A Review of Hydration and Body Composition for Wildland Fire Suppression Aids

by Tomas Ruvalcaba, CSCS, TSAC-F and Robert Lockie, PhD, TSAC-F
TSAC Report February 2021
Vol 59, Issue 3

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Available to:
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Audience:
TSAC Facilitators
Topics:
Nutrition

This article explains the importance of educating and supplying firefighters with the right tools for hydration and optimal body composition to safely and effectively execute their job tasks.

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This article originally appeared in TSAC Report, the NSCA’s quarterly, online-only publication geared toward the training of tactical athletes, operators, and facilitators. It provides research-based articles, performance drills, and conditioning techniques for operational, tactical athletes. The TSAC Report is only available for NSCA Members. Read more articles from TSAC Report 

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References

1. Barr, D, Gregson, W, and Reilly, T. The thermal ergonomics of firefighting reviewed. Applied Ergonomics 41(1): 161-172, 2010.

2. Byrd, MT, Switalla, JR, Eastman, JE, Wallace, BJ, Clasey, JL, and Bergstrom, HC. Contributions of body-composition characteristics to critical power and anaerobic work capacity. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 13: 189-193, 2018.

3. Coker, RH, Murphy, CJ, Johannsen, M, Galvin, G, and Ruby, BC. Wildland firefighting: Adverse influence on indices of metabolic and cardiovascular health. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 61(3): e91-e94, 2019.

4. Cuddy, JS, Slivka, DR, Tucker, TJ, Hailes, WS, and Ruby, BC. Glycogen levels in wildland firefighters during wildfire suppression. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine 22: 23-27, 2011.

5. Cuddy, JS, and Ruby, BC. High work output combined with high ambient temperatures caused heat exhaustion in a wildland firefighter despite high fluid intake. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine 22: 122-125, 2011.

6. Cuddy, JS, Sol, JA, Hailes, WS, and Ruby, BC. Work patterns dictate energy demands and thermal strain during wildland firefighting. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine 26: 221-226, 2015.

7. Drink Mix Pro 320. Retrieved January 7, 2020 from https:// www.maurten.com/products/drink-mix-320.html.

8. Horn, GP, DeBlois, J, Shalmyeva, I, and Smith, DL. Quantifying dehydration in the fire service using field methods and novel devices. Prehospital Emergency Care 16(3): 347-355, 2012.

9. Hostler, D, Bednez, JC, Kerin, S, Reis, SE, Kong, PW, Morley, J, et al. Comparison of rehydration regimens for rehabilitation of firefighters performing heavy exercise in thermal protective clothing: A report from the fireground rehab evaluation (FIRE) trial. Prehospital Emergency Care 14(2): 194-201, 2010.

10. InBody 770. Retrieved January 7, 2020 from https://https:// inbodyusa.com/products/inbody770/.html.

11. Lui, B, Cuddy, JS, Hailes, WS, and Ruby, BC. Seasonal heat acclimatization in wildland firefighters. Journal of Thermal Biology 45: 134-140, 2014.

12. Raines, J, Snow, R, Petersen, A, Harvey, J, Nichols, D, and Aisbett, B. Pre-shift fluid intake: Effect on physiology, work and drinking during emergency wildfire fighting. Applied Ergonomics 43: 532-540, 2012.

13. Raines, J, Snow, R, Petersen, A, Harvey, J, Nichols, D, and Aisbett, B. The effect of prescribed fluid consumption on physiology and work behavior of wildfire fighters. Applied Ergonomics 44: 404-413, 2013.

14. Rodríguez-Marroyo, JA, López-Satue, J, Pernía, R, Carballo, B, García- López, J, Foster, C, and Villa, JG. Physiological work demands of Spanish wildland firefighters during wildfire suppression. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 85: 221-228, 2012.

15. Ruby, BC, Shriver, TC, Zderic, TW, Sharkey, BJ, Burks, C, and Tysk, S. Total energy expenditure during arduous wildfire suppression. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 34(6): 1048-1054, 2002.

16. Ruby, BC, Schoeller, DA, Sharkey, BJ, Burks, C, and Tysk, S. Water turnover and changes in body composition during arduous wildfire suppression. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 35(10): 1760-1765, 2003.

17. Selkirk, GA, McLellan, TM, and Wong, J. The impact of various rehydration volumes for firefighters wearing protective clothing in warm environments. Ergonomics 49(4): 418-433, 2006.

18. Silva, AM, Júdice, PB, Matias, CN, Santos, DA, Magalhães, JP, St-Onge, MP, et al. Total body water and its compartments are not affected by ingesting a moderate dose of caffeine in healthy young adult males. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 38(6): 626-632, 2013.

19. Tsai, WS, Wu, CC, Lin, SH, Chu, P, Wu, SC, Hsu, YJ, and Lin, YF. Evaluation of ideal body weight in dialysis patients through bioelectrical impedance analysis. Acta Nephrologica 16(3): 119-124, 2002.

About the author

Tomas Ruvalcaba, CSCS, TSAC-F

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Tomas Ruvalcaba graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and is currently a Masters st ...

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Photo of Robert G. Lockie, PhD, TSAC-F
About the author

Robert G. Lockie, PhD, TSAC-F

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Robert Lockie is an Assistant Professor in Strength and Conditioning at California State University, Fullerton. He obtained his undergraduate and ho ...

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Available to:
Members only
Audience:
TSAC Facilitators
Topics:
Nutrition
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