The Danger of Dehydration in Combat Sports

The Danger of Dehydration in Combat Sports


Proper nutrition is universally acclaimed as being one of the most important elements of creating the “perfect fighter”. However, there is one aspect of proper nutrition that’s often neglected – and it’s the importance of hydration. Many combat sports athletes fail to grasp and understand just how important it is to be properly hydrated before, during, and after a training session or a fight. That being said, you can learn more about the dangers of dehydration in combat sports by reading the article below.

The effects of dehydration

Chances are that you too have been dehydrated at some point in your life before. Perhaps it was very hot outside, and you haven’t had anything to drink or eat for a while. Do you remember what the symptoms were? First come the “not so serious” symptoms – for example, your mouth begins to dry out and you begin to feel thirsty, and you may have a dark yellow pee. That’s just the start of it.

Most people end their problems there and then by drinking some water or other fluids to rehydrate. However, if you fail to do this, then the much more serious effects of dehydration may arise as a result. For example, if you’re dehydrated, you will eventually begin to feel dizzy or even faint. You may not even feel the need to pee – and the pee that does come out will be a lot darker in color. Heart palpitations and fast breathing are all common. And if a person goes over the limit, then he or she will eventually fall into a coma and die.

Dehydration and combat sports

The problem becomes much more serious and more common in the combat sports population. And it’s easy to see why. First, combat sports training is one of the most vigorous, most demanding forms of exercise that a person can imagine. So, your body will be sweating profusely and you will rapidly lose hydration in the process.

One of the most terrible things that fighters tend to put themselves through is to purposely dehydrate themselves in order to make weight for a lower category. And if you follow your MMA, then you have definitely seen a lot of fighters that were barely able to stand and walk when the officials measured their weight – all due to exhaustion caused by dehydration. So, health-wise, purposely dehydrating yourself is one of the worst things that you can do to your body as an athlete and a fighter.

Moreover, scientific studies show that the human brain uses a protective layer of fluids in order to resist damage. What happens once this protective layer is gone due to the fact that the fighter has purposely dehydrated themselves in order to make weight? The brain becomes much more susceptible to the damage that the head will almost inevitably get when fighting or training.

The cure

The cure to this malady of dehydration is actually very simple – JUST DRINK MORE WATER. Drink before you train, drink during you train, and drink after you train. It’s as simple as that. And ditch all of those weight-making ideas that force you to get dehydrated. Drinking water is one of the biggest investments that you can make for your health – and for the longevity of your combat sports career.

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