This study examined the effects of serial reductions in energy and fluid intake on two simulated boxing performances separated by 2 days recovery. Eight amateur boxers (age: 23.6 ± 3.2 years; height 175 ± 5 cm; body mass [BM] 73.3 ± 8.3 kg [Mean ± SD]) performed two simulated boxing bouts (BB) under normal (N-trial) and restricted (R-trial) diets in a counterbalanced design over 5 days. The trials were separated by a 9-day period of normal dietary behavior (X-trial). BM was recorded on days 1, 3, and 5 of each trial. Simulated bouts of three, 3-min rounds with 1-min recovery were completed on days 3 (BB1) and 5 (BB2) of each 5-day trial. Punching force (N) was recorded from 8 sets of 7 punches by a purpose-built boxing ergometer. Heart rate (fC) was monitored continuously (PE3000 Polar Sports Tester, Kempele, Finland), and blood lactate (BLa) and glucose (BG) were determined 4-min post-performance (2300 StaPlus, YSI, Ohio). Energy and fluid intakes were significantly lower in the R-trial (p < .05). Body mass was maintained during the N-trial but fell 3% (p < .05) during the R-trial. There were no significant differences in end-of-bout fC or post-bout BG, but BLa was higher in the N- than the R-trial (p < .05). R-trial punching forces were 3.2% and 4.6% lower, respectively, compared to the corresponding N-trial bouts, but the differences did not reach statistical significance. These results suggest that energy and fluid restrictions in weight-governed sports do not always lead to a significant decrease in performance, but because of the small sample size and big variations in individual performances, these findings should be interpreted with care.
M. Smith, R. Dyson, T. Hale, M. Hamilton, and J. Kelly are with the Centre for Sports Science and Medicine at the University College Chichester, College Lane, Chichester PO19 4PE, UK. P. Wellington is with the British Olympic Association Nutrition Steering Group, British Olympic Association, 1 Wandsworth Plain, London SW18 1EH, UK.