Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Athletic Training

Committee Chair

Michelle Sandrey


Context. Hydration is important for all athletes not only for overall health, but for optimal performance during competition. Many studies have shown a relationship between a decrease in physiological function and performance as related to dehydration typically by measuring peak power output and aerobic capacity. But few studies have shown the relationship between hydration or dehydration and the performance of wrestlers throughout a competitive season. Objective. The purposes of this study were to determine: (1) if there is a difference between hydration levels over three time points between a high specific gravity group and a low specific gravity group; (2) if those who have the lower average specific gravity have a higher win percentage and; (3) if those who have a lower average specific gravity earn more team points throughout a competitive season. Design. This study was a longitudinal prospective comparative study. The independent variables for the first design were the three time points measured; baseline, 24-hours pre-competition (24PC), and pre-competition (PC), and a high average specific gravity group (HSG, >1.02) and a low average specific gravity group (LSG, ≤1.02). The dependent variable was the specific gravity. The second design independent variable was based on two groups: HSG and LSG. The dependent variable was win percentage. The independent variable for the third purpose was based on two groups as well: HSG and LSG. The dependent variable was team points earned by the wrestler. Setting. The study took place at a Division AAA high school in Western Pennsylvania. Patients or other participants . Voluntary high school wrestlers between the ages of 14 and 18 (16.53+/-1.41 yrs) and grades 9--12 were used for the study. Subjects were excluded from the study if they did not participate in at least 75% of matches throughout the competitive season. Interventions. Specific gravity of urine and body weight was measured at baseline, 24 hours before a competition and then again the day of the competition, 2--3 hours before the start of the first match for home matches. For away competitions specific gravity was measured before the bus left for the match. Win percentages were calculated from dual meets as well as the first day of tournaments. Team points based on performance were measured on the outcome of each individuals match during dual meets as well as the first day of tournaments. Main outcome measures . The investigator believed that specific gravity would change over time with the LSG showing less variability than HSG. Those athletes in the LSG (i.e. more hydrated) will show a higher win percentage and earn more team points during those matches. Results. There was a significant time by group interaction (P=.005), for the HSG at baseline (P=.045) and HSG at 24PC (P=.004). A main effect for time (P<.001) for all 3 time points: baseline to 24PC (P<.001), baseline to PC (P<.001), and 24PC to PC (P=.041). LSG had an average team point total of 14.33+/-7.74. HSG had an average team point total of 32+/-14.34. There was a significant difference between the two groups (P=.024) with HSG earning more team points. All other results showed no significance. Conclusions. The results of this study show a group by time interaction at baseline and 24PC with HSG being lower at baseline but higher at 24PC. A main effect for time showed specific gravity does change significantly from baseline to 24PC, baseline to PC, and 24PC to PC, and is significantly higher 24PC and PC than baseline. Also there was a significant difference between the groups for team points. However, HSG scored significantly more team points than LSG. There was no significant difference measured between groups when compared to win percentages.