Kristina Burk '14

Hydration Status and Performance during Two-A-Day Summer Soccer Training Sessions with Female Athletes

An estimated 9,000 high school athletes are annually treated for heat related illness.  Dehydration is a major component of heat related illness and decreases a player's performance. A loss of just 2.5% of body mass can lead to a decrease in work output by 25% (Sawka, 2000).

Purpose: To determine: 1) the hydration status of female soccer players, 2) whether a sports drink improves hydration status compared to water, and 3) the connection between hydration status and performance in female soccer players. 

Methods: IRB approval was received and informed consents were obtained from 15 members of a Division III soccer team. Participants were randomly assigned to groups receiving either water or Gatorade for one day, and the opposite for day two. Body weight, fluid consumption and urine osmolality were recorded before and after each practice session. All participants performed the Loughborough Soccer Passing Test (LSPT) (Ali, 2008) before the first practice session and after the second practice. Data was analyzed using t-test and Pearson's bivariate correlation test. 

Results: Dehydration leads to a significant increase in penalty time on the LSPT before the first practice (LSPT penalty scores were 19.7 sec for well-hydrated, 25.4 sec for minimally dehydrated, and 34.8 sec for significantly-dehydrated, p=0.046). Participants tended to consume more water (48.4 oz) than Gatorade (37.9 oz); urine osmolalities were 795 and 661 mOsm/kg, respectively. 

Conclusion: 86% of participants arrived for the first session dehydrated but only 39% were dehydrated at the beginning of second session. The greater intake of water, although not significant, was unexpected; however, participants consuming water started practice more dehydrated as reflected in the higher urine osmolalities. Dehydration was associated with an increase in errors, which increased of total time to complete the LSPT. Most participants believed they were well hydrated going into training sessions.  Given the impact of dehydration on performance a greater awareness of optimal fluid intake prior to practices and competitions is recommended.  

Kristina Burk '14
Kristina Burk '14

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Hydration Status and Performance During Two-a-Day Summer Soccer Training Sessions with Female Athletes

Research Advisor: Amy Olson, PhD, RND, LD