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Medicina dello Sport 2013 December;66(4):531-43


language: English, Italian

Experimental evaluation of the hydration status during fitness training

Sponsiello N. 1, 2, Rucci S. 3, Buonocore D. 2, 3, Focarelli A. 3, Doria E. 3, Negro M. 2, 3, Marzatico F. 2, 3

1 Fitness Science Department, University of Camerino, Camerino, Macerata, Italy; 2 Italian Society of Sport Nutrition and Health SINSeB, Empoli, Florence, Italy; 3 Laboratory of Pharmacobiochemistry, Nutrition and Nutriceuticals of Health, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy


Aim: This study aims to analyze the hydration status in a large group of fitness athletes and to understand the amount of fluids that they habitually consume during a typical training session.
Methods: One hundred forty-eight volunteers (86 male [M], 62 female [F]) aged 18-50 were examine (average age 32±8.3 years old, 77% between 18 and 38 years old). Average health: (M) 174±14 cm; (F) 164±12 cm. Average weight: (M) 74±16 Kg; (F) 57±9 Kg. Body Mass Index (BMI) on mean: (M) 24,08±1,42 Kg/m2; (F) 21,04±0,27 Kg/m2. Basal hydration status was determined by measuring urine specific gravity (Usg) in the first urine sample collected after waking. We have used changes in body mass to calculate the amount of water lost during exercise and to divide the subjects into three groups: dehydrated euhydrated and overhydrated. We also considered the amount and type of fluids that they consumed during exercise. On the total sample, 20 athletes from the sample also underwent the “Sweat test”, which consists in measuring sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+) concentrations in sweat to assess salt losses through sweating.
Results: 1) Data on basal hydration status showed that 58% of the subjects are dehydrated, 39% euhydrated and 3% overhydrated; 2) 31 subjects lost more than 1% of their total body weight (measurements taken before and after training), which means that they lost too much water through sweating and did not consume sufficient fluid, thereby falling into a hypertonic dehydration profile.
Discussion and conclusions: Our study shows that over 50% of the fitness athletes do not pay enough attention to their hydration status and begin their training in the condition of dehydration. In addition, more than 20% of the athletes do not drink enough during exercise, losing more than 1% of their weight. Sport and nutrition professionals should stress the importance of hydration in improving fitness athletes’ performance and in reducing health risks.

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