Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
School of Kinesiology and Recreation
David Q. Thomas
Perceptions and Practices of Hydration in Triathlon
Corey S. O'Connor, David Q. Thomas, Kelly R. Laurson, Dale D. Brown. Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Purpose: To examine where triathletes obtain information regarding hydration, if their performances have been affected by dehydration, and how they monitor their hydration status. Methods: Two hundred and two participants (age=38.70 Â± 9.73 years) from various triathlon groups in Illinois participated in the study. Each participant was asked to complete an electronic survey. The survey was composed of twenty seven items and was developed by O'Neal (2011). The survey was modified for triathletes and seven questions were added in order to categorize different triathlon groupings. The survey targeted training background, sources of information on hydration, beverage perceptions and if dehydration negatively impacted performance. Results: Seventy-eight percent of the triathletes reported that peer-reviewed research played a minor role or no role as a source of information on hydration. Eighty-two percent of the triathletes experienced at least one instance where they felt their performance was decreased as a result of dehydration. Sixty-one percent of the triathletes reported suffering at least one instance of heat-related illness symptoms caused by dehydration. Seventy-seven percent of participants reported monitoring their hydration status with seventy-six percent of people monitoring their hydration by thirst and listening to their body. Conclusion: Triathletes may experience fewer decreases in performance if they use a variety of techniques rather than just one to monitor hydration status because a majority of participants felt they experienced decreases in performance as a result of dehydration. Triathletes also should utilize scientific resources on hydration in order to properly understand the correct hydration guidelines.
O'Connor, Corey Stephen, "Perceptions and Practices of Hydration in Triathlon" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 109.