How Do Fighters Gain Weight After A Weigh-in? 🍲🥋

Fighters have a period of between 24 and 36 hours between the weigh-in and the actual fight. They have to make their weight class, which means coming in within a pound of the weight. They often go to extreme measures to fight in a lower weight class because having the extra weight helps them overpower their opponents. 

Once the weigh-in is over, fighters are allowed to gain their weight back. They approach this in a specific way to make sure that they provide their bodies with the hydration and nutrition they need without overdoing it. They do not merely inhale food and water once the weigh-in is over; they take their time and split food and water with electrolytes up in regular intervals over the next day and a half. 

This article will examine how fighters gain weight after a weigh-in, what they eat and drink, and how long it takes. Then, it will take a look at how fighters lose this weight before the weigh-in. Please continue reading to learn all about it. 

Fitness To Diet is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

How Long Do Fighters Have Between the Weigh-in and the Fight?

An MMA fighter usually has between 24 and 36 hours between the weigh-in and the actual fight. They are allowed to gain weight during this time, and they also rehydrate their bodies. Fighters go through a lengthy process of cutting weight before the weigh-in, which involves dehydrating and starving their bodies so that they weigh into the class they want to fight in. 

Fighters find it desirable to fight in a lower weight class because size and mass provide a definite advantage. If someone weighs 165 and fights in a 155 weight class, they will have an advantage over an opponent who weighs 155. On the other hand, if a fighter fights in his class at 155, he may be at a disadvantage if another fighter cuts his weight to oppose him.

The fighter has to weigh in at the official weigh-in, but afterward, the fighter will not have his official weight retaken. They usually use the following period to get their bodies back to optimal condition for fight day.

What Do Fighters Eat After a Weigh-in?

Many fighters weigh quite a bit more than the limit for the weight class they are fighting in, and they have to work hard to weigh-in before the fight. Once they make their weight, they will rehydrate and nourish their bodies before the fight the following day. You may wonder what they eat and how they eat it.

Typically, fighters will ingest three to five gallons of water and electrolytes over the following 36 hours up until the fight. They drink it at regular intervals so that they rehydrate their bodies. This allows their muscles to become more supple, their digestive systems continue to function properly, and their bodies to return to optimal working order. 

They eat during this time as well. They need to replace the nutrients that were lost during the weight cutting. They stick to healthy foods with protein and other nutrients to help with strength, stamina, and muscle recovery. Nutrition experts recommend a measured approach where the fighter eats small meals every 30 minutes until the actual fight. 

Fighters eat lean proteins, vegetables, and enough carbs to keep their blood sugar where it needs to be for optimal performance. As long as they stick to smaller portions at frequent intervals, they will have no trouble digesting and processing the food to regain their strength and stamina.

How Do Fighters Gain Weight After a Weigh-in?

After the weigh-in, the fighter can gain back the weight he lost. They take a measured approach during this part of the process. When they dehydrate their bodies for the weigh-in, their bodies release hormones that help the parts of their bodies that need the water. This prevents water from being able to get to those areas. 

As a result, they need to drink consistently over the following day and a half to stop their bodies from producing this hormone and allow their muscles, organs, and joints to become wholly rehydrated. They are often still under 100% hydration by the time of the fight, but they regain enough to fight safely without losing stamina or focus.

They eat small portions of lean food at regular intervals from the weigh-in until the fight. They eat enough to give their bodies the strength and support they need without creating large amounts of undigested food in their guts. Fighters are athletes, and eating healthy and nutritious food is a large part of their training plan—the added water weight and what they eat to allow them to regain their weight for the weigh-in. 

How Much Weight Does a Fighter Gain After a Weigh-in?

The weight that a fighter gains after a weigh-in will depend on the fighter and how much he lost. Some fighters stay close to their natural weight, while others will lose as much as 30 pounds for a fight. Trainers and nutritionists say that it is safe to lose 2% of their body weight, but some lose significantly more. 

A fighter who fights close to his natural weight will regain whatever he lost, which could be between two and 10 pounds. He will gain it back by drinking a lot of water regularly and alternating it with electrolytes. He will also eat small portions of healthy foods every 30 minutes or so over the next day. 

A fighter who has lost a lot of weight might not gain it all back before the fight. It is impossible to safely gain 20 or 30 pounds over a day, so this type of fighter will focus on rehydrating his body and providing adequate nutrition to have enough strength and stamina during the fight. 

If he wants to return to his normal weight, he will do so after the fight. This will take some time because the fighter wants to do it safely without compromising his fitness and conditioning. 

Why Do Fighters Cut Weight?

People often want to know why fighters cut their weight. Understandably, a fighter might lose two or three pounds to fight in a lower weight class, but people don’t always understand why a fighter would drop 30 pounds to a much lower weight. 

The answer is fairly simple: fighters cut weight to have an advantage. The lower the weight class, the smaller the fighters. If they fight in a higher weight class, they are going to fight heavier opponents. This is significant in a sport where weight and size do matter. 

The problem is that almost all of the fighters cut weight to get into the weight class they want to fight in. If a fighter stays around his natural weight, he will undoubtedly be fighting someone who is significantly larger. This means that his opponent will have more force when he throws his punches and could knock him off his feet more quickly. 

Many officials have spoken out about the dangers of fighters trying to cut more weight to get to a lower class, but the fact is that as long as there is sufficient time to rehydrate and renourish, fighters will continue to cut their weight. It may have been about having an advantage at some point in the past, but today it is necessary so that you are fairly evenly matched. 

The main reasons fighters cut weight are tradition, a competitive advantage, or because they lie between weight classes. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for a fighter to fight in a higher weight class because his opponent will likely cut weight to be there. As long as there is time to gain some weight back before the fight, it is likely that fighters will continue this process. 

Final Thoughts

It is not difficult for fighters to gain the weight back after they weigh-in, but how much weight they can gain back depends on how much weight they cut. A fighter who drops three to 10 pounds is likely able to gain all of it back, while one who cuts 30 pounds will not quite get back to his original weight. 

Fighters have a method for gaining weight after their weigh-in, and it is designed to provide their bodies with the nutrients and hydration they need. They replenish their bodies so that they have the strength and stamina to make it through the fight. 

Cutting weight is a standard part of fighting, and it is made possible by the amount of time between the weigh-in and the actual fight. This gives fighters the time to dehydrate their bodies using methods like hot baths, saunas, and performing cardio in a sauna suit, to make the weight and then rehydrate and renourish them into optimal condition for fight night.

Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier - Lemon Lime - Hydration Powder Packets | Electrolyte Drink Mix | Easy Open Single-Serving Stick | Non-GMO
73,270 Reviews
Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier - Lemon Lime - Hydration Powder Packets | Electrolyte Drink Mix | Easy Open Single-Serving Stick | Non-GMO
  • Hydration Multiplier is a great-tasting, non-GMO electrolyte drink mix powered by CTT to deliver hydration to the bloodstream faster and more efficiently than water alone. With a sunny mix of citrus notes, Lemon Lime is equal parts zesty and refreshing.
  • Cellular Transport Technology, or CTT, is the breakthrough delivery system, used in all of our products, designed to enhance rapid absorption of water and other key ingredients into the bloodstream.
  • Non-GMO and made with premium ingredients, Hydration Multiplier Electrolyte Powder Drink Mix contains 5 essential vitamins including Vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12 and Vitamin C. It's also gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free.