Rapid Weight Loss in Sports with Weight Classes


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Abstract

Weight-sensitive sports are popular among elite and nonelite athletes. Rapid weight loss (RWL) practice has been an essential part of many of these sports for many decades. Due to the limited epidemiological studies on the prevalence of RWL, its true prevalence is unknown. It is estimated that more than half of athletes in weight-class sports have practiced RWL during the competitive periods. As RWL can have significant physical, physiological, and psychological negative effects on athletes, its practice has been discouraged for many years. It seems that appropriate rule changes have had the biggest impact on the practice of RWL in sports like wrestling. An individualized and well-planned gradual and safe weight loss program under the supervision of a team of coaching staff, athletic trainers, sports nutritionists, and sports physicians is recommended.

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