Weight cutting is a necessary evil in MMA and other combat sports.
Competitors often have to shed large amounts of weight in a short period to make their fighting weight class.
While cutting weight can give fighters a competitive advantage, it also takes a toll on the body.
Fighters need to be careful when cutting weight and should always rehydrate properly afterwards.
Drinking plenty of fluids, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough rest are all crucial for recovery.
This article will talk about various ways you can rehydrate after the weigh-in, including fluids, electrolytes, caffeine, and liquid meals.
1. Rehydrate All The Lost Fluid
Remember, every weight cut is different, and likewise, every rehydration process is different.
After a weight cut, you have to replace all the lost fluid when rehydrating.
A good metric is to refuel a liter of fluid per hour.
However, stop this process about two to three hours before sleep as that will help keep the sleep quality high.
2. Charge The Body With Electrolytes
Electrolytes help regulate fluid balance in the body.
When we sweat, we lose electrolytes through our skin.
This is why it’s important to replenish electrolytes during the rehydration process.
The electrolytes that you lose during a weight cut are primarily:
Along with the balance of acidity, water retention, and movement quality, these electrolytes play an important role in muscle contraction, which is vital for high-intensity training and fighting.
Some foods that are rich in electrolytes are:
- Coconut water
- Broths and soups
Caffeine is a well-known performance-enhancer.
In fact, research has shown that caffeine can increase glycogen synthesis by up to 66%.
4. Liquid Meals To Ease The Body Into Digestion
A week of dehydrating your body leaves your digestive system in a state of shock.
To ease your body back into digestion, start with liquid meals.
The gastric tract may not be fully rehydrated even after fluid intake.
Thus, liquid meals help in the rehydration process and ease your digestive system into function.
Powdered proteins and powdered carbohydrates like dextrose and amino acids are good options for liquid meals.
You can also have fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, soups, and broths.
5. Food Reloading
Your first proper meal should come at least an hour after your last fluid intake.
Include digestive enzymes found in kiwi and papayas with every meal to help with the digestion process.
Fats are not easily digestible and can further slow down the process, so avoid high-fat meals.
Rather go for high glycemic carbohydrates like pasta, oats, and rice.
Furthermore, you should also go for proteins with high-quality amino acids, like leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
Some other things that you can do to ease your way back into regular eating are:
- Eating smaller meals more frequently to restore glycogen levels
- Avoiding processed foods, sugar, and alcohol
- Drinking plenty of water to help your body flush out toxins
You can rehydrate effectively after a weight cut and get back on your game by following these tips.