Hydration status and fluid and sodium balance in elite Canadian junior women's soccer players in a cool environment

Jennifer C Gibson, Lynneth A Stuart-Hill, Wendy Pethick, Catherine A Gaul
Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism 2012, 37 (5): 931-7
Dehydration can impair mental and on-field performance in soccer athletes; however, there is little data available from the female adolescent player. There is a lack of research investigating fluid and electrolyte losses in cool temperatures. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the pretraining hydration status, fluid balance, and sweat sodium loss in 34 female Canadian junior elite soccer athletes (mean age ± SD, 15.7 ± 0.7 years) in a cool environment. Data were collected during two 90 min on-field training sessions (9.8 ± 3.3 °C, 63% ± 12% relative humidity). Prepractice urine specific gravity (USG), sweat loss (pre- and post-training body mass), and sweat sodium concentration (regional sweat patch method) were measured at each session. Paired t tests were used to identify significant differences between training sessions and Pearson's product moment correlation analysis was used to assess any relationships between selected variables (p ≤ 0.05). We found that 45% of players presented to practice in a hypohydrated state (USG > 1.020). Mean percent body mass loss was 0.84% ± 0.07% and sweat loss was 0.69 ± 0.54 L. Although available during each training session, fluid intake was low (63.6% of players consumed <250 mL). Mean sweat sodium concentration was 48 ± 12 mmol·L⁻¹. Despite low sweat and moderate sodium losses, players did not drink enough to avoid mild fluid and sodium deficits during training. The findings from this study highlights the individual variations that occur in hydration management in athletes and thus the need for personalized hydration guidelines.

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