Hydration in Athletes

WaterINTERface IGEP Student Presenter: Samantha Kostelnik

Advisor: Dr. Brenda Davy

GRAD 5414: Water for Health Seminar

Written by Kayla Wunderlich, graduate student in Human, Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise (HNFE)

Samantha Kostelnik, doctoral student in HNFE, presented her dissertation research on the evaluation of methods to rapidly assess beverage intake and hydration status. Her research primarily focused on the athlete population, as a lack of proper hydration was found to occur in 66% of athletes (Volpe et al. 2009). In a collaboration with Food Science and Technology faculty and students, Samantha assisted with developing four hydration beverages utilizing an electrolyte-rich dairy byproduct called “whey-permeate” that is commonly when producing cheese or greek yogurt. Unfortunately, there was no improvement in rating when compared to their control beverage of lemon-lime Gatorade for appearance, smell, taste, mouth-feel and aftertaste. More formulation will be needed before this beverage could be marketable.

Samantha completed a second study that aimed to investigate the validity of the BEVQ-15 beverage intake questionnaire and urine color in a collegiate athlete population. Prior to this study, there were no questionnaires that had been validated within that specific population. The method of comparison for the study were three 24-hour recalls, which were averaged to estimate usual intake. The first study session included a dietary recall, urine sample where urine specific gravity was measured and the BEVQ. The second session was another 24-hour dietary recall, and the third session was a urine sample with urine specific gravity analysis and 24-hour dietary recall. The findings showed that the highest/moderate correlations between the two methods were for nut milk, energy/sports drinks, and water. Coffee and tea (both sweetened and unsweetened), diet soft drinks and hard liquor did not have significant correlations between methods. When measuring validity of the two tests, there was a 95% agreement for the BEV-Q and dietary recall for total beverage fluid ounces consumed and a 94% agreement for total beverage kcals consumed.

An interesting finding for the hydration component of this test, was that it was determined that out of 120 athletes, 70 percent of those included in the study were not adequately hydrated before their practice, and interestingly, cross country athletes were the best hydrated group. Those who were less likely to be hydrated were those who participated in football and softball. These findings are essential, as these are outdoor sports which can potentially lead to an increased risk of dehydration in high heat conditions. Samantha’s study determined that the BEV-Q has the ability to provide valid and reliable information for a collegiate athlete population, although some slight modifications may improve validity.  Urine color proved to also be acceptable for measuring hydration status when compared to urine specific gravity.

Volpe, S. L., Poule, K. A., & Bland, E. G. (2009). Estimation of prepractice hydration status of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 44(6), 624–629. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-44.6.624

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