2015, Volume 11, Issue 1

Nutritional strategies to reach the weight category in judo and karate athletes

Alejandro Martinez-Rodriguez1, Nestor Vicente-Salar1, Carlos Montero-Carretero2, Eduardo Cervello2, Enrique Roche3

1Biochemistry and Cell Therapy Unit, Institute of Bioengineering. University Miguel Hernandez, Elche (Alicante), Spain
2Sport Research Center, University Miguel Hernandez, Elche (Alicante), Spain
3CIBERobn (Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición CB12/03/30038) Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain

Author for correspondence: Enrique Roche; CIBERobn (Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición CB12/03/30038) Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain; email: eroche[at]umh.es

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Background and Study Aim: Judo and karate are combat sports disciplines in which individuals compete in weight categories. Usually, the athletes are at the maximum weight permitted in their category. This is ideally reached by increasing muscle mass. The objective of this work is recommendation how to reach the adequate weight in the corresponding category by using a novel nutritional strategy.
Material and Methods: The study performed with judo athletes (n = 11, male 6; female 5) consisted in the follow up of the same group of individuals during 2 consecutive periods of time. For the first 4 months, the volunteers followed a free diet, while during the following 2-month period the same participants underwent a supervised diet program. The study performed with karate athletes (n = 14) consisted in comparing 2 groups (each 7 athletes): one following a free diet and the other following a diet under supervision by our laboratory. Three important aspects of the dietary intervention were considered: meal distribution during the day, diet composition in macronutrients and moment for application of calorie restriction for weight loss.
Results: When diet was controlled, individuals significantly decreased their body weight. This decrease was mainly due to a decrease in body fat mass. On the other hand, body muscle mass and ectomorphia increased significantly.
Conclusion: The recommended diet intervention performed in judo and karate athletes allow a weight reduction by decreasing the fat component and increasing muscle mass.

Key words: weight control, somatotype, muscle mass, FAT MASS