The Effect of Water Loading for Acute Weight Loss Following Fluid Restriction on Sleep Quality and Quantity in Combat Sports Athletes

Ian C. Dunican, Peter R. Eastwood, Kevin Murray, John A. Caldwell, Reid Reale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Combat sport athletes commonly engage in established and novel acute weight-loss strategies to achieve weight division targets. The effect of such practices on sleep is unknown. Methods: Twenty-two combat sports athletes wore wrist actigraphy devices for nine nights during a training camp and completed questionnaires assessing daytime sleepiness, insomnia, sleep apnoea and chronotype. Athletes were assigned to a control (CG) or water loading group (WLG). Both followed a low residue diet for 96h, and restricted fluid for 24h before weigh-in. Prior to restriction, the CG consumed 40ml/kg and WLG consumed 100ml/kg fluid daily. Results: Four athletes responded positively for the potential prevalence of sleep apnoea (2 CG/WLG), reporting subthreshold insomnia 8±4, athletes were assessed as having an “intermediate chronotype”. Sleep latency estimates in CG were longer on days 4/6 relative to 3 (p<0.05). There was a between-group difference for sleep latency on day 6, with CG taking 35 mins longer (95% CI 5-64mins, p=0.022) to fall asleep. Conclusion: Acute weight loss by means of a low residue diet, both with and without water loading before the fluid restriction is a safe and effective means of manipulating body mass to in the context of sleep.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Exercise and Nutrition
Volume2
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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