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Lower body weight will enhance athletic success?

by WoV
source: nutr.ehhs.kent.edu/fuel4vball; photo: greenme.it

A lower body weight does NOT enhance athletic success. Our spandex/tight fitting uniforms keep us wanting fit bodies, but we need to understand it is actually HINDERING our performance when we try to lose weight during the season.

body weight

Body weight

We all have had a coach that weighed us on a weekly basis and told us how much he wanted us to weigh. But the thing is, we are lifting weights–building a lot of muscle (which weighs more than fat) and therefore, might be putting on a couple of pounds during season. Plus, our bodies NEED more calories because we burn so many at practices and during games. If you want to lose weight, healthy weight loss (1-2 pounds a week) should be done during the spring season.

Body Mass Index (BMI): is used to assess weight relative to height and provides an acceptable approximation of total body fat in population-based studies. It is used to provide a direct indication of health status and disease risk. BMI should NOT be considered for athletes because it doesn’t take muscle into account of total body weight. It’s completely NORMAL to have a BMI in the “overweight” category because of the extra muscle mass that you have.

Here’s a chart of BMI ranges.


Weight Status

Below 18.5


18.5 – 24.9


25.0 – 29.9


30.0 and Above



Disordered Eating can include any of the following behaviors:

  • Fasting/caloric restriction
  • Diet pills
  • Diuretics/laxatives
  • Self-induced vomiting

*Fasting/starvation causes:

  • Loss of lean body mass
  • ↓ Metabolism
  • ↓ Bone mineral density
  • ↑ Nutrient deficiencies
  • ↓ Physical performance

*Diet pills induce:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Nervousness
  • Inability to sleep
  • Dehydration

→Any weight that was lost will be regained shortly after use is discontinued

**Note: some supplements and weight loss aids are ILLEGAL by NCAA regulations

*Diuretics/laxatives cause:

  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Disrupt thermoregulatory function
  • Induce cardiac arrhythmia (heart beat too fast/slow/irregular)

→Any weight loss is primarily water weight and is regained once use is discontinued

*Self-induced vomiting

  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Gastrointestinal problems
    • Esophagitis (inflammation, irritation, or swelling of esophagus)
    • Esophageal perforation (a hole in the esophagus)
    • Esophageal & stomach ulcers
    • Erosion of tooth & enamel

*If you are interested in seeing if you have some disordered eating patterns, take this anonymous screening test 

For similar articles, read Nutrition and Supplements  

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