Fluid balance and hydration assessment during the weight-stable preparation phase in elite youth boxers

J Sports Sci. 2017 Apr;35(8):719-726. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1184302. Epub 2016 May 13.


This study investigated (i) the prevalence of hypohydration and (ii) association between urinary indices of hydration status and confounding factors (e.g., urine protein content, water intake) in elite youth boxers during their weight-stable phase before competition. Sixteen national champion boxers (all male, 17 ± 1 y) were measured on 3 occasions (baseline, day 3, day 10), 30-day prior to competition. Body mass, total body water, urine specific gravity (USG), osmolality (UOSM) and total protein content (TPC) were evaluated to determine hydration status and fluid balance. Overall macronutrient and water intake were assessed using dietary records. Both UOSM and USG increased from day 3 to day 10 by 16% and 0.4% (P < 0.001), despite athletes being in their weight-stability period, and regardless of ad libitum fluid intake. Hypohydration was universally prevalent among all athletes on both test days with USG: 1.027 ± 0.003 g · mL-1 and UOSM: 1035 ± 108 mOsmol · kg-1. An inverse association between mean UOSM values and mean water intake was observed (R = -0.52, P = 0.04), while TPC was not associated with any urinary dehydration markers (USG, P = 0.51; UOSM, P = 0.61). The present outcomes find that the most prevalent urinary dehydration markers used to classify hydration status in competition exhibit large variability, even during weight-stable periods.

Keywords: Combat sports; field assessment; reliability; urine metabolites.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Body Mass Index
  • Boxing / physiology*
  • Competitive Behavior / physiology*
  • Dehydration / diagnosis*
  • Dehydration / urine
  • Diet
  • Drinking
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Proteinuria
  • Urine / chemistry
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology*


  • Biomarkers