Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see Hulk fighting ATOM from DC Comics? Let’s put aside all their superhuman strength and put emphasis on their body weight. Who do you think would win? The terror of it is not only physical but also the mental pressure on ATOM who knows his upcoming fate. So to put justice into the system, the boxing tournaments arrange weigh-in events 24 hours prior to the main event to place boxers in designated weight divisions. But boxers use the strategy of losing and regaining weight before and after the weigh-ins. Although it may sound immoral and even illegal to some extent, this practice is justified by the mass use of the dangerous and risky techniques. Yes, you heard it right, losing weight overnight drastically for boxing is a very tiresome and at some times, a threatening practice. Let’s not waste more time on the introductory chit-chats and busy ourselves into knowing the answer to “ How do boxers lose weight so quickly ?” and “How is it maintained before the weigh-ins?” .This will also provide you with the activities often gone through by boxers and the quality of boxing before and after weight loss. You might also consider all the age groupings and the functions of boxing gloves during weight boxing.
As we all may be familiar with the fact that our body is made up of 70% of water. The contributed weight by this water is a part of what’s called the fluid weight. From here, you can probably guess that the answer to “How do boxers lose weight so quickly?” surely lies in the reduced intake and conservation of water or more frankly said, dehydration. All the rest methods that follow this utterly bizarre method of depriving the body of one of its most important driving force is nothing but the sub-methods or shall we say, assistants to this method. Let’s see in deep on what the best and safest practice of dramatic weight loss before the weigh-in.
Limiting Water/Fluid Intake:
This is a method that is most often very strictly monitored and overseen by a coach. Contestants usually drink about 2 gallons of water on the fifth day prior to the weigh-ins and reduce the amount proportionately as the day approaches. On the day before the weigh-ins, boxers usually drink only 1/8 of what they began with on the first day of the crash diet, or to put in in numbers, about 0.25 gallons. On the day of weigh-ins, they drink nothing. This helps to maintain the healthy balance of sodium levels and water intake. However, after the weigh-ins, with only a day in hand to regain the lost weight and also to ensure the prevention of injuries, boxers need to intake the highest amount of water his/her body can absorb and the average amount is 1L/hour with only 75% of it contributing to the bodyweight. So, the main process here is shrinkage and expansion of the body by means of fluid restrictions. However effective this might seem to be in a short-term and for a temporary cause, continuing this practice for long period of time may lead to injury, acidosis instantly and kidney failure on the long run which may eventually lead to death. Also, if not rehydrated properly after the weigh-ins, boxers know that only 3% dehydration can be blamed for 30% reduced performance.
Restricting Carbohydrate Intake:
Eating of only up to 50g a day is a common practice within the boxing community. It helps to break down the glycogen in muscles and also prevents the formation of water in the body. This practice, without additional planned and strategic diet plans, may reduce the blood sugar drastically and make the boxer dizzy and daunting as the brain gets reduced supplies of glucose. So, a properly maintained diet is very necessary if the intake of carbohydrates is restricted. As the boxers don’t eat or drink anything a day from their time of weigh-in, they usually gorge on a potentially unlimited supply of carb-rich food after the weigh-in to replace the lost weight and muscles.
Restricting Salt Intake:
Yes, it is another restriction and this applies to all types of salt. Salt absorbs water and traps it in the body and counteracts with the boxer’s ability to flush out the remaining water. This is yet triggered by the hormones vasopressin and aldosterone. They close pores and control sodium intake.
This is yet another hard to go through experience for the common people, but such is not true for the fighters of mixed martial arts. The boxers often over-exercise or sit in a sauna to dehydrate very quickly. Running the treadmill or sprinting is a trash bag is also a common practice. This practice, under serious circumstances, may lead to heart-attack, stroke or even seizure for some individuals.
Taking in a high amount of good calories is necessary as the boxers undergo an extreme form of modification. To aid in this, a planned daily meal routine full of high-quality proteins and fats is followed by many. This meal plan is usually full of healthy meat and vegetables.
Controlling Bowel Movement:
The unhealthiest way to deal with weight loss is using laxatives to get rid of all the solid body waste from the digestive tract. As the solid weight of digestive system turns to zero, inflammation of organ begins at a high rate. If not taken care of immediately after the weigh-in, this may cause a reduced performance and long term side effects will follow.
Going through all these procedures, you may be wondering if this is the perfect diet plan for you for that wedding or the photo shoot that you need so badly to look gorgeous in. The answer, as you may already be wondering by now, is a NO. Although effective on men for losing up to 30lbs, these methods are not so effective in women due to the high level of estrogen in the body. And as these techniques are done under experts, the cases of brain swelling, hypovolemic shock and death are relatively low. But not to discourage the rising boxer in there: desperate times call for desperate measures. Just don’t be so continually desperate until science helps us find another way to lose weight without so many adverse effects. Box on! By the way are you wondering why people wear boxing gloves at all and what would happen if they didn't?