Hydration and Fluid Replacement Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviours in Heat-Acclimatized Singaporean Youths

Project Number
OER 22/10 MC

Project Duration
June 2011 - September 2015

Status
Completed

Abstract
The merits of physical education and sporting co-curricular sport activities in schools for the holistic development of Singaporean youths are indisputable with additional strong local affirmation from the PERI report published in 2008. Up to 500 000 school-going youths are exposed to PE lessons and outdoor CCA all year round where the weather conditions are hot and humid for the most part of the year. This exposure to hot and humid weather conditions is likely to increase in the near future owing plausibly to a doubling of PE periods per week and also with the implementation of sports CCA and outdoor education during school curriculum hours. The existing research data pool is sporadic, and is largely focussed on unacclimatized western white male soccer (McDermott et al, 2009) and tennis players (Kosvac 2006) and a small sample of high school athletic coaches (Gejier et al, 2009). Data on female youths and youths of different weight status and of different ages and heat-acclimatized native youths living in the tropics are largely absent. Collectively, the research suggest that dehydration among summer camp soccer players and their associated lack of hydration knowledge is an issue as nearly 63 % arrived at the soccer camp already dehydrated and this dehydration was not ameliorated over the next 5 days. Additionally, nearly half of high school athletic coached polled lacked hydration and recovery knowledge and were largely uninformed about the ACSM 2007 position stand on youths exercising in hot and humid weather. Pilot data on 40 male youth field hockey players, aged 11-12 years, during a 4-a-side tournament showed that 63 % arrived at the tournament site showing signs of mild dehydration and after the 4-hour tournament, significantly and serious dehydration were detected in 83 % of the players (-BM 3.4% pre-to-post) despite playing only an aggregated 18 minutes of match play that were separated by multiple drink breaks where mineral water, an isotonic sports drink and a Milo beverage were freely available (Chia, paper in review). A more comprehensive and systematic research targeting hydration knowledge, attitudes and behaviours among schooling youths (upper primary, secondary and junior college) in male and female youths is proposed to address this knowledge gap. The results of the study will have policy implications for the formulation of guidelines for safe and beneficial participation in sports in hot and humid weather conditions.

Research Themes
Sports

Funding Source
NIE

Related Links
NIE Research Brief Series No. 13-001: Sweat and Thirst—The Exercise Hydration Knowledge of Singaporean Youths

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