Body Mass Changes and Voluntary Fluid Intakes of Keelboat Sailors

Samantha Norman


Match racing is a highly competitive and physically demanding type of keelboat racing which requires each person on board to have a specific job. There is little time for breaks to re-stock on fluid and nutrients lost, even when out training, therefore performance may be affected. The aim of this study is to see if keelboat sailors are adequately hydrated for sailing. 36 volunteers (30 males and 6 females) from the University of Plymouth Yacht Club match racing team took part in the study on four different occasions. Body mass and fluid intake was measured pre and post sailing as well as the amount of fluid that was taken sailing. Additionally urine samples were taken as a gauge of hydration status by measuring the amount, colour and osmolality of the urine. Results showed that the participants who were helming and doing bow drank on average over 1000ml and were positively hydration. Participants on main experienced 0.5% dehydration and only drank just over 400ml of fluid on average. Fluid intake of the participants varied greatly however the more fluid the participants took with them the more they drank. No correlation was found between fluid consumed and urine osmolality. Recommendations have been made that sailors should take with them and consume at least 1000ml of water to ensure the risks of dehydration and fluid loss are minimised.

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