very short time, athletes often apply rapid weight loss (RWL) methods (such as restriction of food and fluid intake, exercising in rubber or plastic suits, taking diet pills, and even vomiting; Franchini et al., 2012 ; Khodaee et al., 2015 ). These methods can be hazardous to health and sometimes
Boris Dugonjić, Saša Krstulović, and Goran Kuvačić
Ben-El Berkovich, Aliza H. Stark, Alon Eliakim, Dan Nemet, and Tali Sinai
Rapid weight loss (RWL) or “cutting weight” prior to competition is well documented in weight category sports ( Franchini et al., 2012; Malliaropoulos et al., 2018 ). It is assumed that athletes who weigh the most within a given weight category have a physical advantage over lighter weight
Mathew Hillier, Louise Sutton, Lewis James, Dara Mojtahedi, Nicola Keay, and Karen Hind
, the process of “making weight” is imperative because failure to make weight results in bout cancellation or deduction from the athlete’s payment. Mixed martial arts athletes engage in gradual and rapid weight loss (RWL) prior to competition and then regain weight post weigh-in ( Coswig et al., 2018
Joseph J. Matthews, Edward N. Stanhope, Mark S. Godwin, Matthew E.J. Holmes, and Guilherme G. Artioli
selection process resulted in 16 full-text studies for inclusion in the review (Figure 1 ). Figure 1 —PRISMA flow diagram of study selection and inclusion. RWL = rapid weight loss; RWG = rapid weight gain. Study and Participant Characteristics The included studies were published between 1994 and 2017
Damir Zubac, Hrvoje Karnincic, and Damir Sekulic
Weight cutting is the practice of voluntary and rapid weight loss (RWL). RWL was previously defined as a rapid reduction of whole-body mass (BM; by >3%), primarily due to a loss of extracellular fluid, achieved within a 3-day period. 1 This practice is common among weight-class combat athletes to
Ben-El Berkovich, Alon Eliakim, Dan Nemet, Aliza Hannah Stark, and Tali Sinai
Athletes competing in individual sports such as judo are categorized by weight. Before competitions, weight cutting is common. This cross-sectional study was designed to characterize and determine the prevalence of rapid weight loss (RWL) among adolescent judo competitors. Male athletes aged 12- to 17-years old (N = 108) were recruited from local judo teams. Each participant completed a validated questionnaire regarding RWL practices. Anthropometric measurements were also performed. Average age was 14.6 ± 1.6 years and all participants were of normal body mass index (BMI). RWL was practiced by 80% of the athletes before competition, beginning at an average age of 12.5 ± 2.2 years with the highest prevalence (~94%) in the oldest group of judoka (16–17.9 years). Precompetition weight loss duration was 8 ± 5.4 days, with an average weight reduction of 1.5 ± 1.1 kg. The number of weight loss efforts per athlete in the past season was 2.8 ± 2.2. RWL was achieved by increased physical activity (82.6%), skipped meals (56.3%), or fasting at least once (47%). Two-thirds of the athletes indicated that their coaches were the most influential figure in their decision to lose weight before competition. RWL is highly prevalent in adolescent judo competitors. The methods used by these athletes can potentially lead to significant health risks including compromised nutritional status, diminished physical performance and impaired growth and development. It is of great importance to insure that those who guide young adults in weight loss for competitive sports have the knowledge and understanding to make safe recommendations and appropriate decisions regarding achieving specific weight goals.
Victor Silveira Coswig, David Hideyoshi Fukuda, and Fabrício Boscolo Del Vecchio
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.
Daniel M. Landers, Shawn M. Arent, and Rafer S. Lutz
Recent research has demonstrated transient affective changes and impairment of short-term memory in college wrestlers as a result of rapid weight loss (RWL) of at least 5% body weight prior to competition. This study examined the effects of RWL on cognition and affect in high school wrestlers. Wrestlers were considered to be engaging in RWL if they were losing over 5% of body weight (n = 14). Those losing less than 1% of body weight (n = 14) were considered maintainers and served as the control group. Both groups were given a battery of tests assessing cognitive performance (Trail Making Tests A & B, Stroop color-word test, Wechsler digit span, and choice reaction/movement time) and affective state (PANAS) at normal weight (5 to 10 days prior to competition) and again 8 to 12 hours prior to weigh-in. Results indicated an average loss of 4.68 kg in the RWL group and 0.29 kg in the control group. A group-by-time MANOVA and univariate follow-up tests indicated a significant group-by-time interaction for positive affect, p < .014, with the RWL wrestlers having less positive affect than the control group just prior to weigh-in. However, none of the cognitive performance tests demonstrated significant differential changes for RWL vs. control groups, p > .10. Given the control for competition effects in the present study, results suggest there are affective disturbances, but not cognitive impairments, associated with RWL of at least 5% body weight in high school wrestlers.
Jose Morales, Carla Ubasart, Mónica Solana-Tramunt, Israel Villarrasa-Sapiña, Luis-Millán González, David Fukuda, and Emerson Franchini
reduce their body mass to compete in an inferior category where they would potentially encounter lighter and weaker opponents. 2 Notably, official weigh-ins usually occur 6 to 24 hours before competition leading many athletes to pursue very aggressive rapid weight loss (RWL) strategies, 1 such as
SarahJane Cullen, Eimear Dolan, Kate O Brien, Adrian McGoldrick, and Giles Warrington
Balance and anaerobic performance are key attributes related to horse-racing performance, but research on the impact of making weight for racing on these parameters remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of rapid weight loss in preparation for racing on balance and anaerobic performance in a group of jockeys.
Twelve apprentice male jockeys and 12 age- and gender-matched controls completed 2 trials separated by 48 h. In both trials, body mass, hydration status, balance, and anaerobic performance were assessed. Between the trials, the jockeys reduced body mass by 4% using weight-loss methods typically adopted in preparation for racing, while controls maintained body mass through typical daily dietary and physical activity habits.
Apprentice jockeys decreased mean body mass by 4.2% ± 0.3% (P < .001) with a subsequent increase in dehydration (P < .001). The controls maintained body mass and a euhydrated state. No differences in balance, on the left or right side, or in peak power, mean power, or fatigue index were reported between the trials in either group.
Results from this study indicate that a 4% reduction in body mass in 48 h through the typical methods employed for racing, in association with an increase in dehydration, resulted in no impairments in balance or anaerobic performance. Further research is required to evaluate performance in a sport-specific setting and to investigate the specific physiological mechanisms involved.