Breaking News
July 22, 2018 - Survey results identify major inequalities in acute stroke treatment across Europe
July 22, 2018 - Researchers discover promising treatment for genetic form of autism spectrum disorder
July 22, 2018 - Prenatal Depression More Common in Young Moms Today
July 22, 2018 - What helps adults with autism get and keep a job?
July 22, 2018 - Pediatric NEXUS Head CT DI guides selective imaging decisions in blunt trauma patients
July 22, 2018 - Novel tool predicts genes that cause disease due to production of truncated proteins
July 22, 2018 - AHA: Vaping Tied to Blood Clots — in Mice
July 22, 2018 - Study finds therapy dogs effective in reducing symptoms of ADHD
July 22, 2018 - Scientists find reason why malarial parasites are faster than immune cells
July 22, 2018 - Researchers gain more insight into how FUS protein causes ALS and FTLD
July 22, 2018 - Frequency of joint replacements halved in rheumatoid arthritis patients between 1997-2010
July 22, 2018 - QUT researcher highlights growing impact of non-prescription antibiotics supply in pharmacies
July 22, 2018 - UK health communication researcher seeks solutions for disposing leftover medicine
July 22, 2018 - Pfizer Initiates Pivotal Phase 3 Program for Investigational Hemophilia B Gene Therapy Fidanacogene Elaparvovec
July 22, 2018 - Mutation discovered to protect against Alzheimer’s disease in mice
July 22, 2018 - Researchers reveal how patients in urban areas develop multiple, long-term conditions
July 22, 2018 - Replacing conventional cancer treatment with complementary therapy linked to increased risk of death
July 22, 2018 - Study uncovers molecular key for delaying progression of multiple sclerosis
July 22, 2018 - Availability of athletic trainer in high school reduces injury rates in girls’ sports, shows study
July 22, 2018 - FDA Approves Krintafel (tafenoquine) for the Radical Cure of Plasmodium vivax Malaria
July 22, 2018 - Novel nuclear medicine probe will help assess new drugs for neurodegenerative diseases
July 22, 2018 - Physical activity even during exposure to air pollution can reduce risk of heart attack
July 22, 2018 - Scientists discover protein regulator of myelin production
July 22, 2018 - Sleep disturbances associated with higher dementia risk
July 22, 2018 - Scientists move one step further in developing eye drops to treat age-related macular degeneration
July 22, 2018 - Five-Year Stroke Rates Lower After PCI Versus CABG
July 21, 2018 - Alopecia areata – Genetics Home Reference
July 21, 2018 - Study identifies overdose risk factors in youth with substance use disorders
July 21, 2018 - Drug in clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease offers hope for treating heart failure
July 21, 2018 - Coupling free malaria tests with diagnosis-dependent vouchers can improve rational use of ACTs
July 21, 2018 - Sweetness depends on molecular interactions between specific sugars and water in saliva
July 21, 2018 - Muscle fitness is strongly associated with improved rate of ageing in the brain
July 21, 2018 - Resetting E-Prescriptions for Opioids Helps Curb Use: Study
July 21, 2018 - Overuse of antibiotics not what the doctor ordered
July 21, 2018 - Bundled-payment system did not lower costs for serious medical conditions, shows study
July 21, 2018 - Therapy dogs found to be effective in reducing ADHD symptoms in children
July 21, 2018 - Could rotating multiple therapists better treat PTSD patients?
July 21, 2018 - Binge drinking impairs working memory in adolescent brain
July 21, 2018 - Dying at home could be beneficial for terminally ill cancer patients and their relatives
July 21, 2018 - Researchers identify subtypes of retinal ganglion cells using single-cell RNA sequencing
July 21, 2018 - Study uncovers opportunities to reduce death by suicide among cancer patients
July 21, 2018 - Genetic sequencing reveals new clues to aggressiveness of prostate cancer
July 21, 2018 - BioSight Launches a Phase 2b Clinical Trial of BST-236 as a First-Line Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia
July 21, 2018 - First major study comparing robotic to open surgery published in The Lancet
July 21, 2018 - ADHD medications may fail to improve cognition in healthy college students, study shows
July 21, 2018 - Intervention program that includes a personalized app could benefit teens with suicidal thoughts
July 21, 2018 - Researchers identify new compound that protects against neurodegeneration
July 21, 2018 - Gene therapy may hold potential to treat people with spinal cord injuries
July 21, 2018 - FDA Approves Nivestym (filgrastim-aafi), a Biosimilar to Neupogen
July 21, 2018 - Surgeons have substantial impact on genetic testing in breast cancer patients who need it
July 21, 2018 - Species diversity can have positive and negative impacts on disease transmission
July 21, 2018 - Genome research suggests presence of enteric fever in medieval Europe
July 21, 2018 - Risk of Sensory Deficits Drops With Rising Gestational Age
July 21, 2018 - Mum’s sleep matters—the effect of sleep on an unborn baby
July 21, 2018 - UC San Diego researchers awarded two grants for investigating stem cell-based therapies
July 21, 2018 - Cellular ‘garbage disposal’ may actually work on some of the proteins to neuronal development
July 21, 2018 - More Pregnant Women Having Heart Attacks
July 21, 2018 - Acne Breakouts | NIH News in Health
July 21, 2018 - Change health messaging to focus on potential impact to help stop the next pandemic
July 21, 2018 - Frailty associated with poor survival rates in young heart patients
July 21, 2018 - New discovery could save millions of lives from fatal fungal infections
July 21, 2018 - OBD presents latest data on the use of EpiSwitch™ in predicting patient response to immunotherapy and identifying lymphoma subtypes
July 21, 2018 - Childhood adversity increases susceptibility to addiction via immune response
July 21, 2018 - Scientists identify potential target for the treatment of binge eating
July 21, 2018 - Whole-brain LIPUS therapy improves cognitive dysfunction in mice simulating dementia, Alzheimer’s
July 21, 2018 - Digital media use raising risk of ADHD symptoms among the young
July 21, 2018 - Phase 3 study of tanezumab in patients with osteoarthritis pain meets all three co-primary endpoints
July 21, 2018 - Restoring mitochondrial function to reverse aging-related skin wrinkles, hair loss in mice
July 21, 2018 - SP PennTech introduces RW-500 rotary vial washer for biotech, pharmaceutical applications
July 21, 2018 - Researchers to study molecular mechanisms behind susceptibility of males to autism
July 21, 2018 - Using tendon transfer surgery to restore key functions in spinal cord injury patient
July 21, 2018 - Scientists create wearable device that measures cortisol in sweat
July 21, 2018 - Researchers study efficacy and safety of new treatment for OUD
July 21, 2018 - Fourth Published Clinical Trial Confirms Long-Term Safety of Niagen Supplementation at High Doses and Shows Potential for Improvement in Liver Health
July 21, 2018 - Study examines effects of a two-day intermittent calorie restriction diet for patients with type 2 diabetes
July 21, 2018 - Greening vacant urban land reduces feelings of depression for surrounding residents
July 21, 2018 - Parents say intense gun violence in PG-13 movies appropriate for teens 15 and older
July 21, 2018 - Collaborative study to assess effects of exercise training for cognitive deficits in MS
July 21, 2018 - FAU researchers find possible cause of Parkinson’s disease in the patients’ immune system
July 21, 2018 - Protective qualities of ‘good cholesterol’ reduce after menopause
MMA athletes may put health at risk by using extreme weight loss techniques

MMA athletes may put health at risk by using extreme weight loss techniques

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes are potentially putting their health at risk by shedding almost 10kg in bodyweight in the lead up to fights, new research from Edith Cowan University (ECU) has found.

And instead of giving fighters an advantage, it may actually hamper their performance in the ring.

Weight cutting, or losing weight rapidly before a bout, is common in sports that are divided into weight classes as athletes aim to compete in a lower weight division.

But now research has found the practice is more prevalent in MMA than other combat sports.

Worldwide survey

ECU School of Medical and Health Sciences PhD candidate Oliver Barley interviewed 637 MMA, boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu jitsu, judo, Muay Thai/Kickboxing and Taekwondo athletes about their weight cutting techniques.

He found that while weight cutting was prevalent across the different combat sports, MMA athletes were, on average, losing far more weight before fights.

“We found that MMA athletes reported losing an average of 9.8kg before each fight. This compares to 5.3kg for boxing, 4.2kg for Brazilian jiu jitsu and 3.8kg for judo,” he said.

“This equates to MMA athletes losing an average of 11.5 percent of their body weight in the lead up to a fight, compared to an average of about six percent for the other sports.”

Risky methods

Mr Barley said the results also showed that MMA athletes were more likely to use more extreme and potentially dangerous techniques to cut weight.

“We found that 76 percent of MMA athletes used the saunas and restricted fluid intake, while 63 percent reported using rubber or plastic suits as weight cutting methods,” Mr Barley said.

“By wearing a rubber or plastic suit in a sauna you can lose up five percent of your body weight in two hours through sweat. Losing that much fluid in such a short time is going to leave you severely dehydrated which could have long-term health implications and in extreme cases even
death.

“Current research indicates that it is possible that the high magnitudes of weight loss could result in a number of health complications including cardiovascular problems and increased insulin sensitivity as well as an increased risk of brain damage during competition.”

Why cut?

Mr Barley, who has competed in MMA himself, said the motivation to cut weight was simple.

“No one wants to go into a fight with someone who is bigger than they are. So the incentive is there for fighters to attempt to cut down to a lower weight class,” he said.

How to cut down on the problem?

Mr Barley said introducing regulations to limit weight cutting would be difficult.

“As it stands we don’t have a reliable test to measure how dehydrated someone is, so we lack an accurate objective way to measure how much weight someone has cut before a bout,” he said.

“I think the solution has to be about educating competitors about not only the dangers of extreme weight cutting but also that they may not be getting any benefit from it.”
In fact, previous research conducted by Mr Barley has shown that weight cutting significantly reduced athlete’s endurance.

“We found that even 24 hours after modest weight cutting, losing just five per cent of body weight resulted in reduced endurance.

“Additionally we found that athletes did not regain all of the weight lost after 24 hours. This combined with some of the hydration markers still showing dehydration indicates that athletes might be entering competition still dehydrated from their weight cut,” he said.

“So not only does it look like extreme weight cutting could be harming the health of athletes, it may even be impeding their performance in the cage.”

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles