The Effects of Exercise on Hydration Status of College Athletes

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With human body mass being made up of about 60% water, proper hydration with exercise is essential (6). According to Mayo Clinic, fluid replenishment before, during, and after exercise is necessary for accurate body performance (6). Pervious research has shown that dehydration of 2% to 3% body mass loss or more is connected with impaired exercise performance and other crucial body functions (4). Dehydration becomes a concern for athletes that are not replenishing water intake when participating in sport specific exercise resulting in excessive sweat loss (6). In addition to impaired exercise performance, an athlete suffering dehydration could experience several symptoms including extreme thirst, dark urine color, fatigue, impaired cognition, difficulty regulating body temperature, and abnormal cardiovascular function (1-8).

Hydration status can be determined by analyzing plasma osmolality, urine osmolality, body mass loss, or urine specific gravity (1,2,3,4,5,9). Plasma osmolality is the gold standard for measuring hydration status (2,4). It is measure of concentration of electrolytes and water in the body (2,4,9). Urine osmolality is a less invasive technique for measuring urine concentration of electrolytes and urea (2,9). Urine specific gravity is the measurement of particle density of the urine (9). Body mass loss is a measurement of percent decrease in total body weight, associated with water loss in the following sources (1-5).

With college athletes having extensive training schedules, itr's important to understand how to ensure proper hydration (1-5). Therefore, the purpose of this literature review is to determine the effects of exercise on hydration status in college athletes.


1. Castro-Sepulveda M, Cerda-Kohler H, Perez-Luco C, Monsalves M, Andrade DC, Zbinden-Foncea H, B?- ez-San Mart?­n E, Ram?­rez-Campillo R. Hydration status after exercise affect resting metabolic rate and heart rate variability. Nutr Hosp. 2014 Dec 17;31(3):1273-7.
2. Sommerfield LM, McAnulty SR, McBride JM, Zwetsloot JJ, Austin MD, Mehlhorn JD, Calhoun MC, Young JO, Haines TL, Utter AC. Validity of urine specific gravity when compared with plasma osmolality as a measure of hydration status in male and female NCAA collegiate athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Aug;30(8):2219-25.
3. Magee PJ, Gallagher AM, McCormack JM. High prevalence of dehydration and inadequate nutritional knowledge among university and club level athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2017 Apr;27(2):158-168.
4. Ungaro CT, Reimel AJ, Nuccio RP, Barnes KA, Pahnke MD, Baker LB. Non-invasive estimation of hydration status changes through tear fluid osmolarity during exercise and post-exercise rehydration. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2015 May;115(5):1165-75.
5. Webb MC, Salandy ST, Beckford SE. Monitoring hydration status pre- and post-training among university athletes using urine color and weight loss indicators. J Am Coll Health. 2016 Aug-Sep;64(6):448-55.
6. Water: how much should you drink every day? [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2017 [cited 2018Nov20]. Available from:
7. Dehydration [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2018 [cited 2018Nov20]. Available from:
8. Popkin BM, D'Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug;68(8):439-58.
9. Osmolality, Urine[Internet]. Mayo Clinic Laboratories. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2006 [cited 2018Nov20]. Available from:

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The Effects of Exercise on Hydration Status of College Athletes. (2019, May 28). Retrieved March 3, 2024 , from

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