration status during competition is well documented [ 8 , 11 , 13 , 15 ].

Studies have consistently shown that it is not uncommon for athletes to show up to a training session already dehydrated and consume inadequate fluid levels despite the ready availability of water or sports drinks [ 8 , 11 , 14 , 15 , 16 ].

It cannot be definitively stated whether the athletes in our study were dehydrated at the beginning of practice.

In this study, the researchers were present to monitor compliance to the prescribed fluid volume, including the pre-practice consumption of the PHP beverage. While the PHP used in the present work was feasible to create and implement, ensuring compliance in day to day training may be challenging.

In a study by Logan-Sprenger et al. Increasing hydration awareness along with providing pre-marked bottles that state how much fluid should be consumed by set time periods, if feasible, may be one approach to overcoming this issue.

This study has several limitations. First, only one training session was utilized per hydration plan. Based on researcher observations, participant feedback, and input by coaches, there was little difference in the training sessions used for the NHP and PHP assessments with each participant.

It was important to control for the training sessions utilized as well as ensuring minimal fitness gains in between NHP and PHP sessions. The training sessions utilized in this study were already pre-scheduled so as not to interfere with the practice plan that each coach designed for their athletes.

For each sport at the college where and when this study occurred, the number of ideal sessions to test the PHP were limited. The fact that multiple sports were used to test the PHP is both a strength broad applicability and a limitation non-specific.

Given that both the NHP and PHP training sessions were similar in duration, intensity, mode of training, and climate, we postulate that these results will hold in warmer conditions.

More so, given higher degrees of fluid loss with warmer, more humid climates, the benefits from the PHP observed in this study may even be amplified to a certain degree. This is speculative however and future studies if feasible, should consider testing athletes over multiple training sessions per treatment.

Additionally, in this study, sweat sodium concentrations were assessed at the forearm. Previous research has indicated that measuring sodium from multiple body sites such as was done by Dziedzic et al.

We are unclear on what impact this additional salt may have made concerning the performance outcomes used in this study. From a practical standpoint, assessing the forearm is often a more feasible approach to determining sweat sodium concentrations than a whole-body approach.

Another limitation to this study is that it relied on bodyweight changes and fluid intake monitoring to gauge hydration status.

This method is less precise than other methods of hydration status such as a urine specific gravity test USG [ 36 ]. We were unable to conduct a USG due to equipment limitations.

We did note however, the bodyweight trends of all athletes in this study over the two weeks preceding the pre-training bodyweight measurements data not shown. This however does not negate the possibility that an athlete was dehydrated, euhydrated or hyperhydrated going into each training session.

Further research should include tests such as USG so that hydration status can be confidently determined.

There are also several potential confounders that need to be addressed. Factors such as sleep quality, personal stress, medication use, menstrual cycle, and diet may have affected the outcomes.

One main advantage of the randomized, cross-over design utilized for this study is that each participant served as his or her own control, which presumably minimized the influence of any potential confounding covariates.

Despite the strength of this design, future studies in hydration research may do well to assess diet, stress level, and sleep quality as mentally, these factors can significantly impact athletic performance. Collegiate athletes are not immune to the stresses of balancing both academic and athletic responsibilities in addition to managing personal stressors common to all segments of the population.

While requiring additional effort upon the team staff, determining hydration plans for each athlete is a simple, safe, and effective strategy to enable athletes to perform at their current potential. Future studies should continue in this area and build upon the findings of this report.

Holland JJ, Skinner TL, Irwin CG, Leveritt MD, Goulet EDB. The influence of drinking fluid on endurance cycling performance: a meta-analysis. Sports Med. Logan-Sprenger HM, Heigenhauser GJ, Jones GL, Spriet LL.

The effect of dehydration on muscle metabolism and time trial performance during prolonged cycling in males. Physiol Rep. Jones LC, Cleary MA, Lopez RM, Zuri RE, Lopez R.

Active dehydration impairs upper and lower body anaerobic muscular power. J Strength Cond Res. Article PubMed Google Scholar. Kenefick RW, Cheuvront SN, Leon LR, O'Brien KK. Dehydration and Rehydration. In: Thermal and mountain medicine division: US Army research Institute of Environmental Medicine; Google Scholar.

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Journal of the Ofr Society of Sports Nutrition volume Raspberry wine makingArticle number: 27 Cite this Low GI diet. Metrics details. Athletes Hydratoon consume insufficient fluid strategied electrolytes Low GI diet prior to, or during training and competition. After completing a questionnaire assessing hydration habits, participants were randomized either to a prescription hydration plan PHPwhich considered sweat rate and sodium loss or instructed to follow their normal ad libitum hydration habits NHP during training. Heart rate recovery was also measured. Hydration strategies for weight class athletes

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