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Extreme Rapid Weight Loss and Rapid Weight Gain Observed in UK Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Preparing for Competition

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There is a lack of research documenting the weight-making practices of mixed-martial-arts (MMA) competitors. The purpose of the investigation was to quantify the magnitude and identify the methods of rapid weight loss (RWL) and rapid weight gain (RWG) in MMA athletes preparing for competition. Seven athletes (mean ± SD, age 24.6 ± 3.5 yrs, body mass 69.9 ± 5.7 kg, competitive experience 3.1 ± 2.2 yrs) participated in a repeated-measures design. Measures of dietary intake, urinary hydration status, and body mass were recorded in the week preceding competition. Body mass decreased significantly (p<0.0005) from baseline by 5.6 ± 1.4 kg (8 ± 1.8%). During the RWG period (32 ± 1 hours) body mass increased significantly (p<0.001) by 7.4 ± 2.8 kg (11.7 ± 4.7%), exceeding RWL. Mean energy and carbohydrate intake were 3176 ± 482 kcal·day(-1) and 471 ± 124 g·day(-1), respectively. At the official weigh-in 57% of athletes were dehydrated (1033 ± 19 mOsmol·kg(-1)) and the remaining 43% were severely dehydrated (1267 ± 47 mOsmol·kg(-1)). Athletes reported using harmful dehydration-based RWL strategies, including sauna (43%) and training in plastic suits (43%). Results demonstrated RWG greater than RWL, this is a novel finding and may be attributable to the 32 hour duration from weigh-in till competition. The observed magnitude of RWL and strategies used are comparable to those which have previously resulted in fatalities. Rule changes which make RWL impractical should be implemented with immediate effect to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of competitors.
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... Despite RWL having been widely investigated in combat sports, less attention has been given to the effects of weight regain (WRG) (Daniele et al., 2016;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017;Reale, et al., 2016aReale, et al., , 2016b. In fact, RWL and WRG are highly prevalent in combat sports, with reports that 53% of Canadian Taekwondo athletes and 100% of the Brazilian Olympic boxers utilize these techniques (Franchini et al., 2012). ...
... The ability restore acute weight loss and physiological functioning is dependent on the time available between the weigh-in and the event. Recovery periods longer than 3 h should be adequate to avoid physical fitness impairments in some circumstances (Artioli et al., 2016), yet it is highly probable that athletes fail to completely rehydrate before a fight, even with a period of 24 h from the weigh-in (Jetton et al., 2013;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017).. Considering competitive performance, available data are contradictory regarding the effect of WRG. Reale et al. (2016a) showed a link between WRG magnitude and victory in Judokas, whereas opposing results were found in boxers (Daniele et al., 2016;Reale et al., 2016b) and wrestlers (Horswill et al., 1994). ...
... Contrary to a previous study (Matthews & Nicholas, 2017), the magnitude of WRG found here (6% and 3% for winners and losers, respectively) was not higher than the RWL (~7%). This contradiction could be related to the differences in the time available for WRG (24 h vs 32 h). ...
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We aimed to describe the nutritional and behavioural strategies for rapid weight loss (RWL), investigate the effects of RWL and weight regain (WRG) in winners and losers and verify mood state and technical-tactical/time-motion parameters in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The sample consisted of MMA athletes after a single real match and was separated into two groups: Winners (n=8, age: 25.4±6.1yo., height: 173.9±0.2cm, habitual body mass (BM): 89.9±17.3kg) and Losers (n=7, age: 24.4±6.8yo., height: 178.4±0.9cm, habitual BM: 90.8±19.5kg). Both groups exhibited RWL and WRG, verified their macronutrient intake, underwent weight and height assessments and completed two questionnaires (POMS and RWL) at i) 24 h before weigh-in, ii) weigh-in, iii) post-bout and iv) during a validated time-motion and technical-tactical analysis during the bout. Variance analysis, repeated measures and a logistic regression analysis were used. The main results showed significant differences between the time points in terms of total caloric intake as well as carbohydrate, protein and lipid ingestion. Statistical differences in combat analysis were observed between the winners and losers in terms of high-intensity relative time [58(10;98) s and 32(1;60) s, respectively], lower limb sequences [3.5(1.0;7.5) sequences and 1.0(0.0;1.0) sequences, respectively], and ground and pound actions [2.5(0.0;4.5) actions and 0.0(0.0;0.5) actions, respectively], and logistic regression confirmed the importance of high-intensity relative time and lower limb sequences on MMA performance. RWL and WRG strategies were related to technical-tactical and time-motion patterns as well as match outcomes. Weight management should be carefully supervised by specialized professionals to reduce health risks and raise competitive performance.
... Rapid weight loss (RWL) is frequently practiced in sports that have weight class restrictions [1,2]. For example, in mixed martial arts (MMA), the percentage of body mass lost by these athletes is usually ~5% to 10% in the week prior to competition [3][4][5][6][7][8][9]. To achieve losses of this magnitude, RWL strategies that reduce body water stores (e.g. ...
... A means of passive fluid loss known as hot baths is often employed as part of weight-making practices in combat sports [3,[9][10][11][12][13]. ...
... Absent an effect of the addition of salt under the conditions employed in our two studies, because there were six participants common to both studies, it was possible to explore the effect of all participants were classified as dehydrated based on a urine osmolality of >700 mOsmol/kg [21]. This finding is consistent with typical methods of RWL resulting in 100% of MMA athletes being dehydrated to various degrees at an official weigh-in [3,28]. Body mass and hydration assessment performed on Morning Day +1 ...
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Hot water immersion is used by athletes in weight category sports to produce rapid weight loss (RWL) by means of passive fluid loss, and often is performed with the addition of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate). This study investigated the magnitude of body mass losses during hot water immersion with or without the addition of salt, with the temperature commencing at 37.8°C and being self-adjusted by participants to their maximum tolerable temperature. In a crossover design, eight male MMA athletes (29.4 ± 5.3 y; 1.83 ± 0.05 m; 85.0 ± 4.9 kg) performed a 20 min whole-body immersion followed by a 40 min wrap in a warm room, twice in sequence per visit. During one visit, only fresh water was used (FWB), and in the other visit, magnesium sulphate (1.6% wt/vol) was added to the bath (SWB). Prior to each visit, 24 h of carbohydrate, fibre and fluid restriction was undertaken. Water temperatures at the end of the first and second baths were ~39.0°C and ~39.5°C, respectively. Body mass losses induced by the hot bath protocols were 1.71 ± 0.70 kg and 1.66 ± 0.78 kg for FWB and SWB, respectively (P = 0.867 between trials, d = 0.07), and equivalent to ~2.0% body mass. Body mass lost during the entire RWL protocol was 4.5 ± 0.7%. Under the conditions employed, the magnitude of body mass lost in SWB was similar to FWB. Augmenting passive fluid loss during hot water immersion with the addition of salt may require a higher salt concentration than that presently utilised.
... Commonly reported RWL methods include (but are not limited to) manipulation of body water, glycogen depletion and fasting (Reale et al., 2018). Previous investigations into methods of RWL have typically focused on combat sports (Artioli et al., 2016(Artioli et al., , 2010Barley, Chapman & Abbiss, 2018;Brito et al., 2012;Coswig, Fukuda & Del Vecchio, 2015;Kasper et al., 2019; Twitter Handles: @Laura_Wilson1, @cc_nutrition Matthews & Nicholas, 2017;Reale, Slater & Burke, 2017). However, despite high prevalence of RWL in PL (Nolan et al., 2020), both the magnitude and severity of RWL in PL is lower when compared with combat sports (Connor & Egan, 2019). ...
... Participants were also required to quantify, from a pre-determined list, any previously adopted methods used to elicit RWL for competition. The RWLQ was developed based on the methods of Matthews and Nicholas (2017), which had been adapted from a similar model validated in combat sports (Artioli et al., 2010). Participants completed the questionnaire and gave responses based on all RWL strategies adopted previously in preparation for a competition. ...
... The most commonly reported methods of RWL within the present study (gradual dieting, fluid restriction and water loading) are similar to findings conducted in PL athletes (Nolan et al., 2020) with similar popularity in such strategies in competitive PL athletes adopting methods of RWL (gradual dieting: 39.5%; fluid restriction: 54% and water loading: 49%; Nolan et al., 2020). Given the associated negative implications of RWL documented in combat sports (Artioli et al., 2016(Artioli et al., , 2010Barley et al., 2018;Brito et al., 2012;Connor & Egan, 2019;Coswig et al., 2015;Kasper et al., 2019;Khodaee et al., 2015;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017;Reale et al., 2018Reale et al., , 2017, it would be pertinent to examine this in other weight sensitive sports such as PL. Further research specifically within PL and additional strength-specific sports and training methods would be needed to confirm this. ...
Article
Previous research in Powerlifting (PL) has qualitatively investigated rapid weight-loss (RWL) in PL athletes and body image, however limited research exists in quantifying such methods adopted in PL. This study aimed to assess the frequency of RWL methods are adopted by male and female PL athletes in the United Kingdom (UK) during competition preparation. A total of n = 37 (n = 19 female, n = 18 male) competitive powerlifters completed an anonymous online questionnaire assessing RWL methods. A Chi-square cross tabulation was utilised to identify any significant differences between independent and dependent variables. Multiple regression analyses were then conducted to assess the contribution of biological sex and PL category on RWL methods. Commonly reported methods of weight loss were gradual dieting (49%), fluid restriction (46%), and water loading (51%). Differences between PL category (Junior, Open, Masters One) and adopting RWL were observed (X 2 =4.220, p <0.05). PL category was a predictor of undertaking RWL (R 2 adj = 0.160, F (2, 34) = 4.429, p ≤ 0.05), whilst biological sex was a predictor of timeframe of undertaking RWL (R 2 adj = 0.123, F (2, 34) = 3.534, p ≤ 0.05). RWL strategies are adopted by PL athletes in order to make weight for competition. Despite known effects of RWL on strength performance, limited research currently exists on these strategies specifically within PL, therefore this may be a consideration for future research. Practitioners working with PL athletes may wish to consider appropriate nutrition and weight loss strategies in preparation for PL competitions.
... M ixed martial arts (MMA) competition spans 10 weight divisions (27), and fighters often engage in strategies to reduce as high as 10% body weight in the 2-3 days before weigh-in (10,11,15,16,20,37). Weight-making strategies include intentional hypohydration (35), starvation (4), exercising in plastic or rubber suits, saunas, and fluid intake restriction (34). ...
... Sport psychologists should reflect supporting for athletes' rights and responsible practices to avoid dangerous methods of RWL through procedures that could put athletes' mental and physical health at risk. Preceding reports showed a high percentage of inappropriate methods of weight loss (10,27). An epidemiological study demonstrated that 60% of combat athletes reported using a method of RWL through increased energy expenditure and ;50% of them use saunas, diuretics, and plastic clothing, and only 26.1% received advice from a nutritionist (27). ...
... Preceding reports showed a high percentage of inappropriate methods of weight loss (10,27). An epidemiological study demonstrated that 60% of combat athletes reported using a method of RWL through increased energy expenditure and ;50% of them use saunas, diuretics, and plastic clothing, and only 26.1% received advice from a nutritionist (27). Based on the assumption that dangerous methods can alter mood states and put athlete's life at risk, the present study controlled this type of intervention during data collection. ...
Article
Brandt, R, Bevilacqua, GG, Coimbra, DR, Pombo, LC, Miarka, B, and Lane, AM. Body weight and mood state modifications in mixed martial arts: An exploratory pilot. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2018-Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters typically use rapid weight loss (RWL) as a strategy to make competition weight. The aim of the present study was to compare body weight and mood changes in professional male MMA athletes who used strategies to rapidly lose weight (n = 9) and with MMA athletes who did not (n = 3). Body mass and mood states of anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, tension, and vigor and total mood disturbance were assessed (a) 30 days before competition, (b) at the official weigh-in 1 day before competition, (c) 10 minutes before competition, and (d) 10 minutes postcompetition. Results indicated that RWL associated with reporting higher confusion and greater total mood disturbance at each assessment point. Rapid weight loss also associated with high anger at the official weigh-in. However, in performance, RWL did not have deleterious effects on performance. The RWL group also reported greater total mood disturbance at all assessment points with a moderate difference effect size. Research supports the notion that RWL associates with potentially dysfunctional mood states.
... RWL generally refers to the methods employed by an athlete in reducing body mass in the final one to two weeks before competition, and typically averages~2% to 10%, depending on the sport [1][2][3][4][5]. Subsequent to the weigh-in, combat sport athletes generally proceed to regain often the majority of this weight from within a few hours up to 36 h before competing [7][8][9]. RWL followed by rapid weight regain is employed, especially in combat sports, as a means of gaining a size and/or strength advantage over an opponent as the heavier fighter is generally seen to have an advantage [1,3,8,10]. ...
... MMA was established on the international stage as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993, but despite being one of the fastest-growing international sports [12], only recently have reports begun to emerge on the weight-making practices of these athletes [7,8,[13][14][15][16][17]. One survey described MMA athletes losing 9% ± 2% of body mass in the week before a fight, and a further 5% ± 2% in the 24 h before weigh-in [16]. ...
... This is achieved due to employing one or all of the following methods: water loading, fluid restriction, prescription and over-the-counter diuretics, complete fasting or low carbohydrate diets in the final 3 to 5 days prior to weigh-in [16]. Such drastic methods for RWL result in 100% of athletes being dehydrated to various degrees at the official weigh-in [7,13], and 14% [7] and 39% [13] remaining dehydrated when measured in the final 2 h pre-fight. ...
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Rapid weight loss (RWL) is frequently practiced in weight category sports, including Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). The aim of the present study was to describe self-reported methods of RWL in a sample of competitive MMA athletes comprising of both amateur and professional fighters. The previously-validated Rapid Weight Loss Questionnaire, with the addition of questions on water loading and hot salt baths, was completed anonymously online by athletes (n = 30; all male, n = 15/15 professional/amateur) from MMA clubs around Dublin, Ireland. All but one (97%) of the athletes surveyed lost weight in order to compete, with the average weight loss being 7.9% ± 3.1% of habitual body mass. The RWL score (mean ± SD) for this sample was 37.9 ± 9.6, and a tendency for higher [6.0 (95%CI; −1.1, 13.1) (p = 0.093; d = 0.64)] RWL scores for professional (40.8 ± 8.9) compared to amateur (34.8 ± 9.6) athletes was observed. Frequencies of "always" or "sometimes" were reported as 90% for water loading, 76% for hot salt baths and 55% for 24 h of fasting. Fellow fighters (41%) and coaches/mentors (38%) were "very influential" on RWL practices of these athletes, with doctors (67%), dietitians (41%), and physical trainers (37%) said to be "not influential". RWL is highly prevalent in MMA across both amateur and professional athletes, and RWL scores are higher than other combat sports. Water loading and hot salt baths are amongst the most commonly used methods of RWL despite little research on these methods for body mass reduction or effects on performance in weight category sports.
... The theory that weight cutting might provide a competitive advantage in combat sports was supported by the findings of Wroble and Moxley (40), who demonstrated that 57% of wrestlers (159 varsity wrestlers) cutting .5% BM placed in the top 4 of a tournament, whereas only 33% of the wrestlers who lost ,5% total BM placed in the top 4. Similarly, Alderman et al. (1) reported that wrestlers who gained greater magnitudes of BM (mean 3.78 kg; approximately 5% BM) after weigh-in were more successful in terms of fight outcome compared with those who regained less (mean 3.05 kg; approximately 4% BM). However, it has been shown that MMA athletes (19,26,31) consistently cut more BM than athletes in other combat sports such as wrestling (40), Judo (3), Jiu Jitsu (10), and boxing (36), but it is not yet known whether the competition outcome in MMA is influenced by the higher magnitudes of BM loss that has been observed in these athletes. ...
... Given that the primary mechanism of weight cutting is a rapid reduction of body fluid that results in hypohydration (12,31), especially for MMA athletes (7), it is prudent to consider the possibility that cutting larger magnitudes of BM may actually be detrimental to physical, physiological, and cognitive performance, thus potentially contributing to less desirable fight outcomes (i.e., loss). For example, Barley et al. (6) recently investigated several physical performance markers before and after 5% BM reduction through active dehydration and heat exposure in 14 MMA athletes and reported significant reductions in medicine ball throw distance and sled push performance even after 24 hours of recovery. ...
... It is likely, however, that subjects of this study reduced more BM. By contrast, our study showed smaller recovered BM magnitudes compared with Matthews and Nicholas (31), which is most likely due to the longer recovery period observed in their study (32 hours compared with 24 hours in our study). ...
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Brechney, GC, Chia, E, and Moreland, AT. Weight-cutting implications for competition outcomes in mixed martial arts cage fighting. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2019-Weight cutting is common among amateur and professional mixed martial arts (MMA) competitors because of the belief that it provides an advantage in combat sports. This study aimed to identify whether fight outcome (win vs. loss vs. type of loss) was influenced by magnitudes of body mass (BM) lost through weight cutting and BM regained before the fight after official weigh-in in amateur and professional MMA athletes with previous weight-cutting experience. Body mass data were collected using self-report from 75 MMA athletes (59 amateur and 16 professional) before commencing weight-cutting practices 7 days before weigh-in, by the regulating body at their official weigh-in 24 hours before the fight and through direct measurement immediately before competition. Data were analyzed according to win; loss by technical knockout or knockout (KO); loss by submission; or loss by the judge's decision. Athletes who lost their fight cut significantly more BM (10.6%) compared with athletes who won (8.6%) (p = 0.04, d = 0.48, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02-0.93), but there were no differences between types of loss. There were no significant differences in recovered BM between athletes who won (6.8%) vs. lost (7.4%), or type of loss. Furthermore, there was a significant relationship between greater magnitudes of BM cut and greater likelihood of losing the fight (B = -0.12, P = 0.048), odd ratio 0.89 (95% CI: 0.79-1.00). This study provides the first line of evidence that excessive weight cutting may be detrimental to fight outcome in MMA.
... To ensure qualification, athletes use rapid weight loss (RWL) strategies for the official weigh-in, followed by rapid weight gain (RWG) (Kirk et al., 2020;Park et al., 2019). In fact, MMA athletes lose ∼10% of their BM in approximately seven days, half of it in the final 24 h leading up to the official weigh-in (Barley, Chapman, & Abbiss, 2019;Connor & Egan, 2019;Coswig et al., 2015;Crighton et al., 2016;Hillier et al., 2019;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017;Matthews, Stanhope, Godwin, Holmes, & Artioli, 2019). Moreover, it has been reported that MMA athletes compete with a BM up to three divisions higher than the one they officially weighed-in at (Coswig et al., 2019;Kirk et al., 2020;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017). ...
... In fact, MMA athletes lose ∼10% of their BM in approximately seven days, half of it in the final 24 h leading up to the official weigh-in (Barley, Chapman, & Abbiss, 2019;Connor & Egan, 2019;Coswig et al., 2015;Crighton et al., 2016;Hillier et al., 2019;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017;Matthews, Stanhope, Godwin, Holmes, & Artioli, 2019). Moreover, it has been reported that MMA athletes compete with a BM up to three divisions higher than the one they officially weighed-in at (Coswig et al., 2019;Kirk et al., 2020;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017). A systematic review by Mathews et al. (2019) showed that the magnitude of RWG was influenced by the type of sport, competition structure, and permitted recovery duration. ...
... A systematic review by Mathews et al. (2019) showed that the magnitude of RWG was influenced by the type of sport, competition structure, and permitted recovery duration. Hence, the use of acute and aggressive RWL strategies generally begins approximately seven days before the official weigh-in (Crighton et al., 2016;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017). ...
Article
We aimed to analyze whether rapid weight gain (RWG) between the official weigh-in and the time of the fight was associated with fight success in MMA. A total of 700 professional MMA fights involving 1,400 weigh-ins from 21 MMA promotions regulated by the California State Athletic Commission were analyzed. Multilevel logistic regression accounting for individual (i.e., athlete) and cluster levels (i.e., fights) was used to analyze the association of all measures with a theoretical relationship with the dependent variable and without interdependency with one another (i.e., %RWG, sex, body mass division, competition level) with the fight outcome (i.e., win or loss). The odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated. The highest mean %RWG was found for the flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, and lightweight divisions. The %RWG significantly predicted the fight outcome (ß=0.044; OR=1.045; 95%CI=1.014–1.078; p=0.005) so that for each 1% of additional RWG, the chance of winning increased by 4.5%. With the largest sample to date and in a ‘real-world’ scenario, the present results suggest that the magnitude of RWG is linked to the chance of winning in MMA combats. It is suggested that regulatory commissions, confederations, and event organizers should consider regulating RWG, considering that, despite its detrimental impact on the athletes’ health and performance, the potential advantage might stimulate athletes to invest in rapid weight loss, followed by gain after the official weigh-in to increase their chance of winning.
... The differences in recovery duration between official weigh-in and the start of the competition may affect RWG in combat sport athletes (Ceylan et al., 2021). Therefore, there are differences in RWG in different combat sport (Ceylan et al., 2021;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017;Reale et al., 2016). ...
... The same amount of weight regain was presented by both women (1.5%) and men (2.1%) boxers who have one hour to refeed and rehydrate between the weigh-in and the competition (Reale et al., 2017b). However, athletes from mixed martial arts show a higher level of RWG (approximately 12%) due to prolonged recovery time between the weigh-in and the competition or having no weight regain limit (Matthews & Nicholas, 2017;Matthews et al., 2019). ...
... Severely dehydrated athletes can rehydrate during RWG (Matthews & Nicholas, 2017). However, judo athletes in the present study could not improve their hydration status during the recovery period even though they presented RWG and lower USG. ...
Article
This study aimed to investigate the sex differences in short-term weight change and hydration status in judo athletes. Thirty-five men and 15 women judo athletes voluntarily participated in this descriptive and repeated measures design study. Body mass, urine-specific gravity (USG), and body composition of the athletes were measured at the official weigh-in and the competition day's morning. Body mass of the athletes increased during recovery time between official weigh-in and before the competition (time factor; F 1-48 = 71.81, p < 0.001), this increase was higher in men athletes compared to women athletes (time-sex interaction; F 1-48 = 6.56, p = 0.01). With RWG, USG values of the women and men athletes decreased (time factor; F 1-48 = 8.53, p = 0.005). However, most of the athletes were still in significant or serious dehydration state. Unchanged values of total body water rates (TBW) supported dehydration in athletes before the competition (time factor, F 1-48 = 2.9, p = 0.091; time-sex interaction; F 1-48 = 2.4, p = 0.122). The findings of the study indicated that RWG was higher in men athletes compared to women athletes, but hydration status was not affected by sex factor.Notwithstanding 15 hours of recovery between official weigh-in and the start of the competition, judo athletes were still in dehydrated state despite remaining within the limit set for RWG.
... When investigating the most common methods of RWL in all types of MMA athletes (amateur and professional), the five most common methods consistently reported are food restriction, increased training, use of a sauna, use of a sweat suit, and water-loading [4,5,[23][24][25][26]. Other methods that are not as common but still present include the use of salt baths, training in heated rooms, use of laxatives, intake of diuretics, spitting, and vomiting [23,26]. ...
... When investigating the most common methods of RWL in all types of MMA athletes (amateur and professional), the five most common methods consistently reported are food restriction, increased training, use of a sauna, use of a sweat suit, and water-loading [4,5,[23][24][25][26]. Other methods that are not as common but still present include the use of salt baths, training in heated rooms, use of laxatives, intake of diuretics, spitting, and vomiting [23,26]. A noticeable trend has been the increased use of the method of water-loading, a method where an individual will attempt to induce excessive urine production by reducing the intake of sodium and drinking an excessive amount of water leading up to weigh-in [5]. ...
... With more athletes turning to MMA as a career option, it is important to note where professional MMA athletes seek guidance. A registered dietitian's scope of practice includes the design and implementation of nutrition strategies for optimal performance in sport [23]. In addition, a registered dietitian nutritionist evaluates and guides athletes to know when and how much to consume food and fluids to maintain a healthy body weight and composition for physical performances [23]. ...
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Background: Similar to other combat sports, mixed martial arts (MMA) includes divisional weight classes. The purpose of our research was to further investigate the amount of weight professional MMA fighters lost prior to weighing in for competition, their methods used to cut weight, and their sources of advice on how to cut weight. Methods: This survey was administered to 92 male professional MMA athletes. The survey questions included duration of overall weight loss prior to competition, methods of weight-cutting, and their sources of advice regarding weight cutting. Results: When comparing the number of methods of weight cutting with the source of advice, those who received their advice from social media used slightly more methods of weight cutting (M = 4.86, SD = 1.27) than those who did not (M = 4.02, SD = 1.55); t(90) = - 2.53, p < .05. MMA athletes that used the help of a registered dietitian nutritionist also reported using the least amount of methods for weight-cutting than any other category (M = 3.84, SD = 1.67). Those that used teammates and did not use a registered dietitian nutritionist used slightly more methods (M = 4.46, SD = 1.41) than those who used a registered dietitian nutritionist. Conclusions: The findings of this study report that professional MMA athletes do undergo rapid weight loss through various methods to make weight for competition. This study adds evidence to the literature that most professional MMA athletes undergo RWL for competition without the guidance of a registered dietitian nutritionist. It is unclear what the effect of using a registered dietitian nutritionist may have on an MMA athletes' ability to reduce weight in a safe and effective manner. Future research should seek to investigate if employing a registered dietitian nutritionist may lead to a higher rate of success for MMA athletes to make weight, and help reduce adverse risks of RWL.
... At the other end of the spectrum, some sports (e.g., professional boxing and MMA) offer substantial recovery time (up to 32 h) between the weigh-in and event, with almost unlimited opportunities for preevent fluid and food intake. While such sports allow the athlete to be well-fueled and hydrated prior to competition, these conditions support a culture of extreme BM manipulation (24), as evidenced by mean BM gain of up 10% and individual values of 20% BM gain during the recovery period (25)(26)(27)(28). Indeed, there may be a link between the amount of postweigh-in rapid weight gain (RWG) and the duration of the recovery period (4,29). ...
... Typically, RWL has limited impact on FM or FFM, although changes in body water may cause artifacts in assessments of body composition via various modalities and some loss of fat-free dry solid mass can occur in as little as 4 days (42,43). While specific BM management practices vary according to sport and athlete caliber, the majority of athletes engage in both chronic and acute strategies (3,22,24,25,29,31,44). ...
... However, a singular focus on these practices to facilitate larger amounts of weight loss (>3% BM reduction) may have substantial negative implications to health and performance. According to recent surveys of RWL practices among athletes, the concerning strategies of vomiting and use of banned diuretics and diet pills have a low prevalence of use (3,24,25). However, the use of thermally stressful environments like saunas to elicit sweat losses remains common (3,24,25). ...
Article
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Weight-category sports are defined by the requirement of a weigh-in before competition to provide performance equity and reduced injury risks by eliminating size discrepancies. Athletes in these sports try to gain a theoretical advantage by competing in weight divisions that are lower than their day-to-day body mass (BM), using a combination of chronic strategies (body-fat losses) and acute manipulations over a period of hours to days before weigh-in ("making weight"). Strategies to support safer practices include minimal competition weight classification based on preseason body composition, reductions in the period between weigh-in and competition, and prohibition of unhealthy weight loss techniques. At an individual level, expert guidance by a sports nutrition professional can help an athlete to establish a pragmatic and long-term approach to BM management, recognizing the nuances of their sport, to achieve favorable outcomes for both health and performance.
... In this literature review, 17 relevant studies were found in which 8 studies were conducted in Europe (8,9,14,15,(27)(28)(29)(30), 7 studies in America (3,19,(31)(32)(33)(34)(35) and two of them in Asia (24, 36). The number of participants varied from 7 to 822 among the reviewed studies. ...
... The number of participants varied from 7 to 822 among the reviewed studies. The participants of the five studies included both genders (3,8,27,31,34), five studies included only men (9,28,33,35,36) and other studies did not determine the type of gender (14,15,19,24,29,30,32). Nine studies were conducted on the adolescents (8,9,14,24,28,30,32,34,35), five studies on the adults (15,19,27,31,33), and the other on both of them, the adolescents and the adults (3,29,36). ...
... The participants of the five studies included both genders (3,8,27,31,34), five studies included only men (9,28,33,35,36) and other studies did not determine the type of gender (14,15,19,24,29,30,32). Nine studies were conducted on the adolescents (8,9,14,24,28,30,32,34,35), five studies on the adults (15,19,27,31,33), and the other on both of them, the adolescents and the adults (3,29,36). Six studies examined judo (3,14,19,24,27,35), five studies taekwondo (19, 30,31,34), five studies wrestle (27,32,33,35,36), four studies box (9,15,24,28), two studies jujitsu (19, 35), two studies mixed marital arts (29,35), one study karate (19), and one of them considered any type of elite sport (Table 1) (8). In the current study, all reviewed studies were considered high quality based on the STROBE statement. ...
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Context: In most combat sports, athletes are classified according to their body weight, and many of them attempt to lose weight quickly. Objectives: Since the effects of rapid weight loss (RWL) on competitive performance are somewhat ambiguous, this study aims to review high-risk behaviors used for RWL, to assess food intake and anthropometric data in combat sports athletes, and to investigate the negative effects of RWL on physiological and health-related parameters. Methods: This systematic review study was conducted by searching the PubMed, Science Direct and Scopus databases using keywords, including (combat sports, RWL, high-risk behaviors) and (food intake, anthropometric measurements) from 2001 to 2017. After screening based on the title and abstract of identified studies, 17 articles met our inclusion criteria and were included in this review. Results: The results of the studies indicated a high prevalence of RWL among athletes, which was often due to reduced body fluids. At the same time, lower-level athletes often used more dangerous methods, such as fasting, skipping meal, and fluid restriction. This method can negatively affect athletes’ mental status and athletic performance. Conclusions: Regarding the negative effects of short-term adjustment of weight on physiological and mental function, further studies suggest athletes to consume a balanced and varied diet including all food groups.
... Rapid weight loss (RWL) is frequently practised in sports that have weight class restrictions (Khodaee, Olewinski, Shadgan, & Kiningham, 2015;Reale, Slater, & Burke, 2017a), including combat sports such as mixed martial arts (MMA) (Barley, Chapman, & Abbiss, 2019;Matthews, Stanhope, Godwin, Holmes, & Artioli, 2019). The weight-making practices of MMA athletes have recently been a subject of much interest (Andreato et al., 2014;Barley, Chapman, & Abbiss, 2018;Connor & Egan, 2019;Coswig, Fukuda, & Del Vecchio, 2015;Coswig et al., 2019;Crighton, Close, & Morton, 2016;Hillier et al., 2019;Jetton et al., 2013;Kasper et al., 2019;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017). Notably, the prevalence and magnitude of the RWL process is greater in MMA than other combat and weight category sports (Barley et al., 2019;Matthews et al., 2019), with the %body mass loss usually~5% to 10% in the week prior to competition (Barley et al., 2018;Coswig et al., 2015Coswig et al., , 2019Crighton et al., 2016;Hillier et al., 2019;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017). ...
... The weight-making practices of MMA athletes have recently been a subject of much interest (Andreato et al., 2014;Barley, Chapman, & Abbiss, 2018;Connor & Egan, 2019;Coswig, Fukuda, & Del Vecchio, 2015;Coswig et al., 2019;Crighton, Close, & Morton, 2016;Hillier et al., 2019;Jetton et al., 2013;Kasper et al., 2019;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017). Notably, the prevalence and magnitude of the RWL process is greater in MMA than other combat and weight category sports (Barley et al., 2019;Matthews et al., 2019), with the %body mass loss usually~5% to 10% in the week prior to competition (Barley et al., 2018;Coswig et al., 2015Coswig et al., , 2019Crighton et al., 2016;Hillier et al., 2019;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017). At both professional and amateur levels, these athletes are using strategies that reduce body water stores (e.g., water loading, fluid restriction, and increasing sweat losses through heat exposure) as the predominant methods of RWL (Barley et al., 2018;Connor & Egan, 2019;Hillier et al., 2019). ...
... A means of passive fluid loss known as hot baths has been briefly mentioned as part of weight-making practices in a number of case and small cohort studies (Brandt et al., 2018;Kasper et al., 2019;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017;Pettersson, Ekstrom, & Berg, 2013). We recently identified hot baths as a highly prevalent method of RWL in MMA athletes with 76% of a cohort of n = 29 male fighters reporting using hot baths "always" or "sometimes" (Connor & Egan, 2019). ...
Article
Hot water immersion, known as a hot bath, is used by MMA athletes to produce rapid weight loss (RWL) by means of passive fluid loss. This study investigated the magnitude of body mass losses using a standardized hot bath protocol with or without the addition of salt. In a crossover design, eleven male MMA athletes (28.5 ± 4.6 y; 1.83 ± 0.07 m; 82.5 ± 9.1 kg) performed a 20-min immersion at 37.8°C followed by a 40-min wrap in a warm room. This bath and wrap was performed twice per visit. During one visit, only fresh water was used (FWB), and in the other visit, magnesium sulphate (1.6% wt/vol) was added to the bath (SWB). Prior to each visit, 24 h of carbohydrate, fibre, and fluid restriction was undertaken as part of the RWL protocol. Body mass losses induced by the hot bath protocols were 1.63 ± 0.75 kg and 1.60 ± 0.80 kg for FWB and SWB, respectively, and equivalent to ~2.1% body mass. Under the conditions employed, the magnitude of body mass loss in SWB was similar to FWB. However, further research should explore bathing in a temperature that is consistent with that habitually used by fighters, and/or higher concentrations of salt.
... From the present study, a RWLS of 27.5 (13.5-34.5) was calculated ( (Matthews and Nicholas 2017). This sizable window to replenish fluid and dietary losses, increases temptation to use more acute, aggressive RWL strategies (Andreato et al. 2014). ...
... Numerous explanations could be accountable. Firstly, the lack of education available and rule enforcement from MMA governing bodies regarding, magnitude and techniques of RWL (Matthews and Nicholas 2017). Further, combat athletes have strong beliefs on the mental advantage of making weight -including competitive success (Petterson, Ekstrom and Berg 2013). ...
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The aim of the study was to investigate the eating attitudes and rapid weight loss (RWL) techniques of boxers. 16 male boxers (age 21.9±2.2 years; height 175.9±8.5cm; weight 69.3±8.4kg) of regional and national standard volunteered to participate in this study. Which has received University Ethics Committee approval. Participants were allocated 3 Eating Attitudes Tests (EAT-26) and 1 Rapid Weight Loss Questionnaire (RWLQ) in sealed envelopes, at a training session agreed prior with their coaches. Each EAT-26 was labelled with ‘pre’, ‘during’ and ‘post’ weight making cycle. Participants were required to reflect on previous weight making cycles, relating each response to the phase of weight making labelled. RWLQ was completed solely relating to the ‘during’ phase of weight cycles. Participants completed questionnaires outside the training environment. Researcher asked participants to complete forms with no person present and total honesty. Kruskal Wallis one-way analysis of variance determined significant differences in EAT-26 scores across the 3-time points (P<0.05). Dunn post hoc analysis revealed significant differences between during 18(3-48) and post 2(4-25) EAT-26 scores (P<0.05). 50% of the sample, for the during phase scored equal or above the EAT-26 threshold score (≥20). All participants reported previously using RWL methods to reach their competition weight category. Usual weight loss for competition was 4.8% (1.2%-10.6%); most weight loss for competition was 7.2% (1.3%-12.1%). Most common RWL methods reported were Gradual dieting (95%), Skipping meals (88%), Restricting fluid ingestion (89%) and Saunas (94%). Harmful RWL practices and eating behaviour was reported including: Binge eating episodes (50%), Laxative use (19%) and Self-induced vomiting (6%). This study highlights the transient nature of weight management behaviour and eating attitudes in boxers. However, these athletes often blur the line between necessary, sport-focussed eating attitudes and hazardous health behaviour.
... There is research indicating that drastic weight reduction negatively influences repeated-effort performance, while other studies show no impact on aerobic and anaerobic single or repeated physical tasks [3]. It seems that large magnitudes of weight loss (> 3% BM) over a short period of time (24-48h) are detrimental to strength speed performance, while weight loss over multiple days (5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12) using food restriction and fluid manipulation have not shown negative effects on performance [4]. Studies that show a negative impact of weight reduction usually relate to high intensity repeat effort performance up to 24h following the weight loss [5,6]. ...
... The recovery period between weight control and competition is usually 24h or less, which seems insufficient to recover the hydration status [6,7]. Some authors indicate that acute dehydration significantly alters electrolyte concentration which may influence cells fluid balance, and as a result impair the neuromuscular function [6,8]. There is little research investigating the acute effects of dehydration and rehydration on the neuromuscular function and anaerobic performance in combat sports. ...
... 2,13,14 Furthermore, it has been reported that following RWG, athletes may remain dehydrated based on urine osmolarity and urine specific gravity measurements despite recovering almost all body mass losses. [15][16][17] Additionally, total hemoglobin mass, blood volume, and blood glucose concentrations may be impaired before competing. 18,19 As such, the RWL and RWG associated with weight cutting may impact exercise capacity and have consequences for match performance. ...
... 1,14 Furthermore, a longer period of time (≥48 h) 55 may be required to completely recover from the RWL phase of weight cutting. Indeed, others [15][16][17]25 have shown significant cellular dehydration in combat sport athletes post-RWG between 24 and 36 hours. This may be due to a possible discrepancy between regain of body mass and complete cellular rehydration following RWL. ...
Article
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Weight cutting in combat sports is a prevalent practice whereby athletes voluntarily dehydrate themselves via various methods to induce rapid weight loss (RWL) to qualify for a lower weight category than that of their usual training body weight. The intention behind this practice is to regain the lost body mass and compete at a heavier mass than permitted by the designated weight category. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively synthesize the available evidence examining the effects of weight cutting on exercise performance in combat-sport athletes. Following a systematic search of the literature, meta-analyses were performed to compare maximal strength, maximal power, anaerobic capacity, and/or repeated high-intensity-effort performance before rapid weight loss (pre-RWL), immediately following RWL (post-RWL), and 3 to 36 hours after RWL following recovery and rapid weight gain (post-RWG). Overall, exercise performance was unchanged between pre-RWL and post-RWG ( g = 0.22; 95% CI, −0.18 to 0.62). Between pre-RWL and post-RWL analyses revealed small reductions in maximal strength and repeated high-intensity-effort performance ( g = −0.29; 95% CI, −0.54 to −0.03 and g = −0.37; 95% CI, −0.59 to −0.16, respectively; both P ≤ .03). Qualitative analysis indicates that maximal strength and power remained comparable between post-RWL and post-RWG. These data suggest that weight cutting in combat-sport athletes does not alter short-duration, repeated high-intensity-effort performance; however, there is evidence to suggest that select exercise performance outcomes may decline as a product of RWL. It remains unclear whether these are restored by RWG.
... The negative influence on physiological, physical performance, or psychological markers due to RWL remains, even after 24 h of recovery [73]. These problems might occur regardless of the time interval between weigh-in and the fight itself, as physiological parameters such as hydration status, salivary nitrate, and energy availability may not be restored enough [3,65,68,74]. Possibly, this behaviour is encouraged by the time between the official weigh-in and the fight (i.e., 12 to 32 h), which allows for weight recovery so that an athlete fights one to two categories above the official weigh-in [3,74]. ...
... These problems might occur regardless of the time interval between weigh-in and the fight itself, as physiological parameters such as hydration status, salivary nitrate, and energy availability may not be restored enough [3,65,68,74]. Possibly, this behaviour is encouraged by the time between the official weigh-in and the fight (i.e., 12 to 32 h), which allows for weight recovery so that an athlete fights one to two categories above the official weigh-in [3,74]. ...
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This review aimed to analyze the findings in the literature related to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) through an exploratory systematic review and to present the state of the art from a multifactorial perspective. The review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA statement, with a search performed in the Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science databases. Participants were competitive athletes (amateurs or professionals) of regional, national, or international levels. Of the 2763 registries identified, 112 studies met the eligibility criteria. The pooled sample size and age were 20,784 participants, with a mean age of 27.7 ± 6 years for male and 28.9 ± 3 years for female, with the vast majority of athletes being male (94.9%). MMA athletes were 17.2% amateurs, 73.8% professionals, and 9% were not reported. The scientific literature related to MMA reported injuries (n = 28), weight loss (n = 21), technical and tactical analysis (n = 23), physical fitness (n = 8), physiological responses and training characteristics (n = 13), psychobiological parameters (n = 12), and interventions applied to MMA athletes (n = 7). Therefore, this exploratory systematic review presents practitioners and researchers with seven broad summaries of each facet of performance of importance in this population of athletes.
... 9 Common forms of RWL are fluid restriction, dehydration by sweating, diuretics, laxatives, and "waterloading"-a method by which large volumes of fluid are consumed to manipulate renal hormones (eg, aldosterone) and urine output, resulting in further weight loss. 10,11 These strategies can lead to hypohydration and, subsequently, alterations to renal function, 12 immunoendocrine status, 13 brain ventricular volume, and metabolic activity. 14 Both cellular dehydration, induced by hypohydration or "water-cutting," and concussive events have been reported to impair central nervous system function. ...
... 21 Symptoms pertaining to heat stress and hypohydration are also reported to include headaches, dizziness, and increased perception of fatigue. 18,22 Despite the incidence of concussions and abundant use of RWL among combat athletes, 10,23 to date, there has been no study of both selfreported concussion and RWL symptoms in combat athletes or evaluation of their interrelationships. Therefore, the aims of this survey were to (1) investigate the differences in RWL and concussion symptom onset and recovery between combat sports and (2) evaluate the relationships between concussion and RWL symptoms among combat athletes who have previously suffered from a concussion and undergone RWL before competition. ...
Article
Objective: There is a high incidence of concussion and frequent utilization of rapid weight loss (RWL) methods among combat sport athletes, yet the apparent similarity in symptoms experienced as a result of a concussion or RWL has not been investigated. This study surveyed combat sports athletes to investigate the differences in symptom onset and recovery between combat sports and evaluated the relationships between concussion and RWL symptoms. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Data were collected through an online survey. Participants: One hundred thirty-two (115 male athletes and 17 female athletes) combat sport athletes. Interventions: Modified Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) symptom checklist and weight-cutting questionnaire. Main outcome measures: Survey items included combat sport discipline, weight loss, medical history, weight-cutting questionnaire, and concussion and weight-cutting symptom checklists. Results: Strong associations (rs = 0.6-0.7, P < 0.05) were observed between concussion and RWL symptoms. The most frequently reported symptom resolution times were 24 to 48 hours for a weight cut (WC; 59%) and 3 to 5 days for a concussion (43%), with 60% to 70% of athletes reporting a deterioration and lengthening of concussion symptoms when undergoing a WC. Most of the athletes (65%) also reported at least one WC in their career to "not go according to plan," resulting in a lack of energy (83%) and strength/power (70%). Conclusions: Rapid weight loss and concussion symptoms are strongly associated, with most of the athletes reporting a deterioration of concussion symptoms during a WC. The results indicate that concussion symptoms should be monitored alongside hydration status to avoid any compound effects of prior RWL on the interpretation of concussion assessments and to avoid potential misdiagnoses among combat athletes.
... Cases of more significant weight cuts are recognized, although, and are a reality of certain sports, such as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) (Barley et al., 2018). In British athletes preparing for an MMA event, Matthews and Nicholas (2017) observed that the loss in the pre-competition week was close to 8% of the body mass. However, 32 h after weighing, the athlete's recovery was about 11.7%. ...
... According to Coswig et al. (2019), the ability to regain weight is associated with competitive success in MMA. These more significant magnitude weight cuts should be analyzed to assess the effect on performance measures following a standard recovery period (Matthews and Nicholas, 2017;Coswig et al., 2019). A significant number of athletes can lose more than 5% of their body mass, which could be potentially dangerous for the participant's health and safety and detrimental for physical performance (Barley et al., 2018;Coswig et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Given the relevance of the effects that weight loss can generate on the physical performance in athletes, this study performed a systematic review with meta-analysis of the published literature on rapid weight loss (RWL) and examined its impact on the physical performance in Official Olympic combat sports athletes. The "Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis" (PRISMA) guidelines were followed to ensure an ethical and complete reporting of the findings. PubMed, SPORT Discus, and EBSCO were the electronic databases explored for article retrieval and selection. The following string was applied: "RWL" OR "weight loss" OR "weight reduction" AND "judo" OR "wrestling" or "taekwondo" or "boxing" AND "performance." Based on the quality analysis, conducted according to the "Tool for the assessment of study quality and reporting in exercise training studies" (TESTEX), ten articles achieved a score >6 points. The meta-analysis showed a significant difference in pre-vs. post-weight loss (p = 0.003) and no effects in pre-vs. post-power and strength performance analysis (p > 0.05 for both results). Based on our systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature, RWL up to ≤5% of the body mass in less than 7 days does not influence performance outcomes in Official Olympic combat athletes with weight classes, considering the strength and power measures.
... Also, the authors concluded that the change of time in official weigh-in from the day before the matches to the same day is a useful precaution that can prevent athletes from severe weight loss and weight gain. In mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes, AWG was much higher compared to judo and wrestling (7.4±2.8 kg, ~11.7%) (Matthews & Nicholas, 2017) which has been clearly supported by previous studies with evidence that MMA athletes resort to extreme rapid weight loss and gain before competition (Hillier et al., 2019;Jetton et al., 2013;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017). In line with our findings, Pettersson and Berg (2014) also stated higher magnitude of AWG in evening weigh-in group compared to morning weigh-in group. ...
... Also, the authors concluded that the change of time in official weigh-in from the day before the matches to the same day is a useful precaution that can prevent athletes from severe weight loss and weight gain. In mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes, AWG was much higher compared to judo and wrestling (7.4±2.8 kg, ~11.7%) (Matthews & Nicholas, 2017) which has been clearly supported by previous studies with evidence that MMA athletes resort to extreme rapid weight loss and gain before competition (Hillier et al., 2019;Jetton et al., 2013;Matthews & Nicholas, 2017). In line with our findings, Pettersson and Berg (2014) also stated higher magnitude of AWG in evening weigh-in group compared to morning weigh-in group. ...
Article
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This study aimed to investigate the effect of weigh-in time on hydration status and acute weight gain (AWG). Twenty-seven men judo athletes and 23 men wrestlers voluntarily participated in this study. Body mass and urine specific gravity (USG) of the athletes were measured just before official weigh-in and competition. Two-way analysis of variance (split-plot ANOVA) with repeated measurements (time x sport) were used to determine differences in AWG and USG between groups and measurement times. In case of significant difference between sports, t-tests were applied. There was a significant main effect of time (p<0.01, ES=0.25) on USG. A significant difference was found in USG between official weigh-in and start of the competition in wrestlers (p<0.01) but not in judo athletes. There was significant difference in AWG and AWG% between sports (p<0.01). Moreover, most of the athletes presented high level of dehydration before both official weigh-in and competition. In conclusion, judo athletes could not rehydrate as much as wrestlers despite 15h of recovery. It can be suggested that the period between official weigh-in and competition would be shortened to prevent non-optimal hydration status and rapid weight gain, with caution to allow sufficient recovery period.
... However, there is an information gap concerning the detrimental effects of extreme dieting for certain newer sports. Mixed martial arts (MMA) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) have recently increased in popularity (4,5) and the expansion has led to media exposure and debate on unhealthy weight loss among especially MMA athletes (6)(7)(8). For this reason, martial arts organizations need informed practices to keep their athletes in good health. ...
Article
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Background: Extreme dieting is a well-known phenomenon in combat sports, and still, little research has explored the link between extreme dieting and confidence levels among martial artists. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, extreme dieting and sport-specific self-confidence among 111 Swedish athletes practicing mixed martial arts (MMA) or Brazilian jiujitsu (BJJ) were examined. Athletes completed an online survey containing the Eating Disorder Examination questionnaire (EDE-Q) and the Trait Sport-Confidence inventory (TSCI). Results: The results showed that MMA athletes dieted in more extreme ways than BJJ athletes, primarily via restricted eating. They also had higher sport-specific self-confidence, which was positively correlated with weight loss. BJJ athletes used less restrictive eating than MMA athletes, but those who did diet in extreme ways experienced lower self-confidence compared to MMA athletes. Conclusions: The results are consistent with previous studies showing rapid weight loss in MMA athletes and suggest that some martial artists are at a particular risk of extreme dieting and possible sequelae. There is a link between self-confidence and weight loss, but it seems to allude to a comprehensive explanation and is in need of further research.
... (~11.7%) from official weigh-in to an hour before the competition [39]. Another study by Alderman et al. [40] stated that wrestlers gained an average of 3.4 kg or 4.81% gain of body mass between official weigh-in and competition. ...
Article
Objectives The International Judo Federation (IJF) implemented new regulations in an attempt to regulate rapid weight loss in 2013. The body weight of the athletes cannot be more than 5 % higher than the upper limits of their weight categories at the weight check for randomly selected athletes from each weight category before the competition. However, there is a lack of studies demonstrating rapid weight loss and hydration status of elite judo athletes in a real match atmosphere under the current refereeing rules. Thus, this study aimed to examine body mass and hydration changes of elite judo athletes a week before the competition, official weigh-in, and 24 hours after competition. Methods Eight high-level male judo athletes voluntarily participated in this study. Body mass and urinary measures of hydration status were collected a week before, at the official weigh-in and 24-hour post-weigh-in. Results One-way repeated-measures ANOVA showed a significant main effect of time on body mass (p<0.001). Body mass decreased by 5.4±0.7 kg or 6.8% from a week before the competition to official weigh-in (p<0.001) and increased by 3.0±1.1 kg or 4.2% from official weigh-in to 24-h post-competition (p<0.001). A significant effect of time was also found in both urine specific gravity (USG) (p<0.001) and urine colour (UC) among measurements (p=0.001). Athletes’ USG values were at the highest level (USG=1.030±0.001) at the official weigh-in while they decreased significantly at 24-hour post-competition (USG=1.017±0.007). Conclusion The results showed that elite judo athletes resort to rapid weight loss and present dehydration despite the established regulations by IJF.
... Although fighters may begin re-feeding and re-hydration immediately after weigh-in, previous studies have found dehydration to be highly prevalent among fighters at the time of competition. [44][45][46] Dehydration secondary to rapid cutting of weight may worsen TBI-induced neurotrauma, 47,48 potentially contributing to the observed association of lighter weight class with worse outcomes on a per-fight basis. This effect would likely only persist during the acute period following dehydration, and as such would only alter the impact of TBIs sustained during professional bouts. ...
Article
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common source of functional impairment among athletes, military personnel, and the general population. Professional fighters in both boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) are at particular risk for repetitive TBI and may provide valuable insight into both the pathophysiology of TBI and its consequences. Currently, effects of fighter weight class on brain volumetrics (regional and total) and functional outcomes are unknown. Fifty-three boxers and 103 MMA fighters participating in the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study (PRBHS) underwent volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neuropsychological testing. Fighters were divided into lightweight (≤139.9 lb), middleweight (140.0–178.5 lb), and heavyweight (>178.5 lb). Compared with lightweight fighters, heavyweights displayed greater yearly reductions in regional brain volume (boxers: bilateral thalami; MMA: left thalamus, right putamen) and functional performance (boxers: processing speed, simple and choice reaction; MMA: Trails A and B tests). Lightweights suffered greater reductions in regional brain volume on a per-fight basis (boxers: left thalamus; MMA: right putamen). Heavyweight fighters bore greater yearly burden of regional brain volume and functional decrements, possibly related to differing fight dynamics and force of strikes in this division. Lightweights demonstrated greater volumetric decrements on a per-fight basis. Although more research is needed, greater per-fight decrements in lightweights may be related to practices of weight-cutting, which may increase vulnerability to neurodegeneration post-TBI. Observed decrements associated with weight class may result in progressive impairments in fighter performance, suggesting interventions mitigating the burden of TBI in professional fighters may both improve brain health and increase professional longevity.
... Na maioria das competições oficiais as divisões dos atletas são feitas em sete categorias de peso, tanto no masculino quanto no feminino. Para se enquadrar nas categorias de peso, muitos judocas tem com praxe a perda de peso corporal, geralmente próximo as competições, na busca de se enquadra em uma categoria de peso inferior ao seu peso corporal real (ARTIOLI; FRANCHINI; LANCHA JUNIOR, 2006;BORDIGNON;ESCOBAR, 2015;ARTIOLI et al.,2016;BERKOVICH et al.,2016;NICHOLAS, 2017). ...
... Although the prevalence of RWL is equivalent to other weight category sports, the magnitude and severity of RWL is generally lower. The average RWL of ;3.0% body mass across the group in preparation for competition is lower than what has been observed in combat sports in general (4,7,15,25), but especially so in comparison with RWL reported for mixed martial arts (MMA), which ranges from ;6 to ;11% (4,10,15,20). Using the RWL score to compare the severity of RWL with other sports demonstrates that the RWL score of ;25 reported by this cohort is lower than previously reported in the literature for combat sports, e.g., scores of ;31 reported in boxing, judo, taekwondo, and wrestling (25), and ;38 reported in MMA (9). ...
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Nolan, D, Lynch, AE, and Egan, B. Self-reported prevalence, magnitude, and methods of rapid weight loss in male and female competitive powerlifters. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2019-Rapid weight loss (RWL) is common practice in weight category sports, but no empirical data exist documenting the weight-making practices of competitive strength athletes. This study investigated the self-reported prevalence, magnitude, and methods of RWL used by male and female powerlifters when preparing for competition. Competitive powerlifters (n = 321; M/F, 194/127) completed an anonymous online questionnaire previously validated for assessment of methods of RWL. Respondents were categorized by their federation's respective antidoping policy, weigh-in procedure, and degree of assistive equipment allowed, in addition to their use or not of RWL. Subgroup analyses were performed on the largest category of respondents (n = 200, M/F, 117/83; ≤2-hour weigh-in, drug-tested, "raw") based on sex, weight category, and competitive status. Prevalence of RWL was 85.8%, with an average RWL of 3.0 ± 1.9% body mass and an RWL score of 25.1 ± 7.4. Neither sex nor weight category influenced the RWL score, but in male athletes, a lower RWL score (22.7 ± 6.3) was reported in athletes in the lowest tertile of the Wilks score (p = 0.015). Frequencies of "always use" were reported as 54.0% for fluid restriction and 49.0% for water loading. Coaches (37.5%) and online resources (35.0%) were "very influential" on RWL practices in these athletes, while doctors (85.5%) and dieticians (63.0%) were reported to be "not influential." The prevalence of RWL is high in competitive powerlifting, and the methods used are akin to other weight category sports, but the reported RWL scores are lower than reported in combat sports with longer recovery periods after weigh-in.
... All participants had previous experience with professional UFC events, rules and procedures. No interferences were made in the training process, nutritional or hydration status and the athletes maintained the weight loss recovery time 24 hours between official weigh-in and the bout (Brandt et al., 2018;Coswig et al., 2018;Jetton et al., 2013;Matthews and Nicholas, 2016). The inclusion criteria considered only bouts with three-rounds, including knockout (KO), technical knockout (TKO), submission and score decisions (split and unanimous), and we excluded bouts with more than three rounds and/or with characteristics that disqualified prospective outcomes comparisons -bouts which finished in "draw" or "no contest". ...
Article
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This study compared grappling motor actions of male mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes considering outcome types from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bouts. A validated protocol of technical-tactical analysis was utilized as in previous studies addressing MMA performance analysis, and Kruskall Wallis and U Mann-Whitney tests were applied to compare effects of types of outcome decisions (Split vs. Unanimous Decision vs. Knockout-KO/Technical-knockout-TKO vs. Submission). Unanimous Decision showed higher frequencies of takedowns attempted/round than KO/TKO and Submission outcomes (p ≤ 0.05; 1.9 ± 1.9 vs. 1.3 ± 1.4 vs. 1.0 ± 1.1 attempts). Bouts with Split Decision demonstrated higher takedowns/round than bouts ended by Submission (p = 0.048; 0.4 ± 0.7 vs. 0.2 ± 0.6 attempts). TKO/KO showed lower values of sweeps/round (p = 0.008, 0.0 ± 0.0 vs. 0.1 ± 0.3 attempts) and takedowns attempted/round (p = 0.014, 1.3 ± 1.4 vs. 2.0 ± 1.6 attempts) than bouts ending by Split Decision. The Submission outcome showed a higher frequency of submissions attempted/round than KO/TKO and Unanimous Decision (p ≤ 0.041, 0.3 ± 0.7 vs 0.2 ± 0.5 vs 0.2 ± 0.5). These results show a large specificity in the type of grappling attack/situation according to the strategy to end the combat. These results also show that the grappling strategy and tactics are variable depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the athletes, and can be used by coaches and athletes to develop specific training programs.
... For example, in athletes involved in combat sports, it is common practice to lose body weight quickly before a match and then increasing it a few hours after the weigh-in. 65 Although this practice entails considerable health risks, it continues to be widely used. From a study conducted on combat sports athletes during the 2013 high Spanish national championships, 84% of participants were hypohydrated at weigh-in, and among them, 50% were severely hypohydrated. ...
Article
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Based on the assumption that a significant buffering capacity is able to attenuate the negative pH changes associated with high intensity physical exercise, numerous studies have been focused on the effects the exogenous administration of sodium citrate (SC) on human performance. However, the exact mechanisms of action of citrates have never been accurately described and results obtained so far often failed to demonstrate a significant advantage, mainly to an unfavorable relationship between achievable benefits and risk of side effects. In recent years, new evidence has emerged on the fields of use of SC supplementation in sports thus providing the theoretical basis for its use after dehydrating exercise to promote a fast fluid recovery. The aim of this review is to highligths recent experimental observations that could provide new interest in this buffering agent.
... All participants had previous experience with professional UFC events, rules, and procedures used during the event. No modifications were made in the training, nutritional, or hydration status of participants and they maintained the weight loss recovery time pattern of 24 hours between official weigh-in and the bout, following UFC rules (9,11). The inclusion criteria considered only the scheduled 3 bouts (including KO/TKO and submission bout endings), whereas the exclusion criteria were concerning bouts with referee's decision or with more than 3 rounds and/or with characteristics that disqualified prospective outcome comparisons-bouts that finished in "draw" or "no contest." ...
Article
Abstract Antoniettô, NR, Bello, FD, Carrenho Queiroz, AC, Berbert de Carvalho, PH, Brito, CJ, Amtmann, J, and Miarka, B. Suggestions for professional mixed martial arts training with pacing strategy and technical-tactical actions by rounds. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2019—This study compared the pacing strategy and motor actions used in mixed martial arts combats ending by knockout/technical knockout (KO/TKO) or submission. All of the sample bouts ended in KO/TKO and consisted of 1,564 rounds of 678 bouts. The bouts were separated by round (R) of bouts ending (ER) in the first round (n = 192), first (1R × 2ER) and second (2R × 2ER) of bouts ending in the second round (n = 172), and first (1R × 3ER), second (2R × 3ER), and third (3R × 3ER) of bouts ending in the third round (n = 1,200). The analyses were performed according to the duration ([INCREMENT]) in each phase: [INCREMENT] standing preparatory activity time, [INCREMENT] standing combat activity time, [INCREMENT] ground preparatory activity time, and [INCREMENT] ground combat activity time and their technical-tactical actions (attempted and landed strikes to the head, body and leg, takedowns, and submissions). The main results demonstrated a shorter [INCREMENT] standing preparatory activity time in 1R × 1ER (95.6 ± 62.9 seconds) and 2R × 2ER (93.6 ± 67.9 seconds) vs. 2R × 3ER (160.5 ± 87.4 seconds) and 3R × 3ER (144.0 ± 88.5 seconds) with fewer strikes attempted and landed to the head, body, and legs (p ≤ 0.05). No differences were observed (p > 0.05) between [INCREMENT] standing combat activity time, but lower attempted and landed takedowns and strikes to the head, body, and leg frequencies. There were shorter [INCREMENT] ground combat activity time (p ≤ 0.05) in 1R × 1ER (23.4 ± 45.5) and 2R × 2ER (25.3 ± 41.9) vs. 2R × 3ER (50.4 ± 69.9) and 3R × 3ER (52.9 ± 74.2), with lower attempted submissions, chokes, and attempted and landed strikes to the head, body, and leg frequencies observed. These results contribute to the information developed from current research to help improve the quality of training and promote effective athletic preparation related to pacing strategy and performance models.
... The previous study reported that when mixed-martial-arts competitors lost weight by 5.6 kg (8.0%) over six days with dehydration such as gradual dieting, restricting fluids, hot salt baths, increasing exercise, using a sauna, and/or water loading, 57% of them showed a higher urine osmolality on the day before official weigh-in than baseline. 29 although we cannot assert our participant's hydration status because we did not measure it, we expected that the male wrestlers who decreased over 4.9% of their BM might have felt lassitude and impaired mobility because they had employed dehydration as their prime strategy for weight loss. ...
Article
Background: Amateur wrestlers have often undergone rapid weight loss (RWL) to win their matches. On January 1, 2018, the rule of weigh-in was changed and weight category increased. The study aimed to determine the prevalence of wrestlers undergoing RWL under the new rule of morning weigh-in before the tournament and examine the relationship between the range of RWL and physical conditions. Methods: Male (n = 204) and female (n = 50) wrestlers participating in the National Wrestling Championship completed a questionnaire about weight reduction methods and their physical condition. Results: Among 159 participants exceeding their weight class one-week before competition, 36% of males and 44% of females exceeded their weight class by 0.0-4.9% (requiring small RWL); 30% of males and 6% of females exceeded by 5.0-10.0% (requiring large RWL), but neither the males nor females were over 10.0% above required weight. In the males, there was a moderate negative correlation between excess rates of body mass one-week before competition and their physical condition (r = -0.330 to -0.467, P < 0.05) on the first day of the competition; however, no significant correlation was found in the females. Comparing physical condition according to the range of RWL, there were significantly lower scores in the large RWL group (≥ 4.9%) than the small RWL group (< 4.9%) in males. Conclusions: We found that RWL ≤ 5% is most appropriate to ensure better physical condition of wrestlers on competition day.
... All participants had previous experience in professional UFC events and of the rules and procedures used during the championships. No interference was made to the training, nutritional or hydration status of participants and they maintained the weight loss recovery time pattern of 24 hours between Official weigh-in and the bout, following UFC rules [Jetton et al. 2013;Matthews Nicholas 2016]. The criteria for inclusion were to consider only bouts with three rounds (including knockout, technical knockout, submission and score decisions), while the exclusion criteria concerned bouts with more than three rounds and/or with characteristics that disqualified prospective outcomes comparisons -bouts which finished in "draw" or "no contest". ...
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Background. A schematic analysis of tactical performance by an MMA athlete is a potential mediator of success, and can help the understanding of how striking actions can be used to organize technical-tactical actions. A specific evaluation of MMA striking actions has not been undertaken in previous studies. Problem and aim. To compare the striking motor actions of MMA athletes by outcome type (Split vs. Unanimous Score Decision vs. KO/TKO vs. Submission) at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC™), and to offer a practical application for MMA training. Methods. Kruskal Wallis and Dunn post hoc tests were applied to compare the effects of the different types of outcome decision (Split Score Decision vs. Unanimous Score Decision vs. KO/TKO vs. Submission). Results. Results showed a higher number of Unanimous than Split Decisions and Submissions after attempted (p≤0.05) and (p≤0.05) landed head strikes during keeping distance and clinch moments. A Split Decision followed a higher frequency of attempted (p≤0.05) and landed (p≤0.05) body strikes during keeping distance and clinch moments rather than an Unanimous Decision. Submission and TKO/KO.TKO/KO were more highly demonstrated than Split Decision after Attempted [0.0 (0.0;2.0); p≤0.05)] and Landed [0.0 (0.0;2.0); p≤0.05)] Head Jabs during groundwork combat. Conclusions. These results are interesting because they show the singularities of two situations (Split and Unanimous Scores) in which the bout must continue until the end of the round. Unanimous decisions were made in respect of attacks to the head during stand up combat, while split decisions were determined by the number of strike actions oriented to the body, and TKO/KO outcomes were determined by jabs to the head made in the ground situation.
... [33]Study results are equivocal when it comes to performance. Some studies report unchanged or improved performance in certain tests after Weight loss in athletes, despite loss of IBM [34] There are several risks related to rapid Weight loss and Weight cycling, such as depressed immune activity [35][36][37], [38] indicate that supplying HMB promotes advantageous changes in body composition and stimulates an increase in aerobic and anaerobic capacity in combat sports athletes. ...
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Purpose:The purpose of this study was to determine the ultimate body mass, performance, and nutritional characteristics of the Algerian judo junior athletes, and also analysing the impact of nutritional intakes on stabilising Weight loss according to special performance of judo athletes. Material:Twenty-one male university athletes (aged: 21.45 ± 1.32; height: 1.81 ± 0.45 m; and body mass: 73.9 ± 4.1 kg) participated in this study during a period of stabilising Weight loss before and after 15 days of caloric restriction. Athletes were submitted to anthropometrical measurements and performed the Special Judo Fitness Test. Values for nutrient intakes were obtained from a 15 day food record kept during a training camp period of Weight maintenance and after a 15-day caloric restriction.Results:caloric restriction resulted in significant decreases in body mass (73.73 ± 2.1) and performance. However, Special Judo Fitness Test index increased significantly (14.00 ± 1.75) during caloric restriction in comparison to stabilising Weight loss.Conclusion:Exercise and caloric restriction lead to determine the ultimate Weight and physical performance. The present study provides baseline nutritional data that can be used in the prescription of individual training programs for university judo Athletes.
... This is particularly useful in Silat given the limited time between the weigh-in and the fight for refuelling. Finally, water loading is a popular weight making practice in combat sport athletes, particularly in mixed-martial arts [9,10,16]. It involves consuming large volumes of fluid (> 7 L/day) followed by sudden fluid restriction to induce fluid losses through manipulation of the renal hormones. ...
Article
Weight making behaviours and best practice recommendations for various combat sports have been well documented, however this is not true for Silat athletes. Pre- and post- weigh-in recommendations for other combat sports may not be suitable for Silat due to differences in weigh-in rules. Using a well-established questionnaire, this questionnaire-based cross sectional study examined weight making practices of Silat match athletes (n = 102) competing at a national Pencak Silat championship. The 24.5% of athletes engaged in pre-competition weight loss, and the overall Rapid Weight Loss Score (RWLS) was 27.7 ± 8.7, considerably lower than other combat sports. The median age when weight loss began was 17 years, with 32% (n = 8) starting such practices under 17 years. Risky weight management practices such as the use of laxatives, diet pills and vomiting were less common than in other combat sports. Coaches and fellow athletes are key influencers of weight making practices, and dietitians were found be an underutilised resource. Appropriate measures to empower coaches and athletes with the knowledge and ability to guide and execute less detrimental weight making practice with the involvement of dietitians are suggested. The study findings provide information to establish Silat-specific dietary strategies to improve health and performance.
... Dehydration to the extent of 2-7% of body mass negatively affects endurance exercise performance in cycling time-trial type exercise; in marathon and triathlon races, the effects of dehydration could change [16]. In this regard, a significant linear relationship between the degree of body weight loss and race finish time has been demonstrated, with the greatest body weight loss being positively related to the best racing times [12,22,29,30]. ...
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Functional beverages represent a palatable and efficient way to hydrate and reintegrate electrolytes, carbohydrates, and other nutrients employed and/or lost during physical training and/or competitions. Bodily hydration during sporting activity is one of the best indicators of health in athletes and can be a limiting factor for sport performance. Indeed, dehydration strongly decreases athletic performance until it is a risk to health. As for other nutrients, each of them is reported to support athletes’ needs both during the physical activity and/or in the post-workout. In this study, we review the current knowledge of macronutrient-enriched functional beverages in sport taking into account the athletes’ health, sports performance, and recovery.
... Many athletes employ weight loss strategies to enhance body composition and achieve health or performance goals. In particular, weight class sports, such as mixed-martialarts and weightlifting (Barley et al. 2018;da Silva Santos et al. 2016;Matthews and Nicholas 2017), or those with an aesthetic component, such as body building and gymnastics (Bloodworth et al. 2017;Fagerberg 2018), typically necessitate body composition modification around training and competition. Athletes may achieve their desired body composition through a reduction in energy intake while Communicated by Kirsty Elliott-Sale. ...
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Purpose Increasing protein intake during energy restriction (ER) attenuates lean body mass (LBM) loss in trained males. However, whether this relationship exists in trained females is unknown. This study examined the impact of higher compared to lower protein intakes (35% versus 15% of energy intake) on body composition in trained females during 2 weeks of severe ER. Methods Eighteen well-trained females completed a 1-week energy balanced diet (HD100), followed by a 2-week hypoenergetic (40% ER) diet (HD60). During HD60, participants consumed either a high protein (HP; 35% protein, 15% fat) or lower protein (CON; 15% protein, 35% fat) diet. Body composition, peak power, leg strength, sprint time, and anaerobic endurance were assessed at baseline, pre-HD60, and post-HD60. Results Absolute protein intake was reduced during HD60 in the CON group (from 1.6 to 0.9 g·d·kgBM⁻¹) and maintained in the HP group (~ 1.7 g·d·kgBM⁻¹). CON and HP groups decreased body mass equally during HD60 (− 1.0 ± 1.1 kg; p = 0.026 and − 1.1 ± 0.7 kg; p = 0.002, respectively) and maintained LBM. There were no interactions between time point and dietary condition on exercise performance. Conclusion The preservation of LBM during HD60, irrespective of whether absolute protein intake is maintained or reduced, contrasts with findings in trained males. In trained females, the relationship between absolute protein intake and LBM change during ER warrants further investigation. Future recommendations for protein intake during ER should be expressed relative to body mass, not total energy intake, in trained females.
... When compared with other combat sports (Alderman 2004;Davis et al., 2001;Kiningham & Gorenflo, 2001;Kordi et al., 2011;Morton et al., 2010;Oppliger, Steen & Scott, 2003), the magnitude of weight loss reported by MMA athletes (e.g. 10% in the 24 h prior to weigh-in) (Matthews & Nicholas, 2017) has been identified as a cause for concern in both the literature (Crighton, Close & Morton, 2016) and televised media (Ralph, 2017). The sport has experienced two weight-cutting induced fatalities (Barrabi, 2013;Okamoto, 2017) as well as health problems (e.g. ...
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The aim of the present case study was to quantify the physiological and metabolic impact of extreme weight cutting by an elite male MMA athlete. Throughout an 8-week period, we obtained regular assessments of body composition, resting metabolic rate (RMR), VO2peak and blood clinical chemistry to assess endocrine status, lipid profiles, hydration and kidney function. The athlete adhered to a "phased" weight loss plan consisting of 7 weeks of reduced energy (ranging from 1300 - 1900 kcal.d-1) intake (phase 1), 5 days of water loading with 8 L per day for 4 days followed by 250 ml on day 5 (phase 2), 20 h fasting and dehydration (phase 3) and 32 h of rehydration and refuelling prior to competition (phase 4). Body mass declined by 18.1 % (80.2 to 65.7 kg) corresponding to changes of 4.4, 2.8 and 7.3 kg in phase 1, 2 and 3, respectively. We observed clear indices of relative energy deficiency, as evidenced by reduced RMR (-331 kcal), inability to complete performance tests, alterations to endocrine hormones (testosterone: <3 nmol.L-1) and hypercholesterolemia (>6 mmol.L-1). Moreover, severe dehydration (reducing body mass by 9.3%) in the final 24 hours prior to weigh-in induced hypernatremia (plasma sodium: 148 mmol.L-1) and acute kidney injury (serum creatinine: 177 μmol.L-1). These data therefore support publicised reports of the harmful (and potentially fatal) effects of extreme weight cutting in MMA athletes and represent a call for action to governing bodies to safeguard the welfare of MMA athletes.
... In this study, the percentage of change after the RWL intervention was between 3.5% and 4.4% for women and men, respectively. It has been shown previously that reductions in body mass between 5.3-9.1% have deleterious effects on muscle and cognitive performance [25], which is common within the unsupervised practices in MMA and sports with weight classes, including combat sports [2,26]. Actually, there is a higher risk of adverse effects when the loss is higher than 5% of body mass, and athletes in the highest percentiles of RWL (reductions between 8-10% in body mass after RWL) may be at greater risk of an adverse event, such as decrement in physical performance, feeling fatigue or weakness, dizziness, feverishness, nausea, or cramps, among others [8]. ...
Article
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Making weight is a practice often used in combat sports. This consists of a rapid weight loss (RWL) and a subsequent rapid weight gain (RWG) in the days preceding competition. However, this practice is often carried out based on anecdotal information provided by ex-athletes or non-professionals, which has led to several adverse events. This study aimed to assess the acute effects of a supervised nutritional period of RWL/RWG on health markers, hormone concentrations, and body composition. We performed a single-arm repeated-measures (baseline, after RWL and after RWG) clinical trial with twenty-one (8F:16M) Italian Muay Thai fighters. Body mass was significantly lower after the RWL (−4.1%) while there was a significantly higher glucose availability after RWL and RWG. Blood urea nitrogen, lipid profile, and creatinine were within the normal range after RWL/RWG. Testosterone decrease significantly after RWL and RWG in the men group. Male fighters had a significant reduction in thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration after the RWL and RWG intervention, but no change was found in women at pre-competition. Bioelectrical parameters were almost fully restored after RWG. An evidence-based and individualized nutrition methodology reduces the adverse events after an RWL and RWG practice, although the impact on the hormonal profile is inevitable.
... use the most effective technical elements of one or two martial arts during fights, significantly limits the possibilities for tactical construction of the combat algorithm and reduces their chances of winning in comparison with athletes owning to a large number of technical arsenals. At the same time, leading experts in this field of sports [James et al. 2016;Iermakov et al. 2016;Matthews et al. 2017] analysed the research results by indicating that effective tactics of fighting gives great advantages even for fighters who may be inferior in terms of technical training. These judgements cause great discussion among the athletes, the world's leading trainers, as well as among scientists in the field of sports, sports physiology and biochemistry. ...
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Purpose - to develop models for Mixed Martial Arts athletes power training, depending on the predominance of the strike or the wrestling style in fighting, and also to determine the impact of the proposed training loads on increasing the functional ability of their bodies. Methods. We examined 30 athletes aged 20-22 who were involved in Mixed Martial Arts fights over the last 2 years. Half the fighters use the strike style in the course of combat, and the rest specialise in the wrestling style. To assess the effectiveness of the occupation models we developed, we used the control testing method of the level of power capabilities development. With the help of the biochemical control of cortisol concentrations in the blood serum of the fighters, we determined the manifestation of adaptive- compensatory reactions of the body to various power loads. Results. It was established that the optimal power loads for fighters using the strike style of fighting was to use a high-intensity regime when working with an alactate or lactate energy supply system. In turn, the most effective power loads, for the maximum realisation of functional potential in athletes prioritising the wrestling style during the fight, was the use of low-intensity regimes with a large amount of work in the glycolytic power supply system. Conclusions. The analysis of the results obtained during the experiment demonstrates the need for using models of training sessions developed in the process of power training of MMA fighters, taking into account the particular fighting style.
... In fact, there is evidence that the interval between the official weigh in and the beginning of competition is not long enough to guarantee full recovery, as 39% of mixed martial arts athletes still exhibit serious dehydration 22 h after the official weigh-in. 32 Considering that these athletes normally reduce approximately 8.0 ±1.8% of their body mass 33 and typically regain 4% in the 22 h interval, 32 the results of the present study are likely still in the range of the difference between weight loss and regain for mixed martial arts. When judo is considered, the typical interval between weigh in and the start of competition is approximately 15-16 h, as the athletes weigh-in the night preceding the competition (7 p.m.) which starts at 10 a.m. the next day. ...
Article
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Purpose: The objective of this study was to examine the effects of rapid and progressive weight loss (RWL and PWL) on balance, reaction time, and strength in a group of elite judo athletes. Methods: 38 female and male judo athletes (age = 20.6 ± 2.6 years) completed balance, reaction time, and strength assessments one week prior to an official weigh-in (pre-test) and immediately after the weigh-in (post-test). The judo athletes were divided into three groups, one control group who maintained regular training and eating habits, one experimental group who engaged in PWL (<3% reductions in body mass) and a second experimental group who used RWL techniques (>3% reductions in body mass). Results: RWL group showed significant decreases (p<0.05) in balance performance (Ellipse area: 4.83±0.87 vs. 6.31±1.39 mm2 with eyes closed; Mean Mediolateral Velocity: 2.07±0.2 vs. 2.52±0.45 mms-1 with eyes closed; Mean Anteroposterior Velocity: 2.25±0.20 vs. 2.51±0.32 mms-1 with eyes open and 2.44±0.26 vs. 3.06±0.56 mms-1 with eyes closed) and reaction time (0.38±0.04 vs. 0.42±0.06 seconds) with no changes in strength from pre- to post-testing. The judo athletes in the progressive weight loss and control groups maintained performance in all variables. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate negative effects on perceptual motor skill performance in judo athletes engaging in rapid weight loss strategies prior to competition.
... Weight-categorized sports athletes, such as those participating in wrestling, judo and boxing, often reduce their weight via food/fluid restriction, saunas and training in rubber/plastic suits. After being weighed, they regain their weight rapidly by consuming food/fluids in order to obtain a physical or mental advantage over their opponent(s) before competitions [1][2][3]. However, severe rapid weight loss (RWL; >5% of body mass (BM)) over the course of just one week induces dehydration [4,5], heatstroke [6] and in the most severe cases, even death [7]. ...
Article
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We investigated the effect of rapid weight loss (RWL) and weight regain (WR) on thoracic gas volume (VTG) and body composition assessment using air displacement plethysmography (ADP) in male wrestlers. Eight male elite collegiate wrestlers completed a RWL regimen (6% of body mass) over a 53-h period, which was followed by a 13-h WR period. ADP was used at three time points (baseline (T1), post-RWL (T2) and post-WR (T3)) according to the manufacturer’s testing recommendations. The total body water and bone mineral content were estimated using the stable isotope dilution method and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, respectively, at the same time points. Body composition was assessed with two-component (2C) or four-component (4C) models using either the measured VTG (mVTG) or predicted VTG (pVTG). Measured VTG increased from T1 to T2 (0.36 ± 0.31 L, p < 0.05) and decreased from T2 to T3 (−0.29 ± 0.15 L, p < 0.01). However, the changes in fat mass and fat free mass, which were calculated by both 2C and 4C models, were not significantly different when compared between calculations using mVTG and those using pVTG. Our results indicate that VTG significantly changes during RWL and WR, but both measured and predicted VTG can be used to assess changes in body composition during RWL and WR.
Article
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the ultimate body mass, performance, and nutritional characteristics of the Algerian judo junior athletes, and also analysing the impact of nutritional intakes on stabilising Weight loss according to special performance of judo athletes. Material: Twenty-one male university athletes (aged: 21.45 ± 1.32; height: 1.81 ± 0.45 m; and body mass: 73.9 ± 4.1 kg) participated in this study during a period of stabilising Weight loss before and after 15 days of caloric restriction. Athletes were submitted to anthropometrical measurements and performed the Special Judo Fitness Test. Values for nutrient intakes were obtained from a 15 day food record kept during a training camp period of Weight maintenance and after a 15-day caloric restriction. Results : caloric restriction resulted in significant decreases in body mass (73.73 ± 2.1) and performance. However, Special Judo Fitness Test index increased significantly (14.00 ± 1.75) during caloric restriction in comparison to stabilising Weight loss. Conclusion: Exercise and caloric restriction lead to determine the ultimate Weight and physical performance. The present study provides baseline nutritional data that can be used in the prescription of individual training programs for university judo Athletes.
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The study aimed to evaluate changes in selected biochemical indicators among mixed martial arts competitors in subsequent periods of the training cycle. The research involved 12 mixed martial arts athletes aged 25.8 ± 4.2 years competing in the intermediate category. Selected somatic indicators were measured twice. Biochemical indicators were assessed five times during the 14-week study period. Serum concentrations of testosterone, cortisol, uric acid, myoglobin, total protein, interleukin 6, and tumor necrosis factor, as well as creatine kinase activity were determined. One hour after sparring completion, there were significant increases in cortisol (by 54.9%), uric acid (22.0%), myoglobin (565.0%), and interleukin 6 (280.3%) as compared with the values before the simulated fight. The highest creatine kinase activity (893.83 ± 139.31 U/l), as well as tumor necrosis factor (3.93 ± 0.71 pg/ml) and testosterone (5.83 ± 0.81 ng/ml) concentrations (p = 0.00) were recorded 24 hours after the simulation. Systematic observation of selected blood biochemical indicators in the training process periodization in mixed martial arts helps understand adaptive, compensatory, and regenerative mechanisms occurring in training athletes.
Article
Objective: To characterize the epidemiology of overweight athletes before and after the introduction of the Early Weigh-In Policy (EWIP). Methods: A retrospective cohort study examined the weigh-in results for professional mixed martial arts (MMA) events over a two-year period around the introduction of the new EWIP between 2014 and 2018. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the study populations. Risk Ratios were used to identify differences in the study populations before and after the introduction of the EWIP. Results: After the introduction of the EWIP, the number of overweight athletes increased from 5.7% to 8.4% and the average overweight mass increased from 1.3 kg (2.9 lbs) to 1.8 kg (3.9 lbs) [difference, 0.5 kg (1.0 lb), p=4.35x10^(-5)]. The proportion of athletes is not distributed similarly across the different overweight mass categories when comparing the pre- and post-EWIP time frames (p=0.006). More athletes in the pre-EWIP period were overweight by smaller amount, while in the post-EWIP period athletes were overweight by larger amount. Of the athletes who were overweight before the regulation change 28.7% were over the weight limit by greater than 1.8 kg (4 lbs), compared to 39.5% after the new EWIP introduction. On average, the ratio of overweight athletes per events by commission was 1.2 before the introduction of the EWIP and 2.1 after. Conclusion: These results appear to indicate that the EWIP has not altered weight cutting culture in MMA in a positive manner. This study casts doubt on the benefits of an EWIP and raised the possibly of utilizing the longitudinal weight monitoring approach to mitigate rapid weight-cycling behaviour. However, before additional changes are made by any athletic commission, further research is needed to examine the efficacy of the above-mentioned longitudinal weight monitoring approach or any other strategy.
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Biosensor is a new type of analytical detection tool, which can be applied to various industries with its sensitivity, accuracy, easy operation, and online monitoring in vivo. Biosensors have a broad market in sports science, and can be applied to timely monitoring of sports training. It will also become an important method and technology of sports education and sports scientific research. The purpose of this article is to study the design of intelligent martial arts sports system based on biosensor network technology. This article studies the physical condition of martial arts athletes by installing biosensors on them, and uses a single variable method and mathematical statistics to record various martial arts athletes. The state of sports is designed by using big data intelligent monitoring system to design network nodes and real-time data transmission through network technology, so as to ensure the health of martial arts athletes and monitor the status of martial arts athletes in real time. Then compared with the traditional situation of remote mobilization, the feasibility of the application of intelligent martial arts sports system under the biosensor biosensor network technology is verified, and the intelligent martial arts sports system under the biosensor network technology is designed. Experimental data shows that the design of the intelligent martial arts sports system under the biosensor network technology effectively protects martial arts athletes and improves performance, and avoids injuries caused by intense sports. The experimental data show that the design of intelligent martial arts sports system under the biosensor network technology has guiding significance for the development of future martial arts sports system.
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Combat athletes are categorised in weight divisions to prevent size and strength disparities and are required to 'make weight' at an official pre-competition weigh-in 8. Consequently, pre-competition rapid weight loss is a key component of combat sport culture 7 and is believed to be a fundamental aspect of preparation 6. Athletes are reported to reduce bodyweight (2-10%) mostly within 2-3 days of competition 1 , to meet requirements of a chosen bodyweight category and gain perceived advantages over lighter opponents, following subsequent weight gain 5. Despite, RWL methods being reported to negatively affect physical performance 4 , differences in weigh in regulations, number of weight categories and physiological requirements present varied magnitudes of RWL across combat sports. This study aimed to compare the RWL practices of combat athletes from Great Britain competing within grappling and striking dominant sports.
Chapter
Unlike endurance and explosive sports, overtraining syndrome has been poorly explored in resistance training. In a systematic review, from 22 studies initially selected, 8 reported or resulted in decreased performance, whereas 4 described athletes with underperformance who failed to recover during follow-up.
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A structured thinking of the design and methodology of the research on the endocrinology of physical activity and sport is key for the collective improvement of the researches on the field, which requires well-conducted guidelines to standardize the research on the field. Characterization of baseline parameters, eating, sleeping, social and psychological patterns, and parameters and tests to be employed is crucial for a well-designed study on athletes, since all these variables are relevant for the interpretation of the findings. In general, eight types of comparisons can be performed, including within and/or between-group, basal and/or stimulated levels, and whether before versus after interventions or cross-sectionally. Acute responses to exercise, changes in the acute responsiveness to stimulations in response to interventions, and chronic hormonal and metabolic changes during specific interventions or periods are the three major types of chronologies to be tested in athletes.
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O voleibol tem se revelado uma modalidade esportiva relevante, para ser desenvolvida nas escolas como conteúdo de aula de Educação Física Escolar, pois, possui popularidade no Brasil e por que, propícia ao educando desenvolvimento de habilidades motoras e relações sociais. O objetivo da investigação foi diagnosticar as condições para se desenvolver a modalidade de Voleibol nas aulas de Educação Física em escolas públicas de Cuiabá-MT. Tratou-se de uma pesquisa descritiva de caráter quantitativo, que teve como instrumento de coleta de dados um questionário com onze questões, construído pelos autores para levantar as impressões dos professores em relação às condições enfrentadas por eles para desenvolver o voleibol na escola. O estudo contou com a participação de dez professores de Educação Física, de sete escolas públicas. Os resultados mostraram que, a maioria dos docentes declarou ter apoio da gestão para o desenvolvimento da modalidade; sete usam espaços diversificados para trabalhar o voleibol; oito tiveram dificuldade em trabalhar este conteúdo. Em relação ao comportamento dos alunos nas aulas, oito apresentaram ter tido dificuldades neste aspecto; sobre materiais didáticos disponíveis a maioria dos participantes tive impressões negativas ou moderadas, alegando não ter materiais suficientes; enquanto que para a infraestrutura, seis tiveram impressões negativas ou moderadas, apresentando necessidade de se adaptar. Percebeu-se que, as condições enfrentadas por professores de Educação Física nas escolas abordadas, são fatores que interferem no desenvolvimento das aulas e que apesar dos professores observaram dificuldades, os mesmos não deixaram de fazer o enfrentamento e trabalhar o voleibol possível nas condições que tinham em mãos, procurando desenvolver está temática adaptando-a para a realidade das escolas em que trabalham.
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Most competitions in combat sports are divided into weight classes, theoretically allowing for fairer and more evenly contested disputes between athletes of similar body size, strength and agility. It has been well documented that most athletes, regardless of the combat sports discipline, reduce significant amounts of body weight in the days prior to competition to qualify for lighter weight classes. Rapid weight loss is characterised by the reduction of a significant amount of body weight (typically 2-10 %, although larger reductions are often seen) in a few days prior to weigh-in (mostly in the last 2-3 days) achieved by a combination of methods that include starvation, severe restriction of fluid intake and intentional sweating. In doing so, athletes try to gain a competitive advantage against lighter, smaller and weaker opponents. Such a drastic and rapid weight reduction is only achievable via a combination of aggressive strategies that lead to hypohydration and starvation. The negative impact of these procedures on health is well described in the literature. Although the impact of rapid weight loss on performance is debated, there remains robust evidence showing that rapid weight loss may not impair performance, and translates into an actual competitive advantage. In addition to the health and performance implications, rapid weight loss clearly breaches fair play and stands against the spirit of the sport because an athlete unwilling to compete having rapidly reduced weight would face unfair contests against opponents who are 'artificially' bigger and stronger. The World Anti-Doping Agency Code states that a prohibited method must meet at least two of the following criteria: (1) enhances performance; (2) endangers an athlete's health; and (3) violates the spirit of the sport. We herein argue that rapid weight loss clearly meets all three criteria and, therefore, should be banned from the sport. To quote the World Anti-Doping Agency Code, this would "protect the athletes' fundamental right to participate in a doping-free sport and thus promote health, fairness and equality".
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Some nutritional practices in mixed martial arts (MMA) are dangerous to health, may contribute to death, and are largely unsupervised. MMA is a full contact combat sport (often referred to as cage fighting) that emerged to western audiences in 1993 via the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). MMA is one of the world's fastest growing sports and now broadcasts to over 129 countries and 800 million households worldwide. Underpinning the focus on weight controlling practices, lies MMA's competition structure of 11 weight classes (atomweight, 47.6 kg; strawweight 52.2 kg; flyweight, 56.7 kg; bantamweight, 61.2 kg; featherweight, 65.8 kg; lightweight, 70.3 kg; welterweight, 77.1 kg; middleweight, 83.9 kg; light-heavyweight, 93 kg; heavyweight, 120.2 kg; super-heavyweight, no limit) that are intended to promote fair competition by matching opponents of equal body mass. Athletes aim to compete at the lowest possible weight, usually achieved by rapid weight loss methods reliant on acute/chronic dehydration (eg, saunas, sweat suits, diuretics, hot baths, etc). Weigh-in occurs on the day before (24–36 h prior) competition therefore …
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The purpose of this study was to compare biochemical and hormonal responses between Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitors with minimal pre-fight weight loss and those undergoing rapid weight loss (RWL). Blood samples were taken from 17 MMA athletes (Mean±SD; age: 27.4 ±5.3yr; body mass: 76.2±12.4kg; height: 1.71±0.05m and training experience: 39.4±25 months) before and after each match, according to the official events rules. The no rapid weight loss (NWL, n=12) group weighed in on the day of the event (~30min prior fight) and athletes declared not having utilized RWL strategies, while the RWL group (n=5) weighed in 24h before the event and the athletes claimed to have lost 7.4 ± 1.1kg, approximately 10% of their body mass in the week preceding the event. Results showed significant (p<0.05) increases following fights, regardless of group, in lactate, glucose, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatinine, and cortisol for all athletes. With regard to group differences, NWL had significantly (p<0.05) greater creatinine levels (Mean±SD; pre to post) (NWL= 101.6±15 to 142.3±22.9μmol/L and RWL= 68.9±10.6 to 79.5±15.9μmol/L), while RWL had higher LDH (median [interquartile range]; pre to post) (NWL= 211.5[183-236] to 231[203-258]U/L and RWL= 390[370.5-443.5] to 488[463.5-540.5]U/L) and AST (NWL= 30[22-37] to 32[22-41]U/L and 39[32.5-76.5] to 72[38.5-112.5]U/L) values (NWL versus RWL, p<.05). Post-hoc analysis showed that AST significantly increased in only the RWL group, while creatinine increased in only the NWL group. The practice of rapid weight loss showed a negative impact on energy availability and increased both muscle damage markers and catabolic expression in MMA fighters.
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In Olympic combat sports, weight cutting is a common practice aimed to take advantage of competing in weight divisions below the athlete's normal weight. Fluid and food restriction in combination with dehydration (sauna and/or exercise induced profuse sweating) are common weight cut methods. However, the resultant hypohydration could adversely affect health and performance outcomes. The aim of this study is to determine which of the routinely used non-invasive measures of dehydration best track urine osmolality, the gold standard non-invasive test. Immediately prior to the official weigh-in of three National Championships, the hydration status of 345 athletes of Olympic combat sports (i.e., taekwondo, boxing and wrestling) was determined using five separate techniques: i) urine osmolality (UOSM), ii) urine specific gravity (USG), iii) urine color (UCOL), iv) bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), and v) thirst perception scale (TPS). All techniques were correlated with UOSM divided into three groups: euhydrated (G1; UOSM 250-700 mOsm·kg H2O-1), dehydrated (G2; UOSM 701-1080 mOsm·kg H2O-1), and severely dehydrated (G3; UOSM 1081-1500 mOsm·kg H2O-1). We found a positive high correlation between the UOSM and USG (r = 0.89: p = 0.000), although this relationship lost strength as dehydration increased (G1 r = 0.92; G2 r = 0.73; and G3 r = 0.65; p = 0.000). UCOL showed a moderate although significant correlation when considering the whole sample (r = 0.743: p = 0.000) and G1 (r = 0.702: p = 0.000) but low correlation for the two dehydrated groups (r = 0.498-0.398). TPS and BIA showed very low correlation sizes for all groups assessed. In a wide range of pre-competitive hydration status (UOSM 250-1500 mOsm·kg H2O-1), USG is highly associated with UOSM while being a more affordable and easy to use technique. UCOL is a suitable tool when USG is not available. However, BIA or TPS are not sensitive enough to detect hypohydration at official weight-in before an Olympic combat championship.
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Weight-classified athletes need an energy intake plan to accomplish target weight reduction. They have to consider body composition and energy metabolism during rapid weight loss followed by rapid weight regain to achieve their energy intake plan. We investigated the effects of rapid weight loss, followed by weight regain, on body composition and energy expenditure. Ten weight-classified athletes were instructed to reduce their body weight by 5% in 7 days. Following the weight loss, they were asked to try to regain all of their lost weight with an ad libitum diet for 12 h. Food intake was recorded during the baseline, weight loss, and regain periods. Fat mass, total body water, and fat-free dry solids were estimated by underwater weighing and stable isotope dilution methods. A three-component model was calculated using Siri's equation. Basal and sleeping metabolic rates were measured by indirect calorimetry. Body composition and energy expenditure were measured before and after weight loss and after weight regain. Body weight, total body water, and fat-free dry solids were decreased after the weight loss period but recovered after weight regain (p < 0.05). Basal metabolic rate did not change throughout the study. Sleeping metabolic rate decreased significantly during weight loss but recovered after weight regain. Changes in total body water greatly affect body weight during rapid weight loss and regain. In addition, rapid weight loss and regain did not greatly affect the basal metabolic rate in weight-classified athletes.
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The kidneys play a key role in the homeostasis of body water and electrolyte balance. Aquaporin-2 (AQP2) is the vasopressin-regulated water-channel protein expressed at the connecting tubule and collecting duct, and plays a key role in urine concentration and body-water homeostasis through short-term and long-term regulation of collecting duct water permeability. The signaling transduction pathways resulting in the AQP2 trafficking to the apical plasma membrane of the collecting duct principal cells, including AQP2 phosphorylation, RhoA phosphorylation, actin depolymerization, and calcium mobilization, and the changes of AQP2 abundance in water-balance disorders have been extensively studied. Dysregulation of AQP2 has been shown to be importantly associated with a number of clinical conditions characterized by body-water balance disturbances, including hereditary nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI), lithium-induced NDI, electrolytes disturbance, acute and chronic renal failure, ureteral obstruction, nephrotic syndrome, congestive heart failure, and hepatic cirrhosis. Recent studies exploiting omics technology further demonstrated the comprehensive vasopressin signaling pathways in the collecting ducts. Taken together, these studies elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms of body-water homeostasis and provide the basis for the treatment of body-water balance disorders.
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Background The present article briefly reviews the weight loss processes in combat sports. We aimed to discuss the most relevant aspects of rapid weight loss (RWL) in combat sports. Methods This review was performed in the databases MedLine, Lilacs, PubMed and SciELO, and organized into sub-topics: (1) prevalence, magnitude and procedures, (2) psychological, physiological and performance effects, (3) possible strategies to avoid decreased performance (4) organizational strategies to avoid such practices. Results There was a high prevalence (50%) of RWL, regardless the specific combat discipline. Methods used are harmful to performance and health, such as laxatives, diuretics, use of plastic or rubber suits, and sauna. RWL affects physical and cognitive capacities, and may increase the risk of death. Conclusion Recommendations during different training phases, educational and organizational approaches are presented to deal with or to avoid RWL.
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The aim of this study was to investigate the methods adopted to reduce body mass (BM) in competitive athletes from the grappling (judo, jujitsu) and striking (karate and tae kwon do) combat sports in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. An exploratory methodology was employed through descriptive research, using a standardized questionnaire with objective questions self-administered to 580 athletes (25.0 ± 3.7 yr, 74.5 ± 9.7 kg, and 16.4% ± 5.1% body fat). Regardless of the sport, 60% of the athletes reported using a method of rapid weight loss (RWL) through increased energy expenditure. Strikers tend to begin reducing BM during adolescence. Furthermore, 50% of the sample used saunas and plastic clothing, and only 26.1% received advice from a nutritionist. The authors conclude that a high percentage of athletes uses RWL methods. In addition, a high percentage of athletes uses unapproved or prohibited methods such as diuretics, saunas, and plastic clothing. The age at which combat sport athletes reduce BM for the first time is also worrying, especially among strikers.
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An athlete's carbohydrate intake can be judged by whether total daily intake and the timing of consumption in relation to exercise maintain adequate carbohydrate substrate for the muscle and central nervous system ("high carbohydrate availability") or whether carbohydrate fuel sources are limiting for the daily exercise programme ("low carbohydrate availability"). Carbohydrate availability is increased by consuming carbohydrate in the hours or days prior to the session, intake during exercise, and refuelling during recovery between sessions. This is important for the competition setting or for high-intensity training where optimal performance is desired. Carbohydrate intake during exercise should be scaled according to the characteristics of the event. During sustained high-intensity sports lasting ~1 h, small amounts of carbohydrate, including even mouth-rinsing, enhance performance via central nervous system effects. While 30-60 g · h(-1) is an appropriate target for sports of longer duration, events >2.5 h may benefit from higher intakes of up to 90 g · h(-1). Products containing special blends of different carbohydrates may maximize absorption of carbohydrate at such high rates. In real life, athletes undertake training sessions with varying carbohydrate availability. Whether implementing additional "train-low" strategies to increase the training adaptation leads to enhanced performance in well-trained individuals is unclear.
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Explanations for the phenomenal success of East African distance runners include unique dietary practices. The aim of the present study was to assess the food and macronutrient intake of elite Ethiopian distance runners during a period of high intensity exercise training at altitude and prior to major competition. The dietary intake of 10 highly-trained Ethiopian long distance runners, living and training at high altitude (approximately 2400 m above sea level) was assessed during a 7 day period of intense training prior to competition using the standard weighed intake method. Training was also assessed using an activity/training diary. Body mass was stable (i.e., was well maintained) over the assessment period (pre: 56.7 ± 4.3 kg vs. post: 56.6 ± 4.2 kg, P = 0.54; mean ± SD). The diet comprised of 13375 ± 1378 kJ and was high in carbohydrate (64.3 ± 2.6%, 545 ± 49 g, 9.7 ± 0.9 g/kg). Fat and protein intake was 23.3 ± 2.1% (83 ± 14 g) and 12.4 ± 0.6% (99 ± 13 g, 1.8 ± 0.2 g/kg), respectively. Fluid intake comprised mainly of water (1751 ± 583 mL), while no fluids were consumed before or during training with only modest amounts being consumed following training. Similar to previous studies in elite Kenyan distance runners, the diet of these elite Ethiopian distance runners met most recommendations of endurance athletes for macronutrient intake but not for fluid intake.
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To evaluate the weight loss behavior of male wrestlers in Tehran This study was a population-based cross sectional survey. Subjects were 436 wrestlers randomly selected from the wrestling clubs in Tehran employing cluster sample setting method. Subjects were interviewed based on a designed questionnaire. Body fat levels were measured based on skin fold measurements. Weight loss methods practiced by 62% of all subjects during the previous year employing rapid (≤7 days before the matches) and gradual (>7 days before the matches) weight reduction methods (73% and 34% of wrestlers who reduced their weight respectively). In addition, opinions on weight reduction, the methods of weight loss used, and the side effects of the weight loss practices as well as consumption of supplements among the subjects were reported in this study. The mean percentage of body fat of subjects was 15.9%. Rapid weight loss for matches and the use of unsafe methods of weight reduction such as fasting, and fluid reduction methods as well as acute side effects of weight loss were prevalent among wrestlers in Tehran. Some preventive measures including education and new rules such as scheduling weigh-ins immediately prior to the competitions and mat-side weigh-in are needed to prevent these unhealthy practices. The weight loss behaviors of these wrestlers should be changed from using dehydration methods to using gradual methods of weight loss.
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We studied seven male wrestlers and three judo athletes (weight 55-93 kg) during two weight reductions. In the "gradual" procedure (GP), a 5.0 +/- 0.4% (mean +/- SEM) weight loss was achieved in 3 weeks by energy restriction. In the "rapid" procedure (RP), 6.0 +/- 0.6% of body weight was lost in 2.4 days by fluid and diet restriction and forced sweating, and followed by a 5-h "loading" (food and drinks ad libitum). The net weight loss after GP and loading was 2.7 +/- 0.5%. Protein intakes (4-d food records) during GP and RP were 71 +/- 16 and RP 56 +/- 17 g.d-1, respectively. Carbohydrate intakes were 239 +/- 56 (GP) and 182 +/- 55 g.d-1 (RP). During GP and RP, mean thiamin, magnesium, and zinc intakes were at or below the respective recommendation. Thiamin, riboflavin, potassium, iron, and zinc status, assessed from blood chemistry, remained stable during both procedures. Changes in vitamin B6 indicator (E-ASTAC) and S-magnesium concentration were different (P < 0.01) between the procedures, suggesting negative trends during GP. Sprint (30-m run) and anaerobic (1-min Wingate test) performance was similar throughout the study. Following GP, vertical jump height with extra load increased by 6-8% (P < 0.01). Jumping results were not affected by RP. Hence, < or = 5% loss in body weight by either method did not impair experienced athletes' performance.
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Dietary intake, plasma lipids, lipoprotein and apolipoprotein levels, anthropometric measurements and anaerobic performance were studied in eleven judo athletes during a period of weight maintenance (T1) and after a 7d food restriction (T2). Dietary data were collected using a 7-day diet record. Nutrient analysis indicated that these athletes followed a low carbohydrate diet whatever the period of the investigation. Moreover, mean micronutrient intakes were below the French recommendations. Food restriction resulted in significant decreases in body weight. In addition, it had significant influence on triglyceride and free fatty acid, although glycerol, total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, apolipoprotein A-1 and B did not alter. Left arm strength and 30 s jumping test decreased significantly. The 7 s jumping test was not affected by the food restriction. Regardless of psychological parameters, tension, anger, fatigue and confusion were significantly elevated from T1 to T2; vigor was significantly lower. The data indicated that a 7-day food restriction adversely affects the physiology and psychology of judo athletes and impairs physical performance, possibly due to inadequate carbohydrate and micronutrients.
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Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the weight management (WM) behaviors of collegiate wrestlers after the implementation of the NCAA’s new weight control rules. Methods: In the fall of 1999, a survey was distributed to 47 college wrestling teams stratified by collegiate division (i.e., I, II, III) and competitive quality. Forty-three teams returned surveys for a total of 741 responses. Comparisons were made using the collegiate division, weight class, and the wrestler’s competitive winning percentage. Results: The most weight lost during the season was 5.3 kg ± 2.8 kg (mean ± SD ) or 6.9% ± 4.7% of the wrestler’s weight; weekly weight lost averaged 2.9 kg ± 1.3 kg or 4.3% ± 2.3% of the wrestler’s weight; post-season, the average wrestler regained 5.5 kg ± 3.6 kg or 8.6% ± 5.4% of their weight. Coaches and fellow wrestlers were the primary influence on weight loss methods; however, 40.2% indicated that the new NCAA rules deterred extreme weight loss behaviors. The primary methods of weight loss reported were gradual dieting (79.4%) and increased exercise (75.2%). However, 54.8% fasted, 27.6% used saunas, and 26.7% used rubber/ plastic suits at least once a month. Cathartics and vomiting were seldom used to lose weight, and only 5 met three or more of the criteria for bulimia nervosa. WM behaviors were more extreme among freshmen, lighter weight classes, and Division II wrestlers. Compared to previous surveys of high school wrestlers, this cohort of wrestlers reported more extreme WM behaviors. However, compared to college wrestlers in the 1980s, weight loss behaviors were less extreme. Conclusions: The WM practices of college wrestlers appeared to have improved compared to wrestlers sampled previously. Forty percent of the wrestlers were influenced by the new NCAA rules and curbed their weight loss practices. Education is still needed, as some wrestlers are still engaging in dangerous WM methods.
Article
Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the weight management (WM) behaviors of collegiate wrestlers after the implementation of the NCAA's new weight control rules. Methods: In the fall of 1999, a survey was distributed to 47 college wrestling teams stratified by collegiate division (i.e., I, 11, 111) and competitive quality. Forty-three teams returned surveys for a total of 741 responses. Comparisons were made using the collegiate division, weight class, and the wrestler's competitive winning percentage. Results: The most weight lost during the season was 5.3 kg +/- 2.8 kg (mean +/- SD) or 6.9% +/- 4.7% of the wrestler's weight; weekly weight lost averaged 2.9 kg +/- 1.3 kg or 4.3% +/- 2.3% of the wrestler's weight; post-season, the average wrestler regained 5.5 kg +/- 3.6 kg or 8.6% +/- 5.4% of their weight. Coaches and fellow wrestlers were the primary influence on weight loss methods; however, 40.2% indicated that the new NCAA rules deterred extreme weight loss behaviors. The primary methods of weight loss reported were gradual dieting (79.4%) and increased exercise (75.2%). However, 54.8% fasted, 27.6% used saunas, and 26.7% used rubber/ plastic suits at least once a month. Cathartics and vomiting were seldom used to lose weight, and only 5 met three or more of the criteria for bulimia nervosa. WM behaviors were more extreme among freshmen, lighter weight classes, and Division 11 wrestlers. Compared to previous surveys of high school wrestlers, this cohort of wrestlers reported more extreme WM behaviors. However, compared to college wrestlers in the 1980s, weight loss behaviors were less extreme. Conclusions: The WM practices of college wrestlers appeared to have improved compared to wrestlers sampled previously. Forty percent of the wrestlers were influenced by the new NCAA rules and curbed their weight loss practices. Education is still needed, as some wrestlers are still engaging in dangerous WM methods.
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Weight-sensitive sports are popular among elite and nonelite athletes. Rapid weight loss (RWL) practice has been an essential part of many of these sports for many decades. Due to the limited epidemiological studies on the prevalence of RWL, its true prevalence is unknown. It is estimated that more than half of athletes in weight-class sports have practiced RWL during the competitive periods. As RWL can have significant physical, physiological, and psychological negative effects on athletes, its practice has been discouraged for many years. It seems that appropriate rule changes have had the biggest impact on the practice of RWL in sports like wrestling. An individualized and well-planned gradual and safe weight loss program under the supervision of a team of coaching staff, athletic trainers, sports nutritionists, and sports physicians is recommended.
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The purpose of this study was to characterize the magnitude of acute weight gain (AWG) and dehydration in mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters prior to competition. Urinary measures of hydration status and body mass were determined ∼24 h prior and then again ∼2 h prior to competition in 40 MMA fighters (Mean ± SE, age: 25.2 ± 0.65 yr, height: 1.77 ± 0.01 m, body mass: 75.8 ± 1.5 kg). AWG was defined as the amount of body weight the fighters gained in the ∼22 h period between the official weigh-in and the actual competition. On average, the MMA fighters gained 3.40 ± 2.2 kg or 4.4% of their body weight in the ∼22 h period prior to competition. Urine specific gravity significantly decreased (P < 0.001) from 1.028 ± 0.001 to 1.020 ± 0.001 during the ∼22 h rehydration period. Results demonstrated that 39% of the MMA fighters presented with a Usg of greater than 1.021 immediately prior to competition indicating significant or serious dehydration. MMA fighters undergo significant dehydration and fluctuations in body mass (4.4% avg.) in the 24 h period prior to competition. Urinary measures of hydration status indicate that a significant proportion of MMA fighters are not successfully rehydrating prior to competition and subsequently are competing in a dehydrated state. Weight management guidelines to prevent acute dehydration in MMA fighters are warranted to prevent unnecessary adverse health events secondary to dehydration.
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Abstract The use of portable urine osmometers is widespread, but no studies have assessed the validity of this measurement technique. Furthermore, it is unclear what effect freezing has on osmolality. One-hundred participants of mean (±SD) age 25.1 ± 7.6 years, height 1.77 ± 0.1 m and weight 77.1 ± 10.8 kg provided single urine samples that were analysed using freeze point depression (FPD) and refractometry (RI). Samples were then frozen at -80°C (n = 81) and thawed prior to re-analysis. Differences between methods and freezing were determined using Wilcoxon's signed rank test. Relationships between measurements were assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and typical error of estimate (TE). Osmolality was lower (P = 0.001) using RI (634.2 ± 339.8 mOsm · kgH(2)O(-1)) compared with FPD (656.7 ± 334.1 mOsm · kgH(2)O(-1)) but the TE was trivial (0.17). Freezing significantly reduced mean osmolality using FPD (656.7 ± 341.1 to 606.5 ± 333.4 mOsm · kgH(2)O(-1); P < 0.001), but samples were still highly related following freezing (ICC, r = 0.979, P < 0.001, CI = 0.993-0.997; TE = 0.15; and r=0.995, P < 0.001, CI = 0.967-0.986; TE = 0.07 for RI and FPD respectively). Despite mean differences between methods and as a result of freezing, such differences are physiologically trivial. Therefore, the use of RI appears to be a valid measurement tool to determine urine osmolality.
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In this study, we investigated the effects of rapid weight loss followed by a 4-h recovery on judo-related performance. Seven weight-cycler athletes were assigned to a weight loss group (5% body weight reduction by self-selected regime) and seven non-weight-cyclers to a control group (no weight reduction). Body composition, performance, glucose, and lactate were assessed before and after weight reduction (5-7 days apart; control group kept weight stable). The weight loss group had 4 h to re-feed and rehydrate after the weigh-in. Food intake was recorded during the weight loss period and recovery after the weigh-in. Performance was evaluated through a specific judo exercise, followed by a 5-min judo combat and by three bouts of the Wingate test. Both groups significantly improved performance after the weight loss period. No interaction effects were observed. The energy and macronutrient intake of the weight loss group were significantly lower than for the control group. The weight loss group consumed large amounts of food and carbohydrate during the 4-h recovery period. No changes were observed in lactate concentration, but a significant decrease in glucose during rest was observed in the weight loss group. In conclusion, rapid weight loss did not affect judo-related performance in experienced weight-cyclers when the athletes had 4 h to recover. These results should not be extrapolated to inexperienced weight-cyclers.
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To identify the prevalence, magnitude, and methods of rapid weight loss among judo competitors. Athletes (607 males and 215 females; age = 19.3 T 5.3 yr, weight = 70 T 7.5 kg, height = 170.6 T 9.8 cm) completed a previously validated questionnaire developed to evaluate rapid weight loss in judo athletes, which provides a score. The higher the score obtained, the more aggressive the weight loss behaviors. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and frequency analyses. Mean scores obtained in the questionnaire were used to compare specific groups of athletes using, when appropriate, Mann-Whitney U-test or general linear model one-way ANOVA followed by Tamhane post hoc test. Eighty-six percent of athletes reported that have already lost weight to compete. When heavy weights are excluded, this percentage rises to 89%.Most athletes reported reductions of up to 5% of body weight (mean T SD: 2.5 T 2.3%). The most weight ever lost was 2%-5%,whereas a great part of athletes reported reductions of 5%-10% (mean T SD: 6 T 4%). The number of reductions underwent in a season was 3 T 5. The reductions usually occurred within 7 T 7 d. Athletes began cutting weight at 12.6 T 6.1 yr. No significant differences were found in the score obtained by male versus female athletes as well as by athletes from different weight classes. Elite athletes scored significantly higher in the questionnaire than non elite. Athletes who began cutting weight earlier also scored higher than those who began later. Rapid weight loss is highly prevalent in judo competitors. The level of aggressiveness in weight management behaviors seems to not be influenced by the gender or by the weight class, but it seems to be influenced by competitive level and by the age at which athletes began cutting weight.
Article
The aim of this study was to develop a questionnaire to evaluate rapid weight loss patterns of competitive judo players and to assess its validity and reliability. We evaluated the reliability (n=94), content validity (evaluation by 10 experts), discriminant validity (differences in scores between athletes with body weight below and above their weight class; n=100) and convergent validity (correlation with Restraint Scale; n=60). No item was considered unclear or ambiguous by more than 20% of the experts. The intraclass Coefficient Correlation was above 0.90 for all questions whose answers were parametric (P<0.001; n=94) and no significant differences were found between test and retest scores (n=94--Wilcoxon's signed rank test). Cronbach's alpha was 0.98 for scores obtained between test and retest. Non-numerical questions showed proportions of agreement >80%; Spearman's Correlation between the Restraint Scale and the Rapid Weight Loss Questionnaire was 0.62 (P<0.001; n=60). Athletes below their weight class (n=50) had a significantly lower score compared with athletes above the weight class (n=50; P<0.001--Mann-Whitney U test). In conclusion, the questionnaire showed good validity and reliability and could be used accurately to assess weight loss patterns of judo players.
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Glycogen is stored in the liver, muscles, and fat cells in hydrated form (three to four parts water) associated with potassium (0.45 mmol K/g glycogen). Total body potassium (TBK) changes early in very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs) primarily reflect glycogen storage. Potassium released from glycogen can distort estimates of body composition during dieting. TBK changes due to glycogen mobilization were measured in 11 subjects after 4 d dieting with a VLCD. The influence of water-laden glycogen on weight fluctuations during the dieting process, the exaggerated regain if carbohydrate loading occurs, and the implications for weight control programs and overestimation of nitrogen losses with dieting are discussed.
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To assess current weight loss practices in wrestlers, 63 college wrestlers and 368 high school wrestlers completed a questionnaire that examined the frequency and magnitude of weight loss, weight control methods, emotions associated with weight loss, dieting patterns, and preoccupation with food. Clear patterns emerged showing frequent, rapid, and large weight loss and regain cycles. Of the college wrestlers, 41% reported weight fluctuations of 5.0-9.1 kg each week of the season. For the high school wrestlers, 23% lost 2.7-4.5 kg weekly. In the college cohort, 35% lost 0.5-4.5 kg over 100 times in their life, and 22% had lost 5.0-9.1 kg between 21 and 50 times in their life. Of the high school wrestlers, 42% had already lost 5.0-9.1 kg 1-5 times in their life. A variety of aggressive methods wer used to lose weight including dehydration, food restriction, fasting, and, for a few, vomiting, laxatives, and diuretics. "Making weight" was associated with fatigue, anger, and anxiety. Thirty to forty percent of the wrestlers, at both the high school and college level, reported being preoccupied with food and eating out of control after a match. The tradition of "making weight" still appears to be integral to wrestling. The potential physiological, psychological, and health consequences of these practices merit further attention.
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