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Seed Grant Awardee: Floris Wardenaar

USA No.1 Study: Urine Color Self-Assessment and Racial Differences

Floris Wardenaar | School of Nutrition and Health Promotion

Hydration status may differ between races. Hispanic and black adolescents have consistently higher urine osmolality than white adolescents, which indicates that this population could be more frequently dehydrated (Kenney et al. 2015). Dehydration, even moderately (1%), may lead to impaired exercise performance (Bardis et al. 2013). A higher urine concentration and lower urine volume has been associated with a higher blood pressure which may develop into health issues like hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease (Bankir, Perucca, and Weinberger 2007). There is a strong positive relationship between urine color and urine concentration (Kavouras et al. 2016). Thus, athletes are often advised to monitor hydration status by assessing their urine color (McDermott et al. 2017), yet no information is available regarding the validity of self-assessment estimating diluted urine color directly from the lavatory. 

The objective of this study is to test whether differences among white, black, and Hispanic athletes are seen in 1) urine color and urine osmolality and 2) self-reported urine score in comparison to a single urine reference color. The success of this program will result in: (1) a simple strategy for athletes to self-assess hydration status and make informed decisions regarding fluid intake; (2) the delivery of pilot data on potential urine color differences between white, black and Hispanic athletes; (3) provide input for hydration education programs. In this way the study will benefit the whole (athletic) population especially in heavily populated black and Hispanic (school) athlete communities.

Last updated June 2019.