Purpose: To assess the hydration status and level of hydration knowledge of youths at summer sports camps.
Methods: 67 active youths, 57 males (mean +/- SD, 12 +/- 2 y, 136 +/- 16 cm, 50.6 +/- 21.1 kg) and 10 females (13 +/- 2 y, 153 +/- 8 cm, 45.2 +/- 9.0 kg) participated in 4 d of sports camp. Hydration status was assessed before the first practice (AM) and after the second practice (PM). Participants completed surveys assessing hydration knowledge (HAQ) and hydration habits on day three and a self-assessment (EQ#1).
Results: Mean AM urine specific gravity (USG) and urine osmolality (Uosm) scores ranged from minimal to significant dehydration across four days, even when temperatures were mild. Correlations between hydration indices and EQ#1, ranging from 0.11 to -0.51, were statistically significant (P < .05), indicating that subjects recognised when they were doing a good or bad job hydrating. HAQ did not correlate strongly with hydration indices suggesting other impediments to hydration. Thirst correlated negatively with EQ#1 (from -0.29 to -0.60).
Conclusion: Hydration at summer sports camp is a concern and special efforts need to be made to help youths develop hydration strategies.