Individual fluid plans versus ad libitum on hydration status in minor professional ice hockey players.J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2017; 14:25JI
Despite exercising in cool environments, ice hockey players exhibit several dehydration risk factors. Individualized fluid plans (IFPs) are designed to mitigate dehydration by matching an individual's sweat loss in order to optimize physiological systems and performance.
A randomized control trial was used to examine IFP versus ad libitum fluid ingestion on hydration in 11 male minor professional ice hockey players (mean age = 24.4 ± 2.6 years, height = 183.0 ± 4.6 cm, weight = 92.9 ± 7.8 kg). Following baseline measures over 2 practices, participants were randomly assigned to either control (CON) or intervention (INT) for 10 additional practices. CON participants were provided water and/or carbohydrate electrolyte beverage to drink ad libitum. INT participants were instructed to consume water and an electrolyte-enhanced carbohydrate electrolyte beverage to match sweat and sodium losses. Urine specific gravity, urine color, and percent body mass change characterized hydration status. Total fluid consumed during practice was assessed.
INT consumed significantly more fluid than CON (1180.8 ± 579.0 ml vs. 788.6 ± 399.7 ml, p = 0.002). However, CON participants replaced only 25.4 ± 12.9% of their fluid needs and INT 35.8 ± 17.5%. Mean percent body mass loss was not significantly different between groups and overall indicated minimal dehydration (<1.2% loss). Pre-practice urine specific gravity indicated CON and INT began hypohydrated (mean = 1.024 ± 0.007 and 1.024 ± 0.006, respectively) and experienced dehydration during practice (post = 1.026 ± 0.006 and 1.027 ± 0.005, respectively, p < 0.001). Urine color increased pre- to post-practice for CON (5 ± 2 to 6 ± 1, p < 0.001) and INT (5 ± 1 to 6 ± 1, p < 0.001).
Participants consistently reported to practice hypohydrated. Ad libitum fluid intake was not significantly different than IFP on hydration status. Based on urine measures, both methods were unsuccessful in preventing dehydration during practice, suggesting practice-only hydration is inadequate to maintain euhydration in this population when beginning hypohydrated.