When a healthy 18-year-old Australian dies from preparation for a Muay-Thai fight, it’s time we start taking weight-cutting seriously.
On November 10, 2017, Jessica Lindsay collapsed half an hour before a weigh-in to check whether she would meet the 64kg limit for a Muay-Thai match. Four days later, she was dead. According to Perth Now, the preliminary cause of death was extreme dehydration. It is alleged she was weight cutting in an effort to meet the weight restrictions for her class. Former UFC heavyweight, Dhafir Harris (Dada 5000) also collapsed in February last year after dropping 18kgs and required life-saving treatment. Preparation to meet weight restrictions should be taken seriously.
What is weight cutting?
Weight cutting involves abstaining from carbohydrates and no drinking a day prior to weigh-in. New studies have found mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters, boxers and wrestlers are risking their health by quickly dropping approximately up to 10 kilograms preceding a match, In some cases, shedding such a lot of weight in a short space of time can be dangerous to your health. There is a right way to go about it and Weight cutting can be done safely.
Is there a safe way to cut weight?
Renowned MMA nutrition guru and FitnessVT creator George Lockhart promotes strategic weight-cutting which incorporates healthy daily meals which include carbs, lots of protein and keeping hydrated. Even being slightly dehydrated can lead to a decrease in performance and effects your organs. Experts also warn women don’t weight as easily as men due to estrogen levels.
Many fighters that are young and think of themselves invincible, so pushing home the safety and health factors do little to persuade them from cutting weight to drop a class. Focusing on how cutting weight effects performance is more likely to have more impact.
No matter what form of combat sport you are doing, if you are about to undertake a weight-cutting camp or have been thinking about weight-cutting at home, consult with a medical professional. It could be the difference between life and death.