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Body composition and hydration status changes in male and female open-water swimmers during an ultra-endurance event


Weitkunat, Tim; Knechtle, Beat; Knechtle, Patrizia; Rüst, Christoph Alexander; Rosemann, Thomas (2012). Body composition and hydration status changes in male and female open-water swimmers during an ultra-endurance event. Journal of Sports Sciences, 30(10):1003-1013.

Abstract

Body mass changes during ultra-endurance performances have been described for running, cycling and for swimming in a heated pool. The present field study of 20 male and 11 female open-water swimmers investigated the changes in body composition and hydration status during an ultra-endurance event. Body mass, both estimated fat mass and skeletal muscle mass, haematocrit, plasma sodium concentration ([Na+]) and urine specific gravity were determined. Energy intake, energy expenditure and fluid intake were estimated. Males experienced significant reductions in body mass (-0.5 %) and skeletal muscle mass (-1.1 %) (P < 0.05) during the race compared to females who showed no significant changes with regard to these variables (P > 0.05). Changes in percent body fat, fat mass, and fat-free mass were heterogeneous and did not reach statistical significance (P > 0.05) between gender groups. Fluid intake relative to plasma volume was higher in females than in males during the ultra-endurance event. Compared to males, females' average increase in haematocrit was 3.3 percentage points (pp) higher, urine specific gravity decrease 0.1 pp smaller, and plasma [Na+] 1.3 pp higher. The observed patterns of fluid intake, changes in plasma volume, urine specific gravity, and plasma [Na+] suggest that, particularly in females, a combination of fluid shift from blood vessels to interstitial tissue, facilitated by skeletal muscle damage, as well as exercise-associated hyponatremia had occurred. To summarise, changes in body composition and hydration status are different in male compared to female open-water ultra-endurance swimmers.

Body mass changes during ultra-endurance performances have been described for running, cycling and for swimming in a heated pool. The present field study of 20 male and 11 female open-water swimmers investigated the changes in body composition and hydration status during an ultra-endurance event. Body mass, both estimated fat mass and skeletal muscle mass, haematocrit, plasma sodium concentration ([Na+]) and urine specific gravity were determined. Energy intake, energy expenditure and fluid intake were estimated. Males experienced significant reductions in body mass (-0.5 %) and skeletal muscle mass (-1.1 %) (P < 0.05) during the race compared to females who showed no significant changes with regard to these variables (P > 0.05). Changes in percent body fat, fat mass, and fat-free mass were heterogeneous and did not reach statistical significance (P > 0.05) between gender groups. Fluid intake relative to plasma volume was higher in females than in males during the ultra-endurance event. Compared to males, females' average increase in haematocrit was 3.3 percentage points (pp) higher, urine specific gravity decrease 0.1 pp smaller, and plasma [Na+] 1.3 pp higher. The observed patterns of fluid intake, changes in plasma volume, urine specific gravity, and plasma [Na+] suggest that, particularly in females, a combination of fluid shift from blood vessels to interstitial tissue, facilitated by skeletal muscle damage, as well as exercise-associated hyponatremia had occurred. To summarise, changes in body composition and hydration status are different in male compared to female open-water ultra-endurance swimmers.

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13 citations in Web of Science®
15 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:17 Aug 2012 08:06
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:56
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0264-0414
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2012.682083
PubMed ID:22554315
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-64260

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