FLUID INTAKE PROFILE OF ELITE RHYTHMIC GYMNASTS
Emine KUTLAY1, Metin ERGÜN2
1School of Physical Education and Sports, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey
2Department of Sports Medicine, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey
Keywords: Rhythmic gymnastics, fluid replacement, dehydration, rehydration strategies
In rhythmic gymnastics (RG), due to aesthetic concern, gymnasts may not achieve adequate fluid intake and/or may use extreme body weight loss methods. The purpose of this research is to investigate the hydration habits of elite rhythmic gymnasts. Ten elite rhythmic gymnasts (15.5±1.0 yrs old, 159.2±6.4 cm body height, 42.8±5.9 kg body weight, 16.3±1.3 kg/m2 BMI, 12.6±1.7% body fat ratio, 8.7±1.7 training yrs, 27.4±9.9 hr/wk training, as means ± SD) were evaluated in the study. Physical and some anthropometric characteristics of the gymnasts were determined, and a hydration habits questionnaire was filled. During a six-day training camp at sea level prior to competition, body weight changes were recorded at the pre- and post-training period, and fluid consumed was measured. Descriptive statistics ( and SD) were obtained through the SPSS v15.0 program, and frequency rates were calculated. According to the hydration habits questionnaire, it was observed that 30% of the gymnasts had consumed adequate water and the remaining 70% had consumed slightly inadequate water (1240 ml/day of fluids). In addition, it was determined on a 5-hr intensive pre-competition training day, two days prior to the competition that gymnasts had lost 1050 g of their body weight, and that their water intake was 562 ml in the senior category. Data analysis indicated that this category had relatively the highest weight loss variance compared with the junior category, both for the six days camp and for the 5-hr intensive pre-competition training day. Gymnasts need to individualize hydration protocols to achieve optimal hydration strategy in training and pre-competition days, especially in the senior category.