Objective: Achieving and maintaining an optimal level of hydration has significant implications for both acute and chronic health, yet many hydration assessments are not feasible for the general public. Urinary frequency (UF) is a reliable method to self-assess hydration status in healthy individuals, and thirst can provide additional sensory information on adequacy of daily fluid intake volume (DFI). However, threshold values for these indices to detect optimal hydration have not been determined. In this study, we sought to determine threshold values for 24-hour UF and perceived thirst that could accurately distinguish between optimal and suboptimal hydration states. Methods: Thirty-two healthy adults (age 22 ± 3 years, body mass index 24.9± 4.1 kg/m2) collected urine over 24 hours on four separate occasions, where UF was recorded as well as thirst at each void using a numbered perceptual scale. Using urine osmolality as the criterion standard, all samples were either classified as representing an optimal (≤500 mOsm·kg-1) or suboptimal hydration status (>500 mOsm·kg-1). Results: A 24-hour UF ≤6 was able to detect suboptimal hydration with good accuracy (area under the curve [AUC] 0.815) and a 24-hour average perceived thirst rating > 3 (a little thirsty) could detect it with reasonable accuracy (AUC 0.725). In addition, a UF ≤4 had a considerably higher positive likelihood ratio to detect suboptimal hydration versus a UF ≤6 (9.03 versus 2.18, respectively). Conclusions: These analyses suggest that individuals with a 24-hour UF ≤6 or perceiving themselves to be, on average, -a little thirsty- throughout the day are likely to be suboptimally hydrated and thus underconsuming an adequate DFI.
Tucker, M. A., Caldwell, A. R., & Ganio, M. S. (2019). Adequacy of Daily Fluid Intake Volume Can Be Identified From Urinary Frequency and Perceived Thirst in Healthy Adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2019.1639566