BACKGROUND: Urine color (Ucol) is a practical tool with which hydration status can be monitored. In 2023 a new digital urine color chart (DUcol) was utilized in research. Digital devices are ubiquitous; therefore, DUcol has the ability to help improve athlete safety and performance through quality monitoring. The purpose of this study was to investigate potential differences and relationships between a DUcol and a paper urine color scale (PUcol) in female, collegiate-lacrosse athletes. METHODS: Over three days, female collegiate athletes (n=22) provided two, morning urine voids. The first was collected at their home and the second at the research facility (total samples n=132). Both samples were collected after an overnight fast. Three different raters scored each sample. Two raters utilized the PUcol scale (PUcola & PUColb), and one rater utilized the DUcol scale. Group comparisons were evaluated using a Friedman’s Test for repeated measures, ordinal data (α = 0.05). Durbin-Conover post-hoc corrections were utilized for pair-wise comparisons (α = 0.05). Additionally, Spearman’s rho correlations evaluated relationships between groups and between Ucol and USG. RESULTS: The results of the Friedman’s Test indicated group differences [X2(2) = 10.1, p = 0.006]. Pair-wase comparisons revealed PUcola and PUcolb were not different (p = 0.75) but DUcol was different and lower than PUcola (p = 0.004) and PUcola (p = 0.009). Spearman’s rho demonstrated moderate-to-strong relationships between all groups (PUcola and PUcolb r = 0.71, p < 0.001; PUcola and DUcol r = 0.77, p < 0.001; DUcol and PUcolb r = 0.64, p < 0.001). Additionally, Spearman’s rho showed moderate, positive relationships between each of the Ucol measures and USG (PUcola and USG r = 0.68, p < 0.001; PUcolb and USG r = 0.52, p < 0.001; DUcol and USG r = 0.63, p < 0.001). USG measures were hypohydrated, on average (USG = 1.022 ± 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: Strong associations between the digital and paper measures were present. Additionally, all Ucol measures were similarly correlated with USG. However, there were group differences between the digital measures and each of the paper measures. The practical relevance of this difference is difficult to interpret. More research is needed to further investigate the validity of DUcol.

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