You may have heard that some people, including fighters, use Vaseline to cut weight. People often wonder how this process works. Vaseline is a petroleum jelly that is made out of oils, waxes, and minerals. This combination of ingredients gives it a higher melting point than body temperature to hold its form on the skin.
Fighters often use a Vaseline wrap to cut weight right before a fight. This is a way of dropping excess water weight for the weigh-in without losing any precious muscle before the fight. It is a straightforward procedure that can be done in 20 to 60 minutes, and the fighter can rehydrate as necessary.
This article will examine why fighters use Vaseline to cut weight, other weight-cutting methods, and more. Please continue reading to learn all about it.
How Do Fighters Use Vaseline to Cut Weight?
It is well-known that fighters will weigh in at a weight that is as low as possible right before a fight. They try to lower their weights without losing any muscle, and the most effective way to do this is by losing water weight. One way to lose water weight is by using Vaseline in a wrap.
Before the weigh-in, fighters will cover their bodies in Vaseline for some time. Because Vaseline has a higher melting point than the human body’s temperature, it will hold heat inside the body, which causes the person to sweat.
The Vaseline allows the body to build up heat, and when it is removed, the fighter will sweat out all of the water weight. Some fighters place a neoprene or plastic wrap over the Vaseline for faster results. In essence, this procedure acts as a homemade sauna that results in fighters losing water weight to weigh lower before a fight.
Why Do Fighters Want to Cut Weight?
Fighters are divided by weight class, and their goal is to qualify for the lowest possible weight class when they enter a fight. They use different methods to achieve the desired weight in the last few days before a fight, and then they rehydrate before the fight. How much weight they try to cut depends on the fighter. Some prefer to stay close to their natural weight, while others might go to extremes to get to a lower weight class.
There are advantages and disadvantages to this strategy. The advantage is that the fighter hopes to be stronger and better able to overpower his opponent. By using starvation and dehydration methods to drop pounds before a fight, the fighter can weigh in and then rehydrate to have the extra mass during the fight.
The disadvantage to this strategy is that it can be dangerous. Some fighters have gone to extremes to drop as much as 20 or 30 pounds, which can be very dangerous. However, fighters who use this method to stay close to their natural weight can safely use this method to cut their weight for the weigh-in.
How Do Fighters Cut Their Weight?
Fighters commonly begin to starve themselves in the days leading up to a fight. They often cut out water as well and use several techniques to drop water weight. The Vaseline wrap is one of these techniques, but there are others as well.
In addition to the Vaseline treatment, they will use saunas and sauna suits. They can go into a sauna to lose water weight, but sauna suits offer an option to work out and lose water weight at the same time. A sauna suit raises the fighter’s body temperature to engage sweating, and it essentially dehydrates the fighter. Once the fighter has the weigh-in, he can rehydrate before the fight.
They focus on this cutting weight method because it will not destroy or take away muscle mass; it only reduces the body’s water weight. This water is easily replaced after the weigh-in, and they still have their bulk and strength for the fight.
Is it Safe to Cut Weight Before a Fight?
It can be safe to cut weight before a fight, but it can also be very dangerous. It all depends on how extreme the fighter’s weight reduction efforts are. If a fighter hovers close to his natural weight, he can safely drop some water weight for the weigh-in and then rehydrate. Experts say that it is safe to reduce the body weight by 2%. This means that a fighter who weighs 175 pounds can safely cut 3.5 pounds before a fight.
Fighters who push for 15 or 20 pounds are taking a risk. When you raise your body temperature and leave it up for some time, it increases your chance of suffering from a heart attack. Some fighters are pushing their bodies too hard in the quest to cut weight. As long as fighters exercise caution, they can safely cut weight before a fight.
How Do Fighters Rehydrate After Cutting Weight?
Fighters cut weight so that they can weigh in for a fight. After the weigh-in, they rehydrate so that they are ready for the fight. The rehydration process isn’t as simple as it appears because when the body is dehydrated, it releases a hormone that fills certain spaces. The water from rehydration can be unevenly distributed, which the fighter needs to account for when he rehydrates.
Some trainers say that fighters who do not cut weight have an advantage because many fighters who do cannot rehydrate by the start of the fight fully. As the body is mostly water and everything inside the body relies on water to function, this leaves some fighters in a compromised state at the time of the fight if they haven’t dehydrated and rehydrated properly.
Some nutritionists advise that fighters can start by increasing the amount of water they drink two weeks before the fight. A week before the fight, they might drink as much as two gallons of water a day. This gets the body in the habit of sweating out the excess water. Then, the day before, they might cut the water to half a gallon and drink none the day of the weigh-in.
After the weigh-in, they drink water with electrolytes to give important nutrients back to the body. They will also take glycerin, helping the muscles reabsorb water back into them and supple them again. They continue to drink water and electrolytes throughout the day until their bodies are rehydrated.
If they only drop a few pounds for the weigh-in, it is much easier to rehydrate safely. Fighters who go to extremes may have trouble rehydrating completely before the fight. That is the risk fighters who cut a lot of weight take.
What Happens If the Body Is Over-Dehydrated?
Although there are ways to lose some water weight before a fight safely, many fighters go to an extreme and put their bodies at risk of over-dehydration. Some fighters diminish their performance ability by dehydrating too much.
The human body is around 67% water, and it is necessary to take in as much as you let out to keep the balance. All of the functions inside the body require water to perform at their best. This includes keeping muscles supple, allowing proper digestion, lubricating the joints, and more. If the body is dehydrated, the fighter is more likely to suffer from an injury or exhaustion.
Dehydration can raise fighters’ heart rates and cause dizziness and confusion. It can make them feel tired, and their muscles may not be as effective. For this reason, they need to be safe when they are cutting weight for a weigh-in. They cannot expect to go to extreme measures and then drink some water to rehydrate.
The danger is that it can go a few steps further and lead to a fever, chills, and even unconsciousness if the body is severely dehydrated. The important thing to understand is that a fighter cannot dehydrate to cut weight by extreme levels and then rehydrate and bounce right back.
You may have heard that fighters use Vaseline to cut weight before a fight, and you may have wondered why. Vaseline is made of minerals, oils, and waxes, and it can remain in its gel form on the human body because it has a higher melting point. This makes it useful as an agent to raise the body temperature.
Raising body temperature causes the body to sweat to eliminate hot water. If the fighter isn’t putting water back into his body, this results in a loss of water weight. Many fighters use this method because it allows them to maintain their muscle mass while weighing in for the weight class they want to fight. Using Vaseline can be an effective way to cut weight as long as it is done safely.