A Survey on Hydration and Body Composition among Italian Young Athletes

styvenIl Prof. Angelini e tutto il resto dello staff si congratulano con il Dott. Styven Tamburo per il conseguimento della laurea magistrale in Biological Sciences, curriculum Nutrition and Functional Foods, ottenuta presso l’Università di Camerino.

Il Dott. Tamburo, già laureato in Scienze e Tecnologie del Fitness e dei Prodotti della Salute, ha discusso una tesi sperimentale dal titolo “A Survey on Hydration and Body Composition among Italian Young Athletes” che gli è valsa una valutazione 110/110 e lode.

Di seguito una breve introduzione e l’abstract della tesi.

“A Survey on Hydration and Body Composition among Italian Young Athletes”

Diversi studi hanno osservato che I bambini non bevono abbastanza da mantenere un bilancio idrico appropriato, e quindi molti di essi rischiano di essere cronicamente ipo o disidratati. Dall’altro lato, molti di loro fanno molta fatica a mantenere un peso corporeo ideale infatti lo stato di sovrappeso/obesità ha raggiunto proporzioni epidemiche. La cosa interessante, è che tra i molteplici fattori, lo stato di idratazione può giocare un ruolo importante nel promuovere processi di regolazione del peso .

Infatti lo scopo della ricerca è stato quello di osservare le possibili correlazioni tra composizione corporea assunzione di fluidi giornaliera e stato di idratazione in 351 giovani atleti (bambini ed adolescenti) afferenti al reparto Medicina Dello Sport dell’Ospedale Area Vasta n°2 di Jesi. Dopo un follow-up durato un anno si è conclusa questa prima fase dello studio ottenendo dati davvero promettenti.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Several studies have shown that children water intake are below recommendations and are likely to be insufficient for adequate hydration. Moreover, a proportion of adults and children show difficulty in maintaining an appropriate weight, so that overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions. Interestingly, among other factors, the level of hydration may play a role in promoting more efficient weight regulation processes.

AIMS Assessing the hydration status among young athletes; observing amount of daily water intake (DWI) and behaviour of hydration after exercise (HAE); detecting body composition; investigating possible correlations between these variables and practiced sport.

METHODS Three hundred fifty-one young athletes (aged 7-17 years) were recruited. A questionnaire was used to asses water (tap or bottled) daily intake, HAE and practiced sport; to study body composition we used BMI percentiles (BMIpct),waist to height ratio (WHtR), bioimpedence analysis (qualitative and quantitative); finally, hydration status was assessed using urine specific gravity (USG). Statistical analysis (Pearson’s chi square, ANOVA, MANOVA, Spearman’s rho test) was performed to test any possible relationships between the variables studied.

RESULTS & DISCUSSION Using BMIpct, we found similar prevalence of obesity and overweight (27.9%) to those observed in Italy from other studies, but the prevalence was significantly lower (7.7%) when we used WHtR as a marker for central obesity. Since we found a stronger correlation between BMIpct and body cellular mass than BMIpct and fat mass, this may indicate that the use of percentiles chart for a cohort of youth athletes may overestimate obesity and overweight. Furthermore, results showed that a majority of subjects (55.6%) were dehydrated or hypohydrated. This probably because they drank low amount of water per day (1400±580mL). We also compared the DWI with recommendation for Adequate Intake of water LARN-2012 (RDAs), and we found that our subjects achieved them but they are probably not sufficient to achieve a good hydration on youth athletes. We further compared DWI with the amount of water needed calculated from basal metabolic rate (BMR) (ml/kcal energy expenditure) and we found that children did not achieve the amount of water estimated from BMR whereas adolescents achieved it. Finally, results shown that the majority of subjects (87.7%) stated to drink after exercise, but the amount of water was very lower (500±200mL) than their real needs. Moreover, we observed that, if obese youths were dehydrated had a greater fat mass than obese individuals well hydrated regardless if both paid attention on HAE. Instead, if youths were underweight we observed the reverse situation, that is, lower fat mass in underweight dehydrated youths than those underweight but well hydrated. Based on our finding we can assume that hydration status plays a very important role in body composition and there is a need to make more efforts to teach the importance of hydration and proper nutrition in young athletes.

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