Hydration is used by athletic governing organizations for weight class eligibility. The measurement of urine specific gravity (USG) as a measure of hydration by reagent strips is a controversial issue. The purpose of this study was to determine the validity of HydraTrend reagent strips that facilitate the correction of USG for alkaline urine samples against refractometry for the assessment of USG. Fifty-one participants (33 males, age = 22.3 ± 1.3 years; 18 females, age = 22.4 ± 1.2 years) provided 84 urine samples. The samples were tested for USG using refractometry and reagent strips and for pH using reagent strips and a digital pH meter. Strong correlation coefficients were found between refractometry and reagent strips for USG (rs(82) = 0.812, p < 0.01) and between reagent strips and pH meter for pH (rs(82) = 0.939, p < 0.01). It was observed that false negative results for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requirements (fail refractometry with USG >1.020, pass reagent strips with USG ≤1.020) occurred 39% (33/84) of the time and false negative results for National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) requirements (fail refractometry with USG >1.025, pass reagent strips with USG ≥1.025) occurred 14% (12/84) of the time. There were no false positives (pass refractometry and fail reagent strips) for NCAA or NFHS requirements. These data show that refractometry and reagent strips have strong positive correlations. However, the risk of a false negative result leading to incorrect certification of euhydration status outweighs the benefits of the HydraTrend reagent strips for the measurement of USG.
- Specific gravity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation