Dehydration occurs when fluid intake is insufficient to replace body losses.
Each athlete is unique regarding his/her ideal rate of fluid intake for an endurance event.
Hydration requirements can depend on many factors such as your sweat rate, gender, size/weight, speed, temperature, metabolic rate, muscle mass, etc.
By determining your exact hydration level prior to the Kilkenny Tri Grand Prix, it will help you to identify if adaptations are required to usual hydration practices for future training or competitive events, thus ultimately maximising sporting performance.
What is Involved?
Hydration testing involves analysing the specific gravity of urine. Essentially, a piece of equipment called a refractometre is used to accurately measure the concentration of urine. A specific gravity of >1.020 indicates that the body is in a state of dehydration.
Results of the test will be emailed within three days of the event including;
Urine specific gravity level i.e. reported as very well hydrated, satisfactory hydration, mild dehydrated, moderate dehydration or severe dehydration.
Some general hydration tips will also be included with the emailed results.
The cost of the hydration test is €5 per Tri Grand Prix athlete (Normal price €15) which is payable at the Nutri Vive Nutrition Clinic stand upon Registration.
- A urine sample is required for analysis; collect a sample bottle from the Nutri Vive Nutrition Clinic Stand at the Registration event at Kilkenny’s Scouts Den.
- Ensure your name is clearly written on the bottle provided.
- The urine sample should be taken when you first urinate at home on the Saturday morning. Give urine sample mid – stream i.e. not at the beginning or end of urination!
- Replace cap securely onto the bottle.
- Wash outside of bottle under running tap water.
- Return the sample to the Nutri Vive Nutrition Clinic Stand at the 8.15 am race briefing in the Castle grounds.
If you forget to take the urine sample first thing in the morning, you can take it before you start the event… just remember to return it to the Dietitians at the nutrition stand before 10.30 am.
Urine samples may be returned on Friday evening upon registration if preferred, however it will only indicate hydration levels for the previous 24 hours and not take into account the hydration / dietary practices of the 12 hrs before starting the event.
For a true reflection of your hydration status pre competition, it is essential that you keep to your usual “pre comp” nutrition and hydration practices. Do not radically change your diet and hydration habits before the event as the effects could be unpredictable and negatively impact on your performance e.g upset tummy, needing more toilet stops etc.
Why Test for Dehydration?
Dehydration can significantly reduce sporting performance. Being dehydrated by as little as 2% of your body weight can begin to increase fatigue, reduce your athletic performance (mentally and physically) and increase the risk of heat stress.
Dehydration can impair muscle function, which can render the muscles more prone to injury. When dehydrated, the body doesn’t have sufficient water which can effect blood flow to the muscles. When muscle flexibility and elasticity are impaired, this can lead to muscle weakness and cramps, which may raise the risk of muscle injuries such as tears or sprains.
When your body is adequately hydrated and well nourished, the capacity to tolerate longer and more intense exercise is improved.
Don’t forget to enter the draw at the Nutri Vive Nutrition Clinic stand to win a free sports nutrition consultation with Ellen Roche Consultant Dietitian & Clinical Nutritionist. The prize consultation may be held at any of the four clinic locations in the south east of Ireland, or via skype if preferred.