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In sports medicine, osmolality is a general-purpose test that can be applied to a vast number of performance enhancement situations. Monitoring hydration status of athletes in weight-class and endurance sports is a challenge to which the osmometer is particularly well suited.
Athletes are at risk for dehydration and heat exhaustion, especially in hot weather and high humidity. Weighing in before and after practice is an ideal way to measure how much water athletes lose and how much should be replaced. Drinking nutritional beverages, water and wearing lightweight, breathable clothing during practice sessions also reduce an athletes chances of dehydration and heat exhaustion. Any athlete can monitor his or her state of hydration and relate it directly to athletic performance. Athletes can collect their own urine samples and run their own tests. The osmometer is simple and easy to use. They can also test blood samples to get an even more accurate indication of their hydration level.
Daily urine osmolality is an accurate indicator
of hydration change and correlates well with peak conditioning. A urine
osmolality testing program is easy to establish, inexpensive to maintain,
and offers an immediate return in performance improvement. Still, osmolality
is under appreciated in sports medicine. Clearly more than a lab instrument,
the osmometer is a portable machine that can be set up anywhere, whether
its in the locker room or on the field.