Hydration Status After an Ironman Triathlon: A Meta-Analysis

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Caio V. Sousa, Samuel da S. Aguiar, Rafael dos R. Olher, Marcelo M. Sales, Milton R. de Moraes, Pantelis T. Nikolaidis, Thomas Rosemann, Beat Knechtle, Herbert G. Simőes

The Ironman is one of the most popular triathlon events in the world. Such a race involves a great number of tactical decisions for a healthy finish and best performance. Dehydration is widely postulated to decrease performance and is known as a cause of dropouts in Ironman. Despite the importance of hydration status after an Ironman triathlon, there is a clear lack of review and especially meta-analysis studies on this topic. Therefore, the objective was to systematically review the literature and carry out a meta-analysis investigating the hydration status after an Ironman triathlon. We conducted a systematic review of the literature up to June 2016 that included the following databases: PubMed, SCOPUS, Science Direct and Web of Science. From the initial 995 references, we included 6 studies in the qualitative analysis and in the meta-analysis. All trials had two measures of hydration status after a full Ironman race. Total body water, blood and urine osmolality, urine specific gravity and sodium plasma concentration were considered as hydration markers. Three investigators independently abstracted data on the study design, sample size, participants’ and race characteristics, outcomes, and quantitative data for the meta-analysis. In the pooled analysis, it seems that the Ironman event led to a moderate state of dehydration in comparison to baseline values (SMD 0.494; 95% CI 0.220 to 0.767; p = 0.001). Some evidence of heterogeneity and consistency was also observed: Q = 19.6; I2 = 28.5%; τ2 = 2.39. The results suggest that after the race athletes seem to be hypo-hydrated in comparison to baseline values.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2018-0096
Key words
endurance, dehydration, swimming, cycling, running

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