The purpose of this study was to compare biochemical and hormonal responses between mixed martial arts (MMA) competitors with minimal prefight 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 (~30 min prior fight) and athletes declared not having used RWL strategies, while the RWL group (n = 5) weighed in 24 hr 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 < .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 < .05) greater creatinine levels (Mean± SD; pre to post) (NWL= 101.6 ± 15–142.3 ± 22.9μmol/L and RWL= 68.9 ± 10.6–79.5 ± 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.
Victor Silveira Coswig, David Hideyoshi Fukuda and Fabrício Boscolo Del Vecchio
Victor Silveira Coswig, Bianca Miarka, Daniel Alvarez Pires, Levy Mendes da Silva, Charles Bartel and Fabrício Boscolo Del Vecchio
We aimed to describe the nutritional and behavioral strategies for rapid weight loss (RWL), investigate the effects of RWL and weight regain in winners and losers, and verify mood state and technical–tactical/time–motion parameters in mixed martial arts. The sample consisted of mixed martial arts athletes after a single real match and was separated into two groups: winners (n = 8; age: 25.4 ± 6.1 years, height: 173.9 ± 0.2 cm, habitual body mass: 89.9 ± 17.3 kg) and losers (n = 7; age: 24.4 ± 6.8 years, height: 178.4 ± 0.9 cm, habitual body mass: 90.8 ± 19.5 kg). Both groups exhibited RWL and weight regain, verified their macronutrient intake, underwent weight and height assessments, and completed two questionnaires (Profile of Mood States and RWL) at (a) 24 hr before weigh-in, (b) weigh-in, (c) postbout, and (d) 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 mixed martial arts performance. RWL and weight regain 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.