Assessment of physical demands and fluid balance in elite female handball players during a 6-day competitive tournament

Little data exists on drinking behavior, sweat loss, and exercise intensity across a competitive handball tournament in elite female athletes. Heart rate (HR), fluid balance and sweat electrolyte content were assessed on 17 international players across a 6-day tournament involving 5 games and 2 training sessions played indoors (23 ± 2 °C, 30 ± 2% relative humidity). Active play (effective) mean HR was 155 ± 14 bpm (80 ± 7.5% HRmax) with the majority of time (64%) spent exercising at intensities >80% HRmax. Mean (SD) sweat rates during games were 1.02 ± 0.07 L/h and on 56% of occasions fluid intake matched or exceeded sweat loss. A significant relationship was observed between estimated sweat loss and fluid intake during exercise (r2 = .121, p = .001). Mean sweat sodium concentration was 38 ± 10 mmol·L, with significant associations observed between player sweat rates and time spent exercising at intensities >90% HRmax (r2 = .181, p = .001). Fluid and electrolyte loss appear to be work rate dependent in elite female handball players, whom appear well capable of replacing fluids lost within a tournament environment. Due to large between-athlete variations, a targeted approach may be warranted for certain players only
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Subjects: handball female high performance sport elite sport competition training performance load load intensity load volume heart rate fluid nutrition
Notations: sport games biological and medical sciences
DOI: 10.1123/ijsnem.2013-0210
Published in: International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
Published: 2015
Volume: 25
Issue: 1
Pages: 78-96
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced