Effects of Dehydration on Cognitive and Physical Performance in Female Golfers: A Randomized Crossover Pilot Study
Zabinsky, Jennie S.
Hedrick, Valisa E.
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Athletes’ commitments to nutrition practices can set them apart in their field. Few studies have investigated the impact of hydration practices on golfers’ performance who compete for up to eight hours a day, and none have studied female golfers. In this pilot, randomized crossover study, female elite golfers (n = 6) completed 4 simulated golf holes in both euhydrated and dehydrated states. Euhydration was attained by following NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) hydration guidelines; dehydration was attained by a 12-h overnight fluid fast. Before any fluid intervention, five out of six participants were dehydrated at baseline using urinary specific gravity (USG) classifications for euhydration (USG < 1.010) and dehydration (USG > 1.010). No significant condition by time interactions were found between hydration conditions. Although not significant, participants in a dehydrated state demonstrated lesser mean 7-iron distance (141.9 ± 10.0 vs 144.2 ± 8.0 m), lower putting accuracy (2.4 ± 1.0 vs 2.7 ± 10.0 putts made out of 4 attempts), and greater perceived effort (10.9 ± 2.1 vs 10.5 ± 1.6) as compared to their euhydrated state. The finding of one participant out of six with significant dehydration (USG = 1.021) during attempted euhydrated state may suggest the need for alternative methods to promote adequate hydration in future studies and possibly in golf practice.