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Am J Sports Med. 2005 Jun;33(6):843-51. Epub 2005 Apr 12.

Hydration status in college football players during consecutive days of twice-a-day preseason practices.

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Sports Medicine Department, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383, USA.



Football players lose 3.5 to 5 kg of body weight during preseason practices because of heavy sweating. This fluid may be difficult to replace when practices occur 2 times per day on consecutive days.


Football players are hypohydrated during twice-a-day preseason training in a hot, humid environment.


Descriptive laboratory study.


In 10 college football players, body weight was measured, and blood and urine samples were obtained before and after practices on days 2 through 8 of preseason training. Baseline samples were obtained when subjects were euhydrated. Blood samples were used to calculate plasma volume changes. Urine samples were analyzed for specific gravity, sodium, and potassium. Sweat rate was calculated. Core temperature was monitored during half- and full-padded practices.


Mean wet bulb temperatures were 23.3 degrees C during morning practices and 23.7 degrees C during afternoon practices. Plasma volume was below baseline on day 2 and expanded by day 6. Urine specific gravity was higher than baseline for 12 of 20 measurements over the 8 days. It was 1.0175 +/- 0.006 at baseline but subsequently ranged from 1.0214 +/- 0.007 to 1.0321 +/- 0.004. Mean daily urine sodium dropped from baseline to day 2 (194 +/- 43 vs 43 +/- 38 mmol x L-1), remaining lower on days 3, 4, and 6 (40 +/- 39, 39 +/- 39, and 68 +/- 40 mmol x L-1, respectively). Urine potassium was lower on days 6 and 8 compared with baseline and day 3. Body weight was below baseline before and after both daily practices. Core temperature was higher in full pads; sweat rate and body weight loss were not different between half and full pads.


Body weight, plasma volume, urine specific gravity, and urine sodium indicate that football players become dehydrated by day 2 of preseason training. Urine sodium increased to near baseline by day 8; urine specific gravity was elevated.


Football players struggle to maintain euhydration during preseason twice-a-day sessions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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