Hydration Status, Fluid Intake, and Electrolyte Losses in Youth Soccer Players

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Craig A. Williams
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Jamie Blackwell
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The purpose of the study was to determine the hydration status, fluid intake, and electrolyte losses of 21 male professional youth soccer players (age 17.1 ± 0.7 y) training in a cool environment. Pretraining and posttraining measurements of body mass, urine (freezing-point osmolality method), and sweat concentration (flame-emission spectroscopy) were collected. Fourteen players were found to be hypohydrated before training. The amount of fluid lost due to exercise equated to a 1.7% loss in body mass, which equated to a gross dehydration loss of 0.5%. Overall, the soccer players replaced 46% ± 88% of sweat loss during training, and only 4 remained hypohydrated after training. No significant correlations between sweat loss and sweat concentrations of Na+ (r = –.11, P = .67) or K+ (r = .14, P = .58) were found, but there was a significant correlation with Mg2+ (r = –.58, P < .009). This study found large variability in pretraining hydration status that the players were able to rehydrate during the training sessions. However, given the numbers starting training in a hypohydrated state, adequate hydration status before training should be considered by youth players, coaches, and sports-science support staff.

The authors are with the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre, Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.

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