Purpose: This study examined the hydration status of male college hockey players before and after practice.
Methods: Urine samples were collected pre- and post-practice from 16 well-trained male hockey players (18-23 yrs). Urine was frozen and analyzed 6 days after collection. Urine osmolality (Uosm) was measured using a freezing point osmometer (Fiske 110) and urine specific gravity (Usg) was measured using a refractometer (Misco Digital Fiberoptic). In addition, nude body weights were recorded before and after practice, and water consumption during practice was measured. Three identical trials were performed over a period of four weeks.
Results: Pre-practice Uosm showed that 14 out of 16 subjects were dehydrated. Post-practice Uosm showed that 15 out of 16 were dehydrated. Dehydration is defined as a Uosm>800mosm. Body weight lost was 0.64-1.91 kilograms (718-2081mls of fluid) during a 90-minute practice. Average fluid consumed during practice was 681mls (range=348-1103mls). Sixteen out of 16 subjects did not drink adequate fluid during practice to replace their fluid losses.
Conclusions: These results indicate that 88% of the hockey players started practice in a dehydrated state. Subjects did not consume enough fluid to match the losses, which increases their risk for the serious consequences of dehydration. The cold environment of the arena and the constraints of the equipment may make it more difficult for the players to consume adequate fluids during practice. In addition, they are starting practice dehydrated, which illustrates the need for education about the detrimental effects of dehydration and how to avoid these consequences.
Faculty Mentor: Amy Olson, PhD, RD