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Hydration and cooling in elite athletes: relationship with performance, body mass loss and body temperatures during the Doha 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships

Racinais, S; Ihsan, M; Taylor, L; Cardinale, M; Adami, PE; Alonso, JM; Bouscaren, N; ... Bermon, S; + view all (2021) Hydration and cooling in elite athletes: relationship with performance, body mass loss and body temperatures during the Doha 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships. British Journal of Sports Medicine 10.1136/bjsports-2020-103613. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Purpose: To characterise hydration, cooling, body mass loss, and core (Tcore) and skin (Tsk) temperatures during World Athletics Championships in hot-humid conditions. Methods: Marathon and race-walk (20 km and 50 km) athletes (n=83, 36 women) completed a pre-race questionnaire. Pre-race and post-race body weight (n=74), Tcore (n=56) and Tsk (n=49; thermography) were measured. Results: Most athletes (93%) had a pre-planned drinking strategy (electrolytes (83%), carbohydrates (81%)) while ice slurry was less common (11%; p<0.001). More men than women relied on electrolytes and carbohydrates (91%–93% vs 67%–72%, p≤0.029). Drinking strategies were based on personal experience (91%) rather than external sources (p<0.001). Most athletes (80%) planned pre-cooling (ice vests (53%), cold towels (45%), neck collars (21%) and ice slurry (21%)) and/or midcooling (93%; head/face dousing (65%) and cold water ingestion (52%)). Menthol usage was negligible (1%–2%). Pre-race Tcore was lower in athletes using ice vests (37.5°C±0.4°C vs 37.8°C±0.3°C, p=0.024). Tcore (pre-race 37.7°C±0.3°C, post-race 39.6°C±0.6°C) was independent of event, ranking or performance (p≥0.225). Pre-race Tsk was correlated with faster race completion (r=0.32, p=0.046) and was higher in non-finishers (did not finish (DNF); 33.8°C±0.9°C vs 32.6°C±1.4°C, p=0.017). Body mass loss was higher in men than women (−2.8±1.5% vs −1.3±1.6%, p<0.001), although not associated with performance. Conclusion: Most athletes’ hydration strategies were pre-planned based on personal experience. Ice vests were the most adopted pre-cooling strategy and the only one minimising Tcore, suggesting that event organisers should be cognisant of logistics (ie, freezers). Dehydration was moderate and unrelated to performance. Pre-race Tsk was related to performance and DNF, suggesting that Tsk modulation should be incorporated into pre-race strategies.

Type: Article
Title: Hydration and cooling in elite athletes: relationship with performance, body mass loss and body temperatures during the Doha 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-103613
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2020-103613
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Targeted Intervention
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10121788
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