Hydration Strategies, Weight Change and Performance in a 161 km Ultramarathon
To examine controversies about hydration strategies, participants (383 starters) of a 161 km ultramarathon (maximum temperature 39.0°C) underwent body weight measurements before, during and after the race; and completed a post-race questionnaire on drinking strategies and sodium supplementation use during 4 race segments. Drinking to thirst was the most common (p < 0.01) drinking strategy (used by 67.0% during at least one segment) and most runners (95.6%) used sodium supplementation during at least one segment. There was no difference in the extent of weight loss (mean 2.0–3.1%) or the weight change pattern when comparing groups using different hydration strategies. Among top-10 finishers, half had lost more than 2% of starting body weight by 90 km. We conclude that weight loss greater than 2% does not necessarily have adverse consequences on performance, and use of sodium supplements or drinking beyond thirst is not required to maintain hydration during ultra-endurance events with high thermal stress.
Hoffman, Martin D., and Kristin J. Stuempfle. "Hydration Strategies, Weight Change and Performance in a 161 km Ultramarathon." Research in Sports Medicine: An International Journal 22.3 (June 2014), 213-225.
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