The effect of hydration status on skinfold measurements
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The hydration status of an athlete prior to skinfold measurement may be an important consideration when estimating body composition from the sum of skinfolds. This is especially relevant if the athlete is measured after performing exercise or a training session. Eight female athletes cycled for total of 25 min in an environmentally controlled room (30 ± 1oC). Exercise intensity for each participant was established based on data gathered in a VO2max cycling trial. The individualised intensity was selected to elicit a heart rate response equivalent to 90% VO2max. Participants in the experimental condition consumed 2 ml·kg-1 body weight of water during exercise, the control condition received no fluid. Levels of hydration were measured according to the haematocrit percentage and body mass change. The sum of the five skinfold sites were calculated for pre-dehydration, post-dehydration and final measurement times, allowing comparisons to be made between skinfold measurements. Statistical analysis showed that effects obtained for condition (F1,18 = 0.81, p = 0.380) and time of measurement (F2,18 = 0.02, p = 0.983) were not significant. The effect of the interaction between condition and time of measurement was also found not to be significant (F2,18 = 0.11, p = 0.897). It was concluded that hydration status after exercise induced dehydration has no effect on the sum of skinfold measurement.
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