The Awareness of Athletes on Hydration and Dehydration in Qom, Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran

2 Food Safety and Hygiene Section, Department of Food Science and Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Water is an essential ingredient for athletic performance and has an undeniable role in the success of athletes. However, according to studies, the level of awareness and use of water and fluids among athletes has been insufficient. This study intended to assess the level of awareness of fluid consumption among athletes in Qom, Iran.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 18 sports clubs in Qom were randomly selected and 270 researcher-made questionnaires were distributed among the athletes. The questionnaire contained demographic questions and also included 14 questions about personal awareness on water and hydration such as consumption of fluids and sport drinks during exercise, thirst and body water reserves. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were determined by assessment experts and Cronbach’s alpha (N=24, α=0.83).
Results: People under the age of 25 years had more awareness, while 48% of them considered thirst as the best criterion for drinking water during exercise. Thirty-four percent considered appropriate drinking water until quenching their thirst, and only 30% reported consumption of sports drinks useful during an exercise. Also, the level of awareness was lower with university education.
Conclusion: The lack of awareness of athletes about the importance of water and beverage consumption can lead to inappropriate behaviors, irrational attitudes and unscientific steps. Low scores and non-scientific resources to get information about hydration and drinking water among athletes can be a major challenge in the area.