An update on dehydration in athletes

Parastaev SA1,2, Miroshnikova YuV3, Pushkina TA, Kurashvili VA4, Yashin TA5, Vykhodets IT1, Kupeev MV1, Didur MD6
About authors

1 Department of Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine and Physical Education, Faculty of Pediatrics,
Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, Russia

2 Medical Clinic of the National Agency of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Science, Moscow, Russia

3 Federal Medical and Biological Agency, Moscow

4 Federal Science Center for Physical Culture and Sport, Moscow, Russia

5 Federal Research and Clinical Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, FMBA, Moscow, Russia

6 N. P. Bekhtereva Institute of Human Brain, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed: Sergey Parastaev
ul. Ostrovityanova, d. 1, Moscow, Russia, 117997; moc.liamg@veatsarapyegres

About paper

Contribution of the authors to this work: Parastaev SA — data interpretation, drafting of a manuscript; Miroshnikova YuV — research planning, data interpretation; Pushkina TA —questionnaire design, data analysis; Kurashvili VA— analysis of literature; Yashin TA — questionnaire design, data collection and analysis; Vykhodets IT — data analysis; Kupeev MA — data collection; Didur MD — research planning, data interpretation.

Received: 2017-11-02 Accepted: 2017-11-25 Published online: 2018-01-18

Fluid and electrolyte imbalances can compromise physical performance of professional athletes. We have conducted a study to understand how aware athletes are of their hydration status and how they deal with dehydration. First, we surveyed 51 athletes (mean age of 20.4 years) specializing in different sports, including ice hockey, water polo, tennis and figure skating, using a questionnaire. Next, we analyzed the anonymized results of the laboratory tests run on the samples of 30 athletes specializing in futsal. We focused on hemotocrit and sodium levels and urine specific gravity as indirect indicators of hydration status. Survey results demonstrated that 86 % of the participants lacked knowledge of wise approaches to replenishing fluid or electrolytes after physical exercise, did not adequately control fluid intake and developed various degrees of dehydration. We noticed that awareness of hydration status negatively correlated with professional qualifications of the participants. Retrospective analysis of laboratory tests showed that hypohydration prevailed among high-class athletes: at least 73 % of them showed signs of dehydration. We emphasize the need for elaborating unified clinical recommendations on rehydration for Russian athletes that should be further approved by doctors and coaches.

Keywords: high-class athletes, hydration status, dehydration, rehydration, carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions