MMA Nutrition: Hydration
In order to perform at your best, a MMA fighter also requires proper hydration.
Muscle cramps, chills and nausea are signs of dehydration — a MMA fighter’s worst enemy against optimum performance. In fact, an athlete can experience a rapid decline in performance when losing 1 – 2% of water weight.
According to Miyagi “Mack” Kurihana, California Boxing Hall of Fame trainer, it doesn’t matter how good of a fighter you are if you loss steam in the middle of a fight. Even notable fighters can be out pointed when they are overcome with cramping and muscle fatigue. That said, nutritional products that enable athletes to stay hydrated and keep their muscles in fighting form must be included in their fitness repertoire.
Being properly hydrated before, during and after training sessions is imperative due to the required intense work. On average, competitive MMA fighters train up to four hours each day. That said, a research made by The University of Southern Maine Sports Medicine Program stated that athletes exercising for four hours at 70% of their VO2 max requires up to 15 liters of water to maintain adequate hydration.
However, water is not enough. The intense conditioning performed by MMA athletes necessitates them to replenish essential electrolytes that are lost while sweating. Electrolytes are important to maintain the body’s proper levels of potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium. Hence, proper sports drinks should be taken; while containing the right amount of minerals and carbohydrates.