Int J Sports Med 1980; 01(1): 21-24
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1034625
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Effects of Thermal Dehydration on Performance of the Wingate Anaerobic Test

I. Jacobs
  • Laboratory for Human Performance (FOA 57), Dept. of Clinical Physiology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
This study was undertaken in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor, Canada. Thanks are extended to Dr. R.T. Hermiston for his guidance during the course of this study.
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Publication History

Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


Dehydration by means of exercise, heat, diuretics, semistarvation, or a combination of these is a common practice among competitors in weight class sports. Many studies have demonstrated a reduced aerobic work capacity following each of these forms of dehydration. The effects of these practices on performance that requires energy derived primarily from anaerobic sources is not well documented. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of progressive, acute, thermal dehydration on performance of an anaerobic criterion task. Eleven collegiate wrestlers performed the Wingate Anaerobic Test (WAnT) prior to and after each of the following mean weight losses: 2 %, 4 %, and 5 %. Weight loss was induced by passive thermal dehydration (56 °C, 15 % RH). Approximately 2 h were required in the environmental chamber to lose the required weight at each stage. There was no significant change (P > 0.05) in the ability to perform the WAnT nor its various indices at any stage of dehydration, nor were blood lactate concentrations post WAnT significantly different from predehydration levels. This suggests that anaerobic performance may not be impaired to the extent that aerobic performance is by passive, thermal dehydration to a 5 % body weight loss. However, deleterious physiologic effects may result from dehydration practices even though performance levels are maintained.