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Concussion worse in MMA and boxing after weight cuts

Fighters who rapidly cut weight before bouts are at higher risk of suffering concussion or being misdiagnosed with head trauma according to researcher from St Mary’s University of Essex and Swansea University.

Their studies report that more than 60% of athletes in contact sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) fared worse after dehydrating themselves to make stringent weight classes before contests.

Weight dropping may see competitors stop drinking water and endure long hours in a sauna to rapidly drop weight. MMA sports are reporting concussion severity to being 40% greater compared to other sports, particularly boxing, believed to be due to a mix of striking and contact with the ground.

This study looked at:

– The symptoms of hypohydration (dehydration)

– The neurological implications of rapid weight loss

– What negative effect could dehydration have on concussion symptoms leading to

misdiagnosis by a medical professional?

-What happens when weight cutting doesn’t go to plan?

-How can weight loss through dehydration increase the risk of injury?


If you are involved in a weight categorized sport, then do talk to Lea about how to achieve your weight goal without risk to your long-term health


Uddin, N. Waldron, M. Patterson, S.Winter, S. Tallent, J. WA Survey of Combat Athletes’ Rapid Weight Loss Practices and Evaluation of the Relationship With Concussion Symptom Recall. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: March 24, 2022 doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000001032.

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