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.
C. Brito is with the Physical Education Dept., Federal University of Sergipe, Aracaju, Brazil. Roas is with the School of Physical Education, Izabela Hendrix Methodist University, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. I. Brito and Marins are with the Physical Education Dept., Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil. Córdova is with the Physical Education Dept., Brasilia Catholic University, Brasilia, Brazil. Franchini is with the School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.