How to safely water load before an MMA or Thai fight.

How to safely water load before an MMA or Thai fight.

Water loading is a common practice among MMA fighters to temporarily increase water weight before a weigh-in, followed by a water cut to make weight. While this can be effective when done safely, it can also be risky if not managed properly. Here's a guide on how to safely water load before an MMA fight:

  1. Start Early: Begin water loading 5-7 days before the weigh-in. This allows your body to adjust gradually and reduces the risk of dehydration.

  2. Increase Intake Gradually: Each day, increase your water intake by 500-1000ml, depending on your size and activity level. Aim to consume 4-6 liters of water per day by the third or fourth day.

  3. Monitor Electrolytes: Alongside increased water intake, ensure you're getting adequate electrolytes. Include sodium, potassium, and magnesium-rich foods in your diet or consider electrolyte supplements.

  4. Reduce Sodium Intake: To prevent water retention, cut down on high-sodium foods like processed snacks and fast food.

  5. Avoid Overhydration: While it's essential to drink more water, don't overdo it. Overhydration can lead to a dangerous condition called hyponatremia, where sodium levels in the blood become too low.

  6. Maintain Nutrient Intake: Continue to eat a balanced diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fats to support energy levels and muscle function.

  7. Monitor Weight: Keep track of your weight daily. Aim to reach your target weight 24-48 hours before the weigh-in.

  8. Consult Professionals: Always consult with a nutritionist or healthcare provider familiar with combat sports to tailor your water loading plan to your individual needs.

Remember, the goal of water loading is to increase water weight temporarily and safely. It's crucial to listen to your body and adjust your intake and electrolyte balance accordingly. If you experience dizziness, nausea, or other unusual symptoms, consult a healthcare professional immediately.

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