The Evaluation of Methods to Rapidly Assess Beverage Intake and Hydration Status
Dehydration can impact the general population but it is particularly detrimental for athletes, due to their physical performance requirements. Although fluids in general contribute to meeting hydration needs, some beverages aid in the rehydration process more than others. The Beverage Intake Questionnaire (BEVQ-15) is a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) that can rapidly assess habitual beverage intake; this FFQ has been validated in children and adults. However, no beverage consumption questionnaire has been validated in athletes. In addition to monitoring fluid intake, hydration status can be assessed through urinary and blood indices. Urine color (UC) has been utilized as a practical hydration biomarker in several populations. However, this biomarker has not been validated among the general population of collegiate athletes. The first study (n=58): formulated a novel whey-permeate-based beverage to promote hydration and assess its sensory characteristics in the general population. The overall acceptability of the beverage was lower than the control beverage, according to a 9-point Likert scale (x̅ = 4.5 – 4.9 and x̅ = 6.7, respectively). The second study (n=120): evaluated the comparative validity and reliability of the BEVQ-15 and UC within NCAA Division 1 collegiate athletes. Associations were noted between the BEVQ-15 and multiple 24-hr dietary recalls (reference method) for total beverage fl oz and kcal (r=0.41 and r=0.47, p<0.05, respectively). There were associations between athlete's UC and urinary specific gravity (USG; hydration biomarker) rated by athletes and researchers (r=0.67 and 0.88, p<0.05, respectively). Lastly, a systematic review was performed to evaluate original research addressing the validity of UC as a hydration biomarker in the adult population more broadly, including athletes and older adults. Eleven of 424 articles met inclusion criteria, and the available research generally reported significant correlations between UC and other hydration indices (r=0.35-0.93). However, limitations in existing research were evident. Although the BEVQ-15 may be a valid beverage intake assessment method in collegiate athletes, additional modifications were identified which could improve its validity. Future work includes re-evaluating the validity and reliability of the BEVQ-15 specifically modified for athletes, as well as assessing the sensitivity of this FFQ to detect changes in beverage intake.