Hydration and Fluid Replacement Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices in Recreationally Active College Students


Nicholas J. Spokely, Joshua R. Lucas, Jason D. Wagganer, Jeremy T. Barnes, & Kurt W. McDowell, & Monica L. Kearney.

Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO

Hydration status is essential for optimal health and human performance. Past research has shown education (e.g., knowledge) is important to ensure collegiate athletes have a positive attitude towards hydrating and adhere to adequate hydration practices. Albeit this has been elucidated in collegiate athletes, few, if any, studies haveresearched recreationally active college students. PURPOSE: To examine the relationship between hydration knowledge, attitudes, and practices in recreationally active college students. METHODS: Recreationally active students, as defined by ACSM (aerobic exercise ≤ 2 days/wk for a total of 80 min/wk) [n=45 (10 male, 35 female), age 22± 5 years), completed a previously developed hydration knowledge, attitudes, and practices questionnaire. The instrument consisted of 17 knowledge items (true/false statements), 17 attitude items (5-point Likert scale; strongly agree to strongly disagree), and 17 practice items (yes/no statements). All participants were given a total score for each section which was quantified by summing the total number of correctly answered questions from all three sections. The minimum score for all three sections was zero while the maximum score was 17. After screening data for normality, Spearman’s correlations were performed to compare hydration knowledge, attitudes, and practices. RESULTS: The mean knowledge, attitude, and practice scores for all participants were 13 ± 2, 11 ± 2, and 11 ± 2, respectively. Significant positive correlations were found between knowledge and attitude towards hydration (rs=.622; p<.001) and between knowledge and hydration practices (rs=.540; p<.001). There was no significant correlation between attitude towards hydration and hydration practices. CONCLUSION: The positive correlations between knowledge and attitude towards hydration and knowledge and hydration practices indicate the importance of knowledge of hydration in recreationally active college students. Further research should compare knowledge, attitudes, and practices with measured hydration status.

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