Breaking News
October 19, 2018 - The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Nanotherapeutic strategies
October 19, 2018 - Delay in replacing the Pap smear with HPV screening is costing lives
October 19, 2018 - Physicians battle pediatric diseases of ear, nose, throat in Zimbabwe | News Center
October 19, 2018 - Researchers investigate why some cancers affect only young women
October 19, 2018 - Drugmakers funnel millions to lawmakers; a few dozen get $100,000-plus
October 19, 2018 - Unselfish people tend to have more children and receive higher salaries
October 19, 2018 - New findings reveal potential cellular players in tumor microenvironment
October 19, 2018 - Human brain cell transplant offers insights into neurological conditions
October 19, 2018 - Parental education associated with increased family health care spending
October 19, 2018 - New statistical method estimates long- and short-term risk of recurrence of breast cancer in US women
October 19, 2018 - Father’s exposure to nicotine may cause cognitive deficits in descendants
October 19, 2018 - Could we prevent Alzheimer’s disease by treating herpes?
October 19, 2018 - Nurse-led care can be more successful in managing gout
October 19, 2018 - Trump administration, pharma exchange verbal volleys on drug-price transparency
October 19, 2018 - Duke researchers find way to detect blood doping in athletes
October 19, 2018 - Many primary care doctors are still prescribing sedative drugs for older adults
October 19, 2018 - Finger length can predict sexuality in women say researchers
October 19, 2018 - Study finds differences in side-effects experienced by male and female OG cancer patients
October 19, 2018 - Few Seniors Who Self-Harm Referred for Mental Health Care
October 19, 2018 - Don’t sweat the sweet stuff
October 19, 2018 - URMC researchers discover new approach to deliver therapeutics to the brain
October 19, 2018 - Middlemen suppliers can increase drug prices and hospital bills, say Johns Hopkins researchers
October 19, 2018 - Human neurons employ highly compartmentalized signaling, study shows
October 19, 2018 - Ultromics expands multiple clinical trials for coronary heart disease to the U.S.
October 19, 2018 - $11 million NIH grant for Clemson University helps launch new center for musculoskeletal research
October 19, 2018 - A new approach identified to control Zika virus, dengue fever
October 19, 2018 - Head Blows Without Concussion May Not Damage Brain, Study Claims
October 19, 2018 - US opioid use not declined, despite focus on abuse and awareness of risk
October 19, 2018 - Next-generation RNA sequencing technology sheds new light on human mitochondrial diseases
October 19, 2018 - UT Southwestern biochemist receives 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for innate immunity discovery
October 19, 2018 - The immune system also plays a key role in day-to-day function of healthy organs
October 19, 2018 - New tool may reveal how the brain structure impacts brain activity, human behavior
October 19, 2018 - Trump Administration announces ‘Winning on Reducing Food Waste’ initiative
October 19, 2018 - For-profit nursing home residents more likely to experience health issues caused by substandard care
October 19, 2018 - Incidence of stroke has risen steadily among marijuana users, show studies
October 19, 2018 - Conceptual framework proposed to examine role of exercise in multiple sclerosis
October 19, 2018 - Near infrared spectroscopy technique for accurate evaluation of chondral injuries
October 19, 2018 - Scientists receive $5.1 million grant to develop stem cell-based therapy for blinding retinal conditions
October 19, 2018 - Shorter physician encounters associated with antibiotic prescribing
October 19, 2018 - In the Spotlight: Enjoying research and exploring opportunities
October 19, 2018 - Physical activity lowers cardiovascular mortality risk in frail older adults
October 19, 2018 - New imaging tool helps visualize how sound-induced vibrations travel through the ear
October 19, 2018 - Key insights into the application, production of bioactive materials
October 19, 2018 - New urea sorbent could speed up the development of wearable artificial kidney
October 19, 2018 - Intensive care patients’ muscles less able to use fats for energy
October 19, 2018 - FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of Dsuvia for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Acute Pain
October 19, 2018 - 48,XXXY syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
October 19, 2018 - Physical exercise improves the elimination of toxic proteins from muscles
October 19, 2018 - How a new system improved wait times for Stanford kidney transplant patients
October 19, 2018 - Nutrition has bigger positive impact on bone mass and strength than exercise
October 19, 2018 - Study finds lack of progress in media representation of nurses over last 20 years
October 19, 2018 - Many people have trouble understanding differences between OCD and OCPD
October 19, 2018 - New family planning app found to be as effective as modern methods
October 19, 2018 - Gastric Banding, Metformin Similar for Improving Glycemia
October 19, 2018 - Physiologist publishes findings on the role of the protein titin in muscle contraction
October 19, 2018 - What digital health companies need to do to succeed
October 19, 2018 - N. Carolina Sees Alarming Spike in Heart Infections Among Opioid Users
October 19, 2018 - Video monitoring of TB therapy works well in urban and rural areas
October 19, 2018 - Determining acid-neutralizing capacity for OTC antacids
October 19, 2018 - Males who spend more time taking care of kids have greater reproductive success
October 18, 2018 - Study to explore bioethics of brain organoids
October 18, 2018 - Environmental conditions may drive development of multiple sclerosis
October 18, 2018 - Genetically modifying zebrafish provides more accurate disease models
October 18, 2018 - Purdue Pharma, Eisai announce positive topline results from Phase 3 study of lemborexant
October 18, 2018 - 5 Strength-Training Mistakes to Avoid
October 18, 2018 - Immune system’s balancing act keeps bowel disease in check
October 18, 2018 - Anti-inflammatory drug effective for treating lymphedema symptoms | News Center
October 18, 2018 - Keeping Your Voice Young
October 18, 2018 - One-time universal screening recommended to tackle increase in hepatitis C
October 18, 2018 - Researchers to develop new stem cell-based strategies for treating vision disorders
October 18, 2018 - Detecting epigenetic signature may help people stay ahead of inflammatory bowel disease
October 18, 2018 - Understanding AFib: Slowing down the dancing heart
October 18, 2018 - Using NMR to Reduce Fraud
October 18, 2018 - New automated model identifies dense breast tissue in mammograms
October 18, 2018 - Mysterious polio-like illness baffles medical experts while frightening parents
October 18, 2018 - Cases of Acute Flaccid Myelitis on the rise across U.S.
October 18, 2018 - Dietary fiber reduces brain inflammation during aging
October 18, 2018 - New tool could help prioritize recovery efforts for the poorest hit by natural disasters
October 18, 2018 - Hundreds of dietary supplements shown to contain unapproved drugs
October 18, 2018 - Active Pharmaceuticals ID’d in >700 Dietary Supplements
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