Pre-competition body mass loss characteristics of Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors in the United Kingdom
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractBrazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling-based combat sport in which competitors engage in pre-competition acute ‘weight’ loss (AWL) and rapid ‘weight’ loss (RWL) to achieve the body mass (BM) required for their desired division. AWL/RWL practices of UK BJJ competitors have not previously been reported. Our aim in this study was to determine the prevalence, magnitude and stakeholder influences of AWL and RWL amongst BJJ participants in the United Kingdom (UK). A secondary aim was to explore whether there is any influence of time spent in the sport or competition frequency on AWL/RWL practices. In this study we used the rapid weight loss questionnaire (RWLQ) adapted for BJJ to determine the prevalence and magnitude of AWL/RWL in UK BJJ, the prevalence of methods used and the key stakeholder influences on these practices. As a secondary investigation we aimed to determine whether there was any effect of age starting BJJ on AWL/RWL. Of 115 completed responses, 59% stated they performed AWL/RWL before competition. Mean BM loss for this competition was 1.9 ± 3.8 kg (2.3 ± 4.6%), with 34% of participants starting BM loss 3–7 days prior and 16% starting 0–2 days prior. Methods used tend to be achieving calorie deficit via exercise and diet rather than hypohydration, with little advice from formally qualified personnel. Participants who perform AWL/RWL started training (BF10 = 199, d = .72) and competing (BF10 = 107, d = .68) in BJJ younger than those who do not perform AWL/RWL. AWL/RWL is prevalent in UK BJJ, but not at the magnitude of other combat sports or countries. Though negative effects of extreme hypohydration are unlikely, there may be a higher chance of eating disorders in BJJ, particularly due to the young age of AWL/RWL commencement.
CitationWhite, T., and Kirk, C., (2021). 'Pre-competition body mass loss characteristics of Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors in the United Kingdom'. Nutrition and Health, pp. 1-8.
JournalNutrition and Health
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