Identifying Athlete Body Fluid Changes During a Competitive Season With Bioelectrical Impedance Vector Analysis

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To analyze the association between body fluid changes evaluated by bioelectrical impedance vector analysis and dilution techniques over a competitive season in athletes. Methods: A total of 58 athletes of both sexes (men: age 18.7 [4.0] y and women: age 19.2 [6.0] y) engaging in different sports were evaluated at the beginning (pre) and 6 months after (post) the competitive season. Deuterium dilution and bromide dilution were used as the criterion methods to assess total body water (TBW) and extracellular water (ECW), respectively; intracellular water (ICW) was calculated as TBW–ECW. Bioelectrical resistance and reactance were obtained with a phase-sensitive 50-kHz bioelectrical impedance analysis device; bioelectrical impedance vector analysis was applied. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to assess fat mass and fat-free mass. The athletes were empirically classified considering TBW change (pre–post, increase or decrease) according to sex. Results: Significant mean vector displacements in the postgroups were observed in both sexes. Specifically, reductions in vector length (Z/H) were associated with increases in TBW and ICW (r = −.718, P < .01; r = −.630, P < .01, respectively) and decreases in ECW:ICW ratio (r = .344, P < .05), even after adjusting for age, height, and sex. Phase-angle variations were positively associated with TBW and ICW (r = .458, P < .01; r = .564, P < .01, respectively) and negatively associated with ECW:ICW (r = −.436, P < .01). Phase angle significantly increased in all the postgroups except in women in whom TBW decreased. Conclusions: The results suggest that bioelectrical impedance vector analysis is a suitable method to obtain a qualitative indication of body fluid changes during a competitive season in athletes.

Campa and Toselli are with the Dept of Biomedical and Neuromotor Science, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. Matias, Sardinha, and Silva are with Exercise and Health Laboratory, CIPER, Faculty of Human Motricity, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal. Marini is with the Dept of Life and Environmental Sciences, Neuroscience and Anthropology Section, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy. Heymsfield is with Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, LA.

Matias (cmatias@fmh.ulisboa.pt) is corresponding author.
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