CARDIAC SYMPATHETIC MODULATION INCREASE AFTER WEIGHT LOSS IN COMBAT SPORTS ATHLETES
ABSTRACT Introduction: Although the rapid weight loss process is undertaken by combat sports athletes very often, the impact of this practice on cardiovascular health is not fully understood. Objective: To verify the effects of the rapid weight loss process undertaken by combat sports athletes on hemodynamic parameters, cardiovascular autonomic modulation and mood state. Methods: Eight male fighters (21.62±1.49 years, 71.25±3.54 kg, 1.74±0.03 cm) were assessed in the city of São Paulo. The subjects had 5.37±0.77 years of practice and were training 5.75±0.45 days per week, for 3.05±0.69 hours per day. The athletes were assessed on 2 occasions: 14 days before and 1 day before official weigh-in. Weight, height and bioimpedance were used for body composition analysis. Mood state was assessed using the Brums Mood Scale. Blood pressure was measured at rest with a digital meter. Cardiovascular autonomic modulation was obtained through an analysis of heart rate variability recorded for 25 minutes at rest. The Student's t-test for dependent samples was used for comparison between time points. Values of p<0.05 were considered significant. Results: No differences in body composition were observed between the time points evaluated. After the weight loss strategy, increases in mood state parameters related to anger, vigor and fatigue categories were observed. Blood pressure did not change between the time points evaluated. However, an increase in heart rate associated with greater sympathetic modulation was observed after the weight loss strategy. There were no differences in autonomic modulation parameters representing parasympathetic activity. Conclusions: The study provided evidence of a higher cardiovascular risk in athletes as a result of this rapid weight loss practice, which is very concerning since combat sports athletes repeat this process several times during their lives. Level of Evidence IV; Study type: Case series.