Danny M. O'Dell, MA. CSCS*D Strength coach
Danny M. O'Dell, MA. CSCS*D Strength coach


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Dehydration-the effects it has on anaerobic power


Dehydration-the effects it has on anaerobic power

Researchers have studied the effects of dehydration on anaerobic power output which was conducted in hot and humid environments. They compared individuals who were well hydrated (euhydrated) with dehydrated individuals performing the same exercises. The Wingate and treadmill were the exercise methods used to determine the effects on the body.

‘Dehydration was confirmed by a significant body mass loss…urine color increase…and urine specific gravity increase.’ (1) Motivation in each case was not a significant factor in the outcome of the testing. However fatigue was a big issue in the dehydrated group, by as much as seventy percent when compared to the euhydrated group of volunteers.

Now the research begins to have meaning for those of us strength training hard in the weight room. Mean power output decreased as much as 7.17% in the upper body and 19.20% in the lower body in those who were dehydrated. Peak power showed an even greater margin of shift between the two groups with a 14.48% and an 18.36% negative change in the upper and lower body of those who were dehydrated. Those are big numbers.

The study concludes that as little as a 2.9% body mass decrease due to dehydration ‘decreases the ability to generate upper and lower body anaerobic power.’ (2)

The phenomenon of voluntary dehydration refers to the lag time in getting enough fluid in relation to becoming dehydrated. Make certain you or your athletes are drinking enough liquids to keep ahead of this curve.

As many strength training coaches are aware there is a need to remind the athlete to drink before, during and after practice to keep their body in the proper hydration balance. After a strenuous practice these individuals have to be brought back into the proper euhydration or the weight training session will suffer.

These are significant differences that will impact your athlete’s ability to function at the peak of their abilities. These findings also serve as a warning that dehydration may predispose the strength trainee to an increased susceptibility to musculoskeletal injury.

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 22. Number 2, March 2008 Active dehydration impairs upper and lower body anaerobic muscular power. Jones, L. C., Cleary, M. A., Lopez, R. M., Zuri, R. E., Lopez, R.





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