Poor hydration compromises performance and heightens the risk of heat stress which adolescents are particularly susceptible. This study aims to evaluate the fluid consumption pattern and perceived fatigue among adolescent National level cyclists at Sports Authority of India.
Methodology: 45 cyclists were assessed for fluid consumption pattern using Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), 24 hour Hydration Recall, Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) using Borg’s Scale and pre-post workout weights in the morning session of each training day for 3 consecutive training days. Type and amount of fluid consumed in pre, during and post training sessions and total fluid consumption was recorded.
Results: The mean fluid consumption was 6.09 +1.79 L/day. The most widely and frequently consumed fluid by cyclists was plain water (100%) followed by milk (92.68%), lemonade (80.49%), tea (75.61%) and fruit juice (63.41%). Commercial sports drink has never been consumed by 85.37% while over three-third (78.05%) have never consumed energy drink. Daily intake of commercial sports drink (7%) and energy drink (9.8%) during training and post training respectively was observed. Significant difference in fatigue levels was observed between pre and during training (p<0.05), pre and post training (p<0.05) and during and post training. Fluid balance was highly significant (r = 0.903; p<0.01) during training sessions.
Conclusion: Cyclists maintained fluid balance during training sessions. Nevertheless, consumption of fluid during training alone cannot address fatigue. Inadequate sleep, electrolyte imbalance, inappropriate replenishment of muscle glycogen stores, poor nutrient timing are some of the many factors which contribute to fatigue and thereby affect recovery.