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Weight management for athletes

Weight management for athletes

What Weighg Toe Weigght Foot Numbness While Running? Halabchi Weigth Doping in Combat Sports. Increased energy intake Weight management for athletes always athldtes combined with strength training to induce muscle growth. The present article briefly reviews the weight loss processes in combat sports. Other sports, such as football and bodybuilding, highlight a muscular physique; young athletes engaged in these sports may desire to gain weight and muscle mass. Steen SN, Brownell KD: Patterns of weight loss and regain in wrestlers: has the tradition changed?. Weight management for athletes

Weight management for athletes -

While this might result in some quick weight loss initially, unfortunately, this loss is usually short term and unsustainable and weight lost is quickly regained.

Diets that eliminate whole food groups or are heavily energy restricted can also negatively impact performance by impairing fuelling and recovery, preventing athletes from achieving their potential during training or competition. They can also impair immune function and increase injury risk, meaning that valuable training sessions or events are missed due to illness or injury.

There is more than one way to achieve your body composition and weight goals. Working with an Accredited Sports Dietitian is an important first step in making sure you have an individualised plan that works for you without compromising your performance.

However, here are a few general tips that may help you get started:. Metrics details. 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.

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.

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.

Recommendations during different training phases, educational and organizational approaches are presented to deal with or to avoid RWL. Certain sports e. In almost all combat sports, athletes are classified according to their body mass so the matches are more equitable in terms of body size, strength and agility [ 3 , 4 ].

However, many athletes acutely reduce body mass in an attempt to get an advantage by competing against lighter, smaller and weaker opponents [ 4 , 5 ]. Despite the well documented adverse effects of rapid weight loss RWL on health status, the prevalence of aggressive and harmful procedures for rapid weight reduction is very high in most combat sports, such as wrestling [ 6 ], judo [ 5 , 7 — 10 ], jujitsu [ 10 ], karate [ 10 ], taekwondo [ 10 — 12 ] and boxing [ 13 ].

Although there is no controversy on literature regarding the negative impact of RWL on physiological and health-related parameters [ 14 ], the effects on competitive performance are somewhat equivocal, as many factors e. In this narrative review performed in the databases MedLine, Lilacs, PubMed and SciELO , we discuss the most relevant aspects of RWL in combat sports, namely 1 the prevalence, magnitude and procedures used; 2 the effects of weight loss on psychological, physiological and performance parameters; 3 strategies to avoid performance decrements and 4 organizational strategies to avoid harmful practices among athletes.

Brito et al. The percentages found in all these sports are comparable to the range previously reported in wrestlers. Gender is not a factor affecting the prevalence of RWL, although competing at a higher levels was related with more aggressive weight management strategies [ 5 ].

However, a recent study [ 10 ] showed that competitive level is not associated with weight management behaviors in jujitsu, judo, karate and taekwondo athletes. On the other hand, jujitsu athletes started reducing weight somewhat later Evidence shows that weight cycling during adolescence can be a major issue, as it might negatively impact growth and development [ 18 ].

Importantly, it has been suggested that athletes beginning to cut weight at early ages are at higher risk of weight loss-related problems [ 5 ]. It is worthy to note that the range of body weights of the various weight classes in sports recently included in the Olympics e.

However, no study was conducted so far in order to compare weight management behaviors between those combat sports.

Such reductions are frequently undertaken in a few days before competitions. In most cases, athletes reduce weight in the week preceding the weigh-in [ 5 , 6 , 15 ]. The Table 1 summarizes the main findings of the studies on the prevalence and magnitude of weight loss in combat sports.

To achieve such a rapid weight reduction, athletes use a variety of methods [ 4 , 5 , 7 , 10 , 15 ], such as: reduced liquid ingestion; use of saunas, blouses and plastic suits; reduced energy intake; fasting one day prior to the weigh-in; reduced carbohydrate and fat intake.

Other more aggressive methods are also used, such as [ 23 ] vomiting, diet pills, laxatives and diuretics. It is important to emphasize that diuretics are prohibited by the World Antidoping Agency [ 24 ] and are responsible for the majority of doping cases in combat sports [ 25 ].

Several investigations have reported that athletes undergoing RWL presented decreased short-term memory, vigor, concentration and self-esteem as well as increased confusion, rage, fatigue, depression and isolation [ 6 , 26 — 29 ], all of which may hamper competitive performance.

Likewise, the lack of concentration and focus can affect the ability of the athlete to deal with distractions during high-level competitions, resulting in poor performance. A low self-esteem may result in difficult to consider the possibility of winning a match, especially against high-level opponents.

Confusion can negatively affect the capacity of making decisions during the match and rage may result in lack of control and, despite the importance of aggressiveness for combat sports, excessive rage may increase the possibility of illegal actions.

Depression and isolation can result in difficulty in coping with rigorous training sessions. In addition to these problems, a high percentage of wrestlers are quite concerned about their body mass and food intake. Consequently, they resort to frequent dieting or caloric restriction.

The constant attention directed to body mass control increases the probability of eating disorders such as binge eating, anorexia and bulimia, with higher risk among female athletes [ 23 , 30 ].

In fact, wrestlers present preoccupation about their body mass and are not satisfied with their body, despite the very low body fat percentage they usually present. This behavior appears to be more marked in athletes competing at higher levels [ 31 ]. Not surprisingly, the prevalence of overweight and obesity are higher in former combat athletes in comparison with former athletes who were not weight cyclers during their competitive career [ 32 ].

A few studies investigated the association between RWL and competitive success in real tournaments [ 16 , 33 , 34 ]. Although competitive success is multifactorial and too complex to be determined by one variable, the associations provided by these investigations are insightful and help discern the impact of RWL on competitive performance.

In a regional-level wrestling competition, it was observed that athletes who lost a higher amount of weight achieved better classification than the athletes who lost less weight [ 34 ].

Thus, athletes who had practiced more aggressive weight cutting procedures presented better competitive results as compared to those who were more conscious with their health.

Studies performed in national level competitions have produced conflicting data. In a study by Horswill et al. Assuming that the body mass recovered after weigh-in is associated with body mass reduced before the weigh-in, the authors concluded that the amount of weight lost and, consequently, the amount of weight regained after the weigh-in has no effect on competitive success.

In contrast, Alderman et al. Some authors [ 8 ] argue that a successful career is probably built in a single weight class. Despite the paucity of evidence that indicates an association between rapid weight loss and competitive success [ 5 , 14 ], it must be noted that it is possible to achieve success in combat sports while competing in multiple weight classes.

Some prime examples are the successful athletes who moved to heavier weight classes and still performed at the highest level e. While studies are scarce and inconclusive, the impact of RWL on competitive success remains elusive, especially when considered the great number of variables defining wins and losses.

Despite conflicting evidence, most studies indicate that weight loss decreases both aerobic and anaerobic performance. While aerobic performance impairments have been attributed to dehydration, decreased plasma volume, increased heart rate, hydroelectrolytic disturbances, impaired thermoregulation and muscle glycogen depletion [ 30 ], decreased anaerobic performance is mainly related to reduced buffering capacity, glycogen depletion and hydroelectrolytic disturbances [ 30 , 35 ].

Maximal strength seems to not be acutely affected by RWL [ 36 — 38 ], although chronic weight cycling has a negative impact on strength gain during a season [ 39 ]. It is important to highlight that the decrements on anaerobic performance are generally observed when athletes have no opportunity to refeed and rehydrate after weigh-in [ 27 , 38 , 40 , 41 ].

However, in the most combat sports competitions, weigh-ins are followed by a period of time during which athletes may have the chance to recover from the weight loss.

Although this period may vary from a few hours to more than one day, it is very likely that within 3—4 hours, athletes are able to recover their anaerobic performance to pre-weight loss values [ 9 ].

Therefore, when followed by a relatively short recovery period, RWL will probably have minimal or no impact on anaerobic performance. Although this seems to be true for athletes who are experienced weight cyclers, athletes with no experience in reducing weight might be negatively affected by weight loss [ 42 , 43 ].

It suggests that weight cycling may lead athletes to develop physiological adaptations that help them to preserve performance after weight loss. However, to date there is no direct evidence supporting these hypothesis and further studies are needed to confirm or refute them.

Some epidemiological studies have associated RWL with increase risk for injuries [ 44 ]. Oöpik et al. Due to the possible adverse effects of RWL, there are rare cases of death related to this practice. In , just three months before Atlanta Olympic Games, Chung Se-hoon 22 years, 74 kg , considered the probable gold medal winner in the 65 kg weight category in judo, was found dead in a sauna.

The c ausa mortis was a heart attack. One year later, three collegiate wrestlers died due to hyperthermia and dehydration associated with intentional RWL [ 47 ].

During the Sydney Olympics, Debbie Allan from Great Britain was disqualified during the weigh-in because the scale used by her was not calibrated due to an alleged scale sabotage [ 48 ].

The problem seems also to affect children. Those extreme cases, together with the very high prevalence of RWL achieved by aggressive methods, illustrate quite clearly that the scenario is disturbing, the problem may be more serious than many people involved with the sport may think and that more attention to this problem should indeed be given.

No athlete should be encouraged to cut weight quickly in order to compete in a lighter weight class. Gradual weight loss i. Athletes should aim to maximize body fat loss and minimize muscle wasting and dehydration when adjusting weight.

During the weight loss period, strength training and BCAA supplementation may help preserve muscle mass. Athletes should not undergo low-carbohydrate diets in order to make weight as they seem to be more detrimental to physical performance [ 41 ].

If an athlete will have less than 3 hours to recovery after the weigh-in, RWL, dehydration and restricted carbohydrate ingestion should be avoided. During the recovery period after weigh-in, athletes are encouraged to consume high amounts of carbohydrates, fluids and electrolytes.

Creatine supplementation may also be of use if the athlete will recover for a long period after weighing-in. Control strategies to avoid RWL practices can be divided in two areas: 1 coach and athlete educational programs; 2 management procedures to control or discourage RWL.

According to Burke and Cox [ 3 ], athletes and coaches should receive information about: caloric balance; how to prepare each food portion; how to avoid increase weight especially fat after the competition; how to prepare food using low fat ingredients; how to prepare snacks with low caloric content using fruits and vegetables; how to avoid combating stress through excessive food intake; how to avoid gastronomic novelties during high-level competitions abroad or when inside the Olympic village; the importance of avoiding fast-food restaurants while travelling; how to increase satiety using low glycemic index foods; how to avoid excessive food and alcohol intake during celebrations; how to keep a diet diary and how to identify the main difficulties to maintain adequate nutrition.

Additionally, the recommendations done by Horswill [ 20 ] concerning body mass control during the season are important sources of information. This author suggests specific goals for each periodization phase.

Management procedures have been used in wrestling [ 53 ] and proposed for judo [ 8 ] to avoid weight loss among athletes. The following recommendations were first drafted in [ 54 ] and reinforced in by the American College of Sports Medicine [ 14 ].

They are currently in use in most scholastic wrestling competitions in United States as a part of a program aiming at controlling the weight management issue among wrestlers. This program has been shown effective in attenuating the aggressive patterns of rapid weight loss and discouraging athletes from losing weight irresponsibly [ 20 ].

Therefore, these recommendations should be implemented by other combat sports organizations in order to avoid widespread weight loss among combat athletes [ 8 ]:.

no athletes are allowed to compete in a weight class that would require weight loss greater than 1. Kim S, Greenwell TC, Andrew DPS, Lee J, Mahony DF: An analysis of spectator motives in an individual combat sport: a study of mixed martial arts fans.

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Med Sci Sports Exerc. Article PubMed Google Scholar. Steen SN, Brownell KD: Patterns of weight loss and regain in wrestlers: has the tradition changed?. Article CAS PubMed Google Scholar. Artioli GG, Scagliusi F, Kashiwagura D, Franchini E, Gualano B, Junior AL: Development, validity and reliability of a questionnaire designed to evaluate rapid weight loss patterns in judo players.

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Artioli GG, Iglesias RT, Franchini E, Gualano B, Kashiwagura DB, Solis MY, Benatti FB, Fuchs M, Lancha Junior AH: Rapid weight loss followed by recovery time does not affect judo-related performance.

J Sports Sci. Brito CJ, Roas AF, Brito IS, Marins JC, Cordova C, Franchini E: Methods of body mass reduction by combat sport athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. PubMed Google Scholar. Kazemi M, Shearer H, Choung YS: Pre-competition habits and injuries in Taekwondo athletes.

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. Tsai ML, Chou KM, Chang CK, Fang SH: Changes of mucosal immunity and antioxidation activity in elite male Taiwanese taekwondo athletes associated with intensive training and rapid weight loss.

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Mundo Saúde. Oppliger RA, Case HS, Horswill CA, Landry GL, Shelter AC: ACSM Position Stand: Weight Loss in Wrestlers. Oppliger RA, Steen SA, Scott JR: Weight loss practices of college wrestlers. Alderman BL, Landers DM, Carlson J, Scott JR: Factors related to rapid weight loss practices among international-style wrestlers.

Kordi R, Ziaee V, Rostami M, Wallace WA: Patterns of weight loss and supplement consumption of male wrestlers in Tehran.

Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Ther Technol. Roemmich JN, Sinning WE: Weight loss and wrestling training: effects on growth-related hormones. J Appl Physiol.

CAS PubMed Google Scholar. Fabrini SP, Brito CJ, Mendes EL, Sabarense CM, Marins JCB, Franchini E: Práticas de redução de massa corporal em judocas nos períodos pré-competitivos.

Rev bras Educ Fís Esporte. Horswill CA: Making Weight in Combat Sports. Kiningham RB, Gorenflo DW: Weight loss methods of high school wrestlers. Tipton CM, Tcheng TK: Iowa wrestling study. Weight loss in high school students.

There is athletew Weight management for athletes other topic in nutrition that creates such Weiht and athletse as weight loss, particularly body fat loss. The rules of some athlets also dictate body weight categories and aesthetic Weight management for athletes as fr of the Antidepressant for performance anxiety or Weight management for athletes process. This can create enormous confusion and has the potential to undo all the hard training that athletes put in if they take the wrong approach or look for quick fixes. The goal of most if not all weight loss plans is to create a negative energy balance where more energy is used than consumed by the body. There are many ways to achieve a negative energy balance and often diets promote cutting out entire food groups particularly carbohydrates and dairy foods to do this. Journal of the Tor Society of Longevity and alternative therapies Nutrition volume atheltesArticle number: 52 Ahhletes this article. Metrics details. The present Weight management for athletes briefly reviews the weight Weight management for athletes processes in combat managment. We aimed to discuss the most managemenf aspects manage,ent rapid weight loss RWL in combat sports. 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. 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.


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