Volume 7, Issue 10 (November 2010)
Hydration Packs Modify Professional Skiers Hydration Levels in All Day Skiing: A Randomized Controlled Trial
The effect of a backpack hydration system on hydration levels of professional snowsport employees was explored by an interdisciplinary research team. On two consecutive days, a total of 33 subjects was involved in a study where on one day they would wear a backpack hydration pack, while on the other day they would hydrate as per their normal work practice. When the two days were compared, wearing a hydration pack resulted in significantly higher levels of hydration, 0.4 % (95 % CI 0.017–0.765, range of −1.40–3.00 %) significant at a 0.05 two-tailed level, at the end of the day. It is not clear as to whether this level of hydration change is important in terms of impacting on the skills required for safe snowsports participation. However, if the effects are continuous, any negative hydration change may be associated with some level of performance loss. This research raises important questions related to access to water by all users of snowsport resorts. If hydration levels may be impacted upon by the use of hydration packs, there may be other aspects of the design “equation” that may facilitate optimal hydration levels for snowsport participants.