Urine Refractometry to Gauge Hydration Status in Recreational Female Runners
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Human Nutrition Honors Theses; 2011
Urine specific gravity (USG) using refractometry has been reported to be an accurate and sensitive method of evaluating hydration status in various models. However, little evidence using USG is documented on recreational female runner subjects. The purpose of this study was to assess the validity of the refractometer as a pre-screening tool to assess hydration status before drawing blood samples to avoid drawing dehydrated blood in a larger parent study designed to evaluate the female athlete triad in adult female recreational runners. We obtained 124 blood samples from the 125 consented subjects. Blood was drawn only if USG analysis indicated euhydration (USG <1.020). The Ohio State Medical Center Laboratory defined hydrated blood osmolality at 275-295osm/kg. The mean USG of the population was 1.008 (SD= 0.005), indicating a well-hydrated group of female runners. We used correlation and logistic regression analyses to investigate relationships between USG and blood osmometry values. There were no correlations or significant relationships between USG and osmometry whether evaluated as continuous or categorical variables. The lack of relationship may be the result of ad libitum fluid consumption prior to the lab visit resulting in a few overly hydrated subjects. Further studies on the design of the pre-visit fluid consumption protocol might reveal stronger relationships. However, from this study, it was concluded that refractometry was a successful pre-screening measurement to avoid drawing dehydrated blood in recreational female runners, as none of subjects had dehydrated blood values (>295osm/kg).
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