|dc.description.abstract||The interindividual variability in the sweating responses and therefore fluid needs of athletes during exercise highlights the need for hydration guidelines to be developed on an individual basis. The following variables were therefore calculated over a series of training sessions in a cool indoor environment (17°C): hydration status prior to training (urine osmolality), 24 hour fluid intake and voluntary fluid intake during training, changes in body mass pre and post training and subsequently, sweat loss and percentage dehydration during training. This allowed individual recommendations to be made for the twelve elite basketball players who participated in this study, on how to adequately hydrate during training in order to minimise dehydration. Mean (± s) 24 h fluid intake was 2422 ± 1147 millilitres such that participants typically arrived to training euhydrated. Mean sweat loss during training was 1058 ± 296 millilitres, whilst mean fluid intake was 653 ± 279 millilitres. There was a significant relationship between these two variables (r= 0.548, P<0.01), as well as between fluid intake and percentage dehydration (r= -0.466, P<0.01). Average dehydration was lower than that reported in previous studies however; differences in the environmental and training conditions that the participants were exercising in were identified as the main factors affecting both sweat loss and fluid intake, and thus reducing body mass loss. Although not quantified, genetic predisposition was likely to account for much of the interindividual variability observed. According to the literature, the 0.59 ± 0.38% dehydration observed in this study would not have resulted in performance impairment. However, the effects of dehydration on female basketball skill performance has not been established and therefore, further research is needed in this area to assess the hydration needs of this specific population.
Key Words: basketball, hydration, dehydration, sweat losses, voluntary fluid intake||