-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Rapid weight loss in the
days before a wrestling match can increase confusion but has no
effect on strength, a new study finds.
U.S. researchers examined the physical and mental effects of
"weight cutting" in 16 collegiate wrestlers. Ten days before
competing, the wrestlers were weighed and underwent psychological
and strength tests. They could then choose a desired amount of
weight to lose before the match, using methods such as exercise,
calorie restriction and fluid deprivation.
The wrestlers were weighed again in the days before the match,
and the psychological and strength tests were repeated on the day
of the competition.
The wrestlers lost up to 8 percent of their body mass, and the
average weight loss was about six pounds. Even though they had 10
days to lose weight, they lost nearly all their weight in the two
days before the match.
The researchers found that wrestlers who lost 4 percent or more
of their body mass had significantly higher levels of confusion on
the day of the competition. There was no increased confusion for
those who lost less than 4 percent of their body mass.
Body mass reduction had no effect on other psychological
functions or on grip strength or lower body power, said the
researchers at California State University, Fullerton.
The study is published in the April issue of the
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
It's common for wrestlers to reduce body mass before a meet in
an attempt to gain a competitive edge in their weight class, but in
"a sport which requires split-second decision making, a higher
state of confusion and tension can detrimentally affect the
wrestler's performance," the researchers noted in a journal news
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about
safe weight loss.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.