Semester of Graduation

Summer 2019

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Kinesiology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Adequate hydration is an important attribute to an individual’s health and wellbeing. This is highlighted in athletic populations, who are at great risk for hypohydration, regardless of age, sex, and sport. The rampant hypohydration observed in athletes is present at all levels of competition, from professional athletes, with access to substantial monetary and nutrition support to division 3 and recreational athletes who often face monetary challenges. This trend continues to trickle down to lower levels of competition, such as high school, where athletes often practice and compete in dehydrated states. Practicing in these hypohydrated states can cause health issues such as cardiovascular impairment and increases the risk of accidents or death in extreme environmental conditions. Furthermore, the magnitude of hypohydration is associated with poorer health outcomes and can lead to cognitive impairments. Some of these associated outcomes are confusion, coma, kidney failure, muscle weakness, short-term memory, procedural memory, longer-term memory, and even higher thinking tasks. There are many factors involved that can cause individuals to become hypohydrated such as inadequate fluid intake, diet, activity, sweat rate, core temperature, and environmental factors such as weather, heat, and humidity. Interestingly, low fluid intake is the leading factor responsible for dehydration, the process of reducing total body water content, especially in individuals who work in hot environments, military personal, and athletes. Although the impact of hypohydration on professional athletes and occupational workers have been well characterized, there is a dearth of information on the effect of hypohydration on younger populations, such as high school athletes specifically cross-country runners in south Louisiana. In this context, the proposed study will attempt to characterize the effects acute bouts of exercise on the hydration status of high school cross-country runners. Furthermore, we will assess the impact of increased hydration on cognitive and running performance in high school cross-country runners.

Committee Chair

Spielmann, Guillaume

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