Paper Authors and Title

Tadgh Dulohery (Technological University Dublin), Oscar MacAnaney, Laura Murray-Kolb, “The Association between Hydration Status and Heart Rate Variability in Elite Collegiate Wrestlers”



Dehydration resulting in a 2% loss of body mass negatively impacts physical and cognitive performance. Heart rate variability (HRV) measures variations between successive heartbeats and reflects cardiac autonomic function. HRV can predict recovery in athletes. Several factors are known to affect HRV. There may be a relationship between HRV and hydration status (HS). Field-based methods for assessing HS include urine specific gravity (Usg), saliva osmolarity and self-reported subjective measures of HS. The Oura Ring is a wearable photoplethysmography device that collects HRV data.


In this study we sought to investigate the possible link between HS and HRV in elite collegiate wrestlers. The secondary aims of the study were to assess the validity of objective and subjective measures of HS in elite collegiate wrestlers and to provide proof of concept for future studies.


Three national college athletics association division 1 wrestlers were recruited. Body weight, Usg, MX3 and perception of HS were recorded pre and post exercise on 15 training days over a 19-day period. Data were tested for normality. Data were analysed using the Pearson correlation and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients. The level of statistical significance was set at <0.05.


No meaningful relationship was found between HS and HRV. Agreement between methodologies to assess HS was generally poor.


This pilot study found that there is scope for a future study to employ multiple measures of HS with a larger sample size to clearly identify if there are any statistically significant correlations between HRV and HS in elite collegiate wrestlers.