The Effect of Water Loading on Acute Weight Loss Following Fluid Restriction in Combat Sports Athletes

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $87.00

1 year subscription

USD  $116.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $165.00

2 year subscription

USD  $215.00

Novel methods of acute weight loss practiced by combat sport athletes include “water loading,” the consumption of large fluid volumes for several days prior to restriction. We examined claims that this technique increases total body water losses, while also assessing the risk of hyponatremia. Male athletes were separated into control (n = 10) and water loading (n = 11) groups and fed a standardized energy-matched diet for 6 days. Days 1–3 fluid intake was 40 and 100 ml/kg for control and water loading groups, respectively, with both groups consuming 15 ml/kg on Day 4 and following the same rehydration protocol on Days 5 and 6. We tracked body mass (BM), urine sodium, urine specific gravity and volume, training-related sweat losses and blood concentrations of renal hormones, and urea and electrolytes throughout. Physical performance was assessed preintervention and postintervention. Following fluid restriction, there were substantial differences between groups in the ratio of fluid input/output (39%, p < .01, effect size = 1.2) and BM loss (0.6% BM, p = .02, effect size = 0.82). Changes in urine specific gravity, urea and electrolytes, and renal hormones occurred over time (p < .05), with an interaction of time and intervention on blood sodium, potassium, chloride, urea, creatinine, urine specific gravity, and vasopressin (p < .05). Measurements of urea and electrolyte remained within reference ranges, and no differences in physical performance were detected over time or between groups. Water loading appears to be a safe and effective method of acute BM loss under the conditions of this study. Vasopressin-regulated changes in aquaporin channels may potentially partially explain the mechanism of increased body water loss with water loading.

Reale, Cox, and Burke are with the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Reale, Slater, and Cox are with the University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Queensland, Australia. Dunican is with The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Burke is also with Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Reid Reale at reid.reale@gmail.com.
  • Adrogué, H.J., & Madias, N.E. (2000). Hyponatremia. The New England Journal of Medicine, 342(21), 1581–1589. doi:10.1056/NEJM200005253422107

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bovenschen, H.J., Janssen, M.J., van Oijen, M.G., Laheij, R.J., van Rossum, L.G., & Jansen, J.B. (2006). Evaluation of a gastrointestinal symptoms questionnaire. Digestive Diseases & Sciences, 51(9), 1509–1515. PubMed doi:10.1007/s10620-006-9120-6

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cartledge, S., & Lawson, N. (2000). Aldosterone and renin measurements. Annals of Clinical Biochemistry, 37(3), 262–278. doi:10.1258/0004563001899401

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cohen, J. (1992). A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 155–159. PubMed doi:10.1037/0033-2909.112.1.155

  • Crighton, B., Close, G.L., & Morton, J.P. (2015). Alarming weight cutting behaviours in mixed martial arts: A cause for concern and a call for action. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 50(8), 446–447. PubMed doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-094732

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Derkx, F., De Bruin, R., Van Gool, J., Van den Hoek, M., Beerendonk, C., Rosmalen, F., … Schalekamp, M. (1996). Clinical validation of renin monoclonal antibody-based sandwich assays of renin and prorenin, and use of renin inhibitor to enhance prorenin immunoreactivity. Clinical Chemistry, 42(7), 1051–1063. PubMed

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Franchini, E., Brito, C.J., & Artioli, G.G. (2012). Weight loss in combat sports: Physiological, psychological and performance effects. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 52. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-52

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Garigan, T.P., & Ristedt, D.E. (1999). Death from hyponatremia as a result of acute water intoxication in an Army basic trainee. Military Medicine, 164(3), 234. PubMed

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Glick, S., & Kagan, A. (1979). Radioimmunoassay of arginine vasopressin. In B.M. Jaffe & H.R. Behrmann (Eds.), Methods of hormone radioimmunoassay (pp. 341–351). New York, NY: Academic Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Halperin, I., Williams, K.J., Martin, D.T., & Chapman, D.W. (2016). The effects of attentional focusing instructions on force production during the isometric midthigh pull. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(4), 919–923. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001194

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holte, K., Nielsen, K.G., Madsen, J.L., & Kehlet, H. (2004). Physiologic effects of bowel preparation. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, 47(8), 1397–1402. doi:10.1007/s10350-004-0592-1

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kishore, B.K., Terris, J.M., & Knepper, M.A. (1996). Quantitation of aquaporin-2 abundance in microdissected collecting ducts: Axial distribution and control by AVP. American Journal of Physiology—Renal Physiology, 271(1), 62–70. doi:10.1152/ajprenal.1996.271.1.F62

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Knepper, M.A. (1997). Molecular physiology of urinary concentrating mechanism: Regulation of aquaporin water channels by vasopressin. American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology, 272(1), F3–F12. doi:10.1152/ajprenal.1997.272.1.F3

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kwon, T.H., Frokiaer, J., & Nielsen, S. (2013). Regulation of aquaporin-2 in the kidney: A molecular mechanism of body-water homeostasis. Kidney Research and Clinical Practice, 32(3), 96–102. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.krcp.2013.07.005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lankford, S.P., Chou, C., Terada, Y., Wall, S.M., Wade, J.B., & Knepper, M.A. (1991). Regulation of collecting duct water permeability independent of cAMP-mediated AVP response. American Journal of Physiology—Renal Physiology, 261(3), F554–F566. doi:10.1152/ajprenal.1991.261.3.F554

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lee, Y.Y., Erdogan, A., & Rao, S.S.C. (2014). How to assess regional and whole gut transit time with wireless motility capsule. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 20(2), 265–270. doi:10.5056/jnm.2014.20.2.265

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lijoi, D., Ferrero, S., Mistrangelo, E., Casa, I.D., Crosa, M., Remorgida, V., & Alessandri, F. (2009). Bowel preparation before laparoscopic gynaecological surgery in benign conditions using a 1-week low fibre diet: A surgeon blind, randomized and controlled trial. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 280(5), 713–718. doi:10.1007/s00404-009-0986-3

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Loucks, A.B. (2004). Energy balance and body composition in sports and exercise. Journal of Sports Sciences, 22(1), 1–14. PubMed doi:10.1080/0264041031000140518

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Matthews, J.J., & Nicholas, C. (2016). Extreme rapid weight loss and rapid weight gain observed in UK mixed martial artists preparing for competition. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 27(2), 122–129. doi:10.1123/ijsnem.2016-0174

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Monro, J.A. (2000). Faecal bulking index: A physiological basis for dietary management of bulk in the distal colon. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 9(2), 74–81. doi:10.1046/j.1440-6047.2000.00155.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Montoye, H.J. (2000). Energy costs of exercise and sport. In Nutrition in sport (Vol. 7, 7th ed., pp. 53–72). London, UK: Blackwell Sciences.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nana, A., Slater, G.J., Hopkins, W.G., Halson, S.L., Martin, D.T., West, N.P., & Burke, L.M. (2016). Importance of standardized DXA protocol for assessing physique changes in athletes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 26(3), 259–267. PubMed doi:10.1123/ijsnem.2013-0111

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reale, R., Slater, G., & Burke, L.M. (2016). Acute weight loss strategies for combat sports and applications to Olympic success. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 12(2), 142–151. doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0211

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reale, R., Slater, G., & Burke, L.M. (2017). Weight management practices of Australian Olympic combat sport athletes. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 1–26. PubMed doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0553

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robertson, G.L., Shelton, R.L., & Athar, S. (1976). The osmoregulation of vasopressin. Kidney International, 10(1), 25–37. PubMed doi:10.1038/ki.1976.76

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Verbalis, J.G. (2003). Disorders of body water homeostasis. Best Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 17(4), 471–503. PubMed doi:10.1016/S1521-690X(03)00049-6

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wu, K.L., Rayner, C.K., Chuah, S.K., Chiu, K.W., Lu, C.C., & Chiu, Y.C. (2011). Impact of low-residue diet on bowel preparation for colonoscopy. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, 54(1), 107–112. doi:10.1007/DCR.0b013e3181fb1e52

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 779 779 213
Full Text Views 50 50 8
PDF Downloads 32 32 4