Human Hydration Monitoring Technologies

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Matthias Ring, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nurnberg, Germany

Karl E. Friedl, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MD, USA


Humans are bags of mostly water. The amount of total body water (TBW) constitutes about 55-60 % of a healthy adult’s body composition. The regulation of water balance is vital to health and performance, since moderate TBW reductions by 4-6 % already produce noticeable symptoms and severe TBW reductions of more than 10 % become life-compromising.  The detection of dehydration and management of TBW is particularly crucial for athletes in endurance sports, athletes that dehydrate to meet weight class limits, soldiers and workers with high sweat losses in hot environments, clinical patients with poorer body water regulation, and the elderly.  Technological approaches for dehydration detection have included, for example, bioelectrical impedance, changes in skin properties, biochemical analyses of aqueous body fluids (urine, sweat, saliva, tears) and computation of total water balance. However, there are still challenges in these strategies and so much the more in wearable technologies for continuous monitoring. This workshop will consider technological, physiological, and data-analytics aspects that have been explored by researchers with first-hand experience in a range of applications from clinical patients to active athletes.