Estimated Sweat Loss, Fluid and Carbohydrate Intake, and Sodium Balance of Male Major Junior, AHL, and NHL Players During On-Ice Practices

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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Several previous studies have reported performance decrements in team sport athletes who dehydrated approximately 1.5–2% of their body mass (BM) through sweating. This study measured on-ice sweat loss, fluid intake, sodium balance, and carbohydrate (CHO) intake of 77 major junior (JR; 19 ± 1 years), 60 American Hockey League (AHL; 24 ± 4 years), and 77 National Hockey League (NHL; 27 ± 5 years) players. Sweat loss was calculated from pre- to post-exercise BM plus fluid intake minus urine loss. AHL (2.03 ± 0.62 L/hr) and NHL (2.02 ± 0.74 L/hr) players had higher sweat rates (p < .05) than JR players (1.63 ± 0.58 L/hr). AHL (1.23 ± 0.69%; p = .006) and NHL (1.29% ± 0.63%; p < .001) players had ∼30% greater BM losses than JR players (0.89% ± 0.57%). There was no difference in fluid intake between groups (p > .05). Sodium deficits (sodium loss − intake) were greater (p < .05) in AHL (1.68 ± 0.74 g/hr) and NHL (1.56 ± 0.84 g/hr) players compared with JR players (1.01 ± 0.50 g/hr). CHO intake was similar between groups (14–20 g CHO/hr), with 29%, 32%, and 40% of JR, AHL, and NHL players consuming no CHO, respectively. In summary, sweat rates were high in all players, but the majority of players (74/77, 54/60, and 68/77 of JR, AHL, and NHL, respectively) avoided mild dehydration (>2% BM) during 60 min of practice. However, ∼15%, 41%, and 48% of the JR, AHL, and NHL players, respectively, may have reached mild dehydration and increased risk of performance decrements in a 90-min practice.

Gamble, Bigg, Vermeulen, Boville, Eskedjian, and Spriet are with the Department of Human Health & Nutritional Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Jannas-Vela is with Exercise Science Laboratory, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Finis Terrae, Santiago, Chile. Whitfield is with the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Palmer is with the Department of Human Kinetics, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Gamble (agambl01@uoguelph.ca) is corresponding author.
International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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