Rapid Rather than Gradual Weight Reduction Impairs Hemorheological Parameters of Taekwondo Athletes through Reduction in RBC-NOS Activation

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PURPOSE: Rapid weight reduction is part of the pre-competition routine and has been shown to negatively affect psychological and physiological performance of Taekwondo (TKD) athletes. This is caused by a reduction of the body water and an electrolyte imbalance. So far, it is unknown whether weight reduction also affects hemorheological properties and hemorheology-influencing nitric oxide (NO) signaling, important for oxygen supply to the muscles and organs.

METHODS: For this purpose, ten male TKD athletes reduced their body weight by 5% within four days (rapid weight reduction, RWR). After a recovery phase, athletes reduced body weight by 5% within four weeks (gradual weight reduction, GWR). Each intervention was preceded by two baseline measurements and followed by a simulated competition. Basal blood parameters (red blood cell (RBC) count, hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, mean cellular hemoglobin and mean cellular hemoglobin concentration), RBC-NO synthase activation, RBC nitrite as marker for NO synthesis, RBC deformability and aggregation parameters were determined on a total of eight investigation days.

RESULTS: Basal blood parameters were not affected by the two interventions. In contrast to GWR, RWR decreased activation of RBC-NO synthase, RBC nitrite, respective NO concentration and RBC deformability. Additionally, RWR increased RBC aggregation and disaggregation threshold.

CONCLUSION: The results point out that a rapid weight reduction negatively affects hemorheological parameters and NO signaling in RBC which might limit performance capacity. Thus, GWR should be preferred to achieve the desired weight prior to a competition to avoid these negative effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0123767
JournalPloS one
Volume10
Issue number4
Number of pages14
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2015

ID: 719137

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