Research in "stop-and-go" sports has demonstrated that carbohydrate ingestion improves performance and fatigue, and that dehydration of ∼1.5%-2% body mass (BM) loss results in decreased performance, increased fatigue, and increased core temperature. The purpose of this investigation was to assess the physiological, performance, and fatigue-related effects of maintaining hydration with a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution (CES) versus dehydrating by ∼2% BM (no fluid; NF) during a 70-min ice hockey scrimmage. Skilled male hockey players (n = 14; age, 21.3 ± 0.2 years; BM, 80.1 ± 2.5 kg; height, 182.0 ± 1.2 cm) volunteered for the study. Subjects lost 1.94% ± 0.1% BM in NF, and 0.12% ± 0.1% BM in CES. Core temperature (Tc) throughout the scrimmage (10-50 min) and peak Tc (CES: 38.69 ± 0.10 vs. NF: 38.92 ± 0.11 °C; p < 0.05) were significantly reduced in CES compared with NF. Players in CES had increased mean skating speed and time at high effort between 30-50 min of the scrimmage. They also committed fewer puck turnovers and completed a higher percentage of passes in the last 20 min of play compared with NF. Postscrimmage shuttle skating performance was improved in CES versus NF and fatigue was lower following the CES trial. The results indicated that ingesting a CES to maintain BM throughout a 70-min hockey scrimmage resulted in improved hockey performance and thermoregulation, and decreased fatigue as compared with drinking no fluid and dehydrating by ∼2%.
Keywords: Ice hockey; carbohydrate; dehydration; déshydratation; fatigue; hockey sur glace; performance; sucres; thermoregulation; thermorégulation.