Current knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding hydration of student handball players in the South-eastern region (Oueme-plateau) of the Republic of Benin


This cross-sectional study was carried out in order to check if the trainers’ counselling had been able to lead the Benin young handball players to acquire higher levels of hydration knowledge, attitudes and practices than their non-athlete peers. A survey using questionnaire was passed to 211 students including 74 handball players (HB) and 137 non-athletes (NA) of the Ouémé-Plateau region, i.e. the South-eastern region of the Republic of Benin. On the whole, 63% of the surveyed students had a good level of hydration practices, but worse levels of hydration knowledge and attitudes. The handball players had higher levels of hydration knowledge and practices than their nonsporting peers (p < 0.05), whereas no difference was noted between the two groups concerning their attitudes to water (p > 0.05). The percentages of HB players having a good level of knowledge related to water or a good level of hydration practices are more important than those of the NS group (p < 0.001), with respective Odds Ratio (OR) of 5.3 (IC95% : 2.5 – 11.0) and 44.8 (IC95% : 10.5 – 190.2). In the HB group, good hydration practices are not inevitably associated with a good level of knowledge related to water. The trainers’ advice to the players for dehydration prevention had certainly a positive impact on their hydration practices. New learning strategies are needed for the young students in Benin to improve their hydration knowledge, attitudes and practices at a time.

Keywords: Knowledge, attitudes, practices, survey, pupils, handball, hydration, Republic of Benin.