WATER: THE MOST IMPORTANT NUTRIENT IN MMA
The human body is estimated to be 60-70% water.
Vital organs including the brain, lungs and kidneys are
dependent on an adequate water supply to survive.
Additionally, water is needed for temperature
regulation and to transport nutrients to all cells within
Every function within the human body is dependent
upon and is regulated by water. Water transports vital
elements, oxygen, hormones and chemical messengers
to all areas of the body.
Proper hydration is essential in the transformation of a lean, healthy
physique. Adequate amounts of water daily speed up metabolism, allow for
cellular regeneration, aid in proper protein synthesize resulting in an
increase in lean muscle mass and a decrease in stored body fat, and so
The intense training associated with mixed martial arts depletes the body of necessary
fluid. This decrease in water can have a catabolic effect on the fighter directly impacting
performance as well as affecting a practitioner’s ability to drop the necessary weight
prior to weigh-ins.
Without water, the body digresses into a drought state which is a shock to the system.
This shock results in a histamine release causing an absorption of any and all fluid that
is ingested. Fighters will become a sponge and hold on to fluids instead of excreting
them to make the necessary weight cut. This drought state results in an imbalance
within the water regulation system within the human body. Off-setting this system
makes it difficult for fighters to manage their water weight.
How much water should an individual fighter drink daily? This
number varies on the person; their body size, how much that
individual sweats during exercise, overall goals, etc.
A quick rule of thumb is that a mixed martial artist should drink at least three liters of
water daily, which equals 13 cups. On active days when weight loss is recorded as a
result of sweating, that individual should add 16 ounces of water for each pound lost due
to sweat in addition to the three liters consumed daily.
Water is the most essential nutrient needed by the human body.
Maintaining proper hydration levels increases metabolism, decreases body
fat, and improves an individual's lean muscle mass as well as overall MMA
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