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Article Title

SUBJECTIVE IMPORTANCE OF HYDRATION VS PERCEIVED AND MEASURED HYDRATION STATUS IN DIVISION I FEMALE ATHLETES

Abstract

Corey L. Fatony1, Jeremy T. Barnes1, Jason D. Wagganer1, & Monica L. Kearney1 1Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO

Hydration status is important in athletic performance. While previous work indicates dehydration decreases muscle performance, the relationships between athletes’ perceived importance and status, and how those compare to measured hydration status has not been well studied. PURPOSE: This study aimed to determine if subjective importance of hydration is related to perceived or measured hydration status, and if perceived hydration status relates to measured status, in Division I female athletes. METHODS: Division I female athletes (n=166; age 20±1years, weight 152.0±22.8 pounds, body fat 28.52±7.31%) were instructed to arrive hydrated to the laboratory. Prior to providing a mid-stream urine sample in a sterile container, athletes indicated via questionnaire, using a 10-point scale, how important they felt hydration is (1 = not important; 10 = very important), and perceived hydration status (1 = very hydrated; 10 = very dehydrated). Hydration status was assessed objectively by measuring urine specific gravity (USG)with a digital refractometer. After screening for normality, Spearman’s correlations were performed to compare athletes’ perceived importance of hydration to measured hydration status (USG), perceived hydration status to measured hydration status (USG), and perceived importance of hydration to perceived hydration status. RESULTS: No significant correlations were found between perceived importance of hydration and USG or perceived importance of hydration and perceived hydration status. However, there was a positive relationship between perceived hydration status and USG (rs=0.296; p<0.001). CONCLUSION: While measured hydration status (USG) was related to perceived status in female collegiate athletes, subjective importance of hydration did not correlate with USG. This could be a result of hydration education in athletes, which would influence the responses towards hydration being considered ‘very important.’ Alternatively, the instruction to arrive hydrated for testing may have increased their awareness of hydration’s importance. Overall, more research needs to be conducted on the relationships between perceived hydration importance and perceived hydration status, and how these relate to objectively measured hydration in the female athlete population.

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