Predicted sweat rates for group water planning in sport: accuracy and application


September 2020

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This study tested the accuracy of a novel, limited-availability web application (H2Q™) for predicting sweat rates in a variety of sports using estimates of energy expenditure and air temperature only. The application of predictions for group water planning was investigated for soccer match play. Fourteen open literature studies were identified where group sweat rates were reported (n = 20 group means comprising 230 individual
observations from 179 athletes) with fidelity. Sports represented included: walking, cycling, swimming, and soccer match play. The accuracy of H2Q™ sweat rates was tested by comparing to measured group sweat rates using the concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) with 95% confidence interval [CI]. The relative absolute error (RAE) with 95% [CI] was also assessed, whereby the mean absolute error was expressed relative to an acceptance limit of 0.250 L/h. The CCC was 0.98 [0.95, 0.99] and the RAE was 0.449 [0.279, 0.620], indicating that the prediction error was on average 0.112 L/h. The RAE was < 1.0 for 19/20 observations (95%). Drink volumes modeled as a proxy for sweat losses during soccer match play prevented dehydration (< 1% loss of body mass). The H2Q™ web application demonstrated high group sweat prediction accuracy for the variety of sports activities tested. Water planning for soccer match play suggests the feasibility of easily and accurately predicting sweat rates to plan group water needs and promote optimal hydration in training and/or competition.

Biol Sport (2021) 38(2):253–260

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