South Carolina Golden Gloves
Boxing Safety Certification Course

Welcome to Session 4!

SCGG Rapid Weight Loss Fact Sheet

Team USA provides many sport nutrition fact sheets at Although these fact sheets have not been tailored specifically for the sport of amateur boxing, they provide a valuable reference tool for general nutrition information on a wide range of topics.

Reference: Team USA. (2021). Athlete Services: Nutrition. Retrieved from

California Department of Consumer Affairs. (2016, December 21). California State Athletic Commission. Severe weight cutting and dehydration by Dr. Edmund Ayoub – 2 of 3. [Video]. YouTube.

California Department of Consumer Affairs. (2016, December 21). California State Athletic Commission. Severe weight cutting and dehydration by Dr. Edmund Ayoub – 2 of 3. [Video]. YouTube.

Duration: 9:13



Spoken by Dr. Edmund Ayoub, Jr.: I am Dr. Edmund Ayoub, Jr. I reside in Palm Springs, California, where I have my medical practice. I’ve been a ringside physician for many years.

Written text: Why is it important to avoid severe dehydration when working to make weight?

Spoken by Dr. Edmund Ayoub, Jr.: Dehydration, being lack of fluid in your vascular system, has nothing but deleterious effects and deleterious effects on many organ systems: Your brain, your heart, your kidneys, your nutrient system, your muscles. The byproducts of dehydration can cause permanent and lasting effects.

Written text: How much is a safe amount of weight to cut per week/day? 


Spoken by Dr. Edmund Ayoub, Jr.: It has been a lifelong issue in combative sports, and sports of all types. Making weight is a requirement in combative sports like boxing and mixed martial arts. There is a misconception, I believe, that if you weigh one weight and you try to cut weight to fight at a lower weight class that you will be stronger than the people who would be naturally in that weight class. So, people try all kinds of methods, whether it be dieting, or whether it be sweating, or with pharmaceuticals in order to lose weight to get to a point where they can weigh in at a particular level, and then let themselves put on weight over the next 24 hours figuring that they will rehydrate and then be able to fight at a much higher weight, but having weighed in at a much lower weight. The problem with that is the deleterious effects that I had spoken about before that come about when you have severe dehydration.

A safe amount of weight to lose would be approximately 1 or 2% of your body weight per week. So a 200 lbs man, that would be 2 to 4 pounds per week for however many weeks your trying to lose. But that likely will keep the average person from becoming dehydrated from the weight loss.

Written text: What is severe dehydration?

Spoken by Dr. Edmund Ayoub, Jr.: Severe dehydration is when dehydration causes signs and symptoms and pathological problems to the human body, mainly to organ systems in the body. Severe dehydration can cause arrhythmias in the heart, it can cause lactic acid build up in the muscles, it can cause an increase in potassium from the breakdown of muscle cells in the body, it can cause a breakdown of muscle cells that causes severe proteinuria, which would be protein not being able to be filtered by your kidneys, and cause severe and even permanent kidney damage and kidney failure.

Written text: What problems can arise from becoming severely dehydrated?

Spoken by Dr. Edmund Ayoub, Jr.: Dehydration will cause a lack of blood volume. A lack of blood volume will cause a lack of blood flow in the body. A lack of blood flow in the body will cause decrease blood volume and oxygenation to the organs in the body. One of the major problems with dehydration is, again, lack of blood flow. Your brain gets less blood; your kidneys get less blood; your heart gets less blood; your muscles get less blood. The blood carries the oxygen that all of those organs and organ systems need to survive. With less blood you have less oxygen; and then you have poor performance from those organs. This can cause less volume in the brain, so if you imagine your brain being a potato inside jello filling a cavern, and then you take some of the jello out, as you move your head around, that potato will bang against the wall. Your brain, being that potato, is then more susceptible to bruising, which, in turn, is bleeding in the brain causing neurological trauma – whether it be transient neurological trauma or down the road from chronic dehydration efforts, it can be permanent neurological trauma. As far as your heart goes, you have less blood flow in your heart, so you have less output when your heart is beating and pushing less blood through. Then you have what we call low cardiac output and gives you a higher risk for developing cardiac problems. With less blood flow to the muscles, you have the break down of muscle fibers. The break down of muscle fibers causes two things. One, muscle fibers break down into protein, and it dumps protein into your blood stream, which is very difficult for your kidneys to filter, and many people with chronic dehydration efforts develop chronic kidney disease. The kidneys can no longer function correctly because they get gunked up because of the amount of protein that is not being filtered by damaged kidneys. The other thing that a breakdown of muscle cells causes is a release of potassium. Potassium is a major electrolyte in the cells, and when the cells break down, the potassium gets released into the blood. Well potassium is one of the main metabolites that controls the electrical function of your heart. One of the big concerns of a high potassium level would be a heart attack. Certainly arrhythmias, abnormal heartbeats, the severest of the abnormal heartbeats being the ventricular fibrillation, where you have a heart attack.

Written text: Is IV hydration superior to oral hydration?


Spoken by Dr. Edmund Ayoub, Jr.: Lots of studies have been done on this. IV hydration is faster than oral hydration. The difference being that oral hydration will satisfy your body and your brain’s need to quench your thirst, whereas IV hydration won’t quench your thirst, but IV hydration is a much faster way to hydrate, where someone who gets to a severe dehydrated state can rehydrate with approximately four bags of IV fluid – each bag being one liter. It will take approximately 48 hours to rehydrate orally, although you will satiate your body more with oral hydration. In the end, once you’re hydrated, there is no difference in performance from IV hydration versus oral hydration.

Written text: Does drastic weight cutting relate to performance?


Spoken by Dr. Edmund Ayoub, Jr.: In a dehydrated state, your performance, because of the break down of the muscle cells, the breakdown of the kidneys, the heart damage, and the brain dysfunction, will make a fighter dramatically less apt to perform at his or her peak level if they weren’t dehydrated. The studies in the NHL, NFL, and world soccer organization have all shown that performance in a dehydrated state is exponentially less than performance in a non-dehydrated state.

Written text: Does dehydration relate to neurological health?

Spoken by Dr. Edmund Ayoub, Jr.: Dehydration will cause less volume within the skull of the human athlete. So the brain, which sits in this bath of fluid, will have less fluid. When a fighter, either in mixed martial arts or boxing, gets punched, the brain moves to the front of the head where the punch was thrown, and then, as a rebound mechanism, falls back to the back of the head. So you get a bruise in the front of the brain and a bruise in the back. Imagine that with a full head of water. Now imagine taking some of that water out and throwing the same punch. The brain hits much harder in the front with less resistance from the water, and much harder in the rebound hit. So, the force of the injury of the combative sport – whichever one it is – is much greater on a dehydrated brain. (2018, July 18). Robert Garcia gets deep on weight-cutting in boxing; sends message to young fighters. [Video]. YouTube. (2018, July 18). Robert Garcia gets deep on weight-cutting in boxing; sends message to young fighters. [Video]. YouTube.

Duration: 4:15


Spoken by Interviewer: I want to get your take on, for example, Jose Ramirez’s opponent O’Connor dropping out because of dehydration. You’re in the gym everyday with fighters cutting weight, is that something you talk to your young fighters about? Cutting weight, maybe walking around at a better weight?


Spoken by Robert Garcia: That’s very important man, and you see that a lot in boxing. You know what California is doing – when the fighters, right before they step into the ring – it’s a great idea because they know how much weight they gained. And if they gained 20 pounds, that tells them that they are really cutting weight. So, they’re recommending that they fight at a higher weight division. I tell all my fighters, you guys are athletes, you guys are professionals, you guys have to eat healthy year-round – not only when you’re in training camp. You know, in my training camp, I have a professional chef cooking for them. So they have no problem when they’re in training camp. But the problem is, once they fight, they go home, they act like they’re never going to fight again and gain 30 pounds. Then they have to come back and lose 30 pounds. Yes, my chef and my conditioning coach and myself, we do our job to train them, but to lose 30 pounds is not healthy. It’s not healthy. And when a fighter does they, especially on late notice or within a month or so, and has to cut 15 pounds the week of a fight, that’s very dangerous. I was mad and disappointed that Jose’s fight didn’t happen, but we didn’t want to go in their in the ring against a beat up guy that was probably going to get injured really bad. You know, hopefully other fighters learn from that. We don’t want to see that happen to other fighters, but that happens a lot.


Spoken by Interviewer: I hope that a lot of kids see this specific interview. Any advice to those kids in terms of doing a better way to cut weight or any advice for them?


Spoken by Robert Garcia: If they have a dream of becoming world champions and becoming great in boxing, its not only about training hard and kicking your sparring partners butt everyday, but it’s also how to maintain your lifestyle. You gotta eat healthy. You gotta drink lots of water. A lot of kids, they fight, then for two months they drink nothing but soda. Others drink beer. Eat nothing but junk food. Eat nothing but fast food. No – that’s wrong. If you want to be a world champion, if you want to be a healthy athlete and become the best in the world, you have to maintain the lifestyle of a world champion, and that’s year-round. You know, Mayweather is a perfect example. Mayweather always walks around 147 to 150, and he would lose 2 or 3 pounds before the weigh in. And he would walk into the ring at 147 while his opponents came in at 165 – and he’d still beat them up. Gaining weight doesn’t mean you’re going to be a better fighter or that you’re going to be stronger. If you maintain yourself healthily, and stay within 10 to 12 pounds max when you start training camp, of your weight, it’s good, because you’re going to slowly lose those 10 pounds. But not when you have to lose thirty. It’s very dangerous and it’s not the right way to do it. All those young ones that want to be come world champion one day, eat healthy, stay healthy, stay within no more than 10 pounds of your division, and you’ll be alright.


Spoken by Interviewer: Hopefully kids see that coming from you …


Spoken by Robert Garcia: When they’re in the amateurs, even worse, because they have to make weight for five days in a row. Every day. So, there, they have to maintain themselves, year-round. But in the pros, especially when you fight every three or four months, take a few weeks off – but stay healthy.

SCGG Hydration

Athlete’s Plate is a visual tool that simplifies and synthesizes nutritional research (Team USA, 2020). The tool has been validated by dieticians (Reguant-Closa et al., 2019). The video by Czarnecki (2020) helps to explain how to use Athlete’s Plate.

Validation Study:

Reguant-Closa, A., Harris, M. M., Lohman, T. G., & Meyer, N. L. (2019). Validation of the athlete’s plate nutritional educational tool: Phase 1. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 29(6), 628-635.

“Abstract: Nutrition education visual tools are designed to help the general population translate science into practice. The purpose of this study was to validate the Athlete’s Plate (AP) to ensure that it meets the current sport nutrition recommendations for athletes. Twelve registered dietitians (RDs; 10 female and 2 male) volunteered for the study. Each registered dietitian was asked to create three real and virtual plates at three different times corresponding to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the three different AP training loads, easy (E), moderate (M), and hard (H), divided into two weight categories (male 75 kg and female 60 kg). Data of the real and virtual plates were evaluated using Computrition software (v. 18.1; Computrition, Chatsworth, CA). Statistical analyses were conducted by SPSS (version 23.0; IBM, Armonk, NY) to compare the difference between each training load category (E, M, and H) and the recommendations. No statistically significant differences were found among the created plates and the recommendations for energy, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber for E, M, and H. Protein relative to body mass (BM) was higher than recommended for E (1.9 ± 0.3 g·kg−1 BM·day−1p = .003), M (2.3 ± 0.3 g·kg−1 BM·day−1p < .001), and H (2.9+0.5 g·kg−1 BM·day−1p < .001). No differences were found for the macronutrient distribution by gender when correcting for kilograms of body mass. The authors conclude that the AP meets the nutrition recommendations for athletes at different training intensities for energy, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber, but exceeds the recommendations for protein. Further research should consider this protein discrepancy and develop an AP model that meets, besides health and performance goals, contemporary guidelines for sustainability” (Reguant-Closa et al., 2019). Note: Updated / Modified AP by Team USA is displayed below.

SPIRE Institute. (2020, July 6). Eight weeks together – the Athletes Plate. [Video]. YouTube.–yvg

AP Hard Day

Reference: Team USA. (2021). Athlete’s Plate. Retrieved from

Session 4 Checklist

  • Did you read the SC Golden Gloves fact sheet?
  • Did you watch the two videos?
  • Did you view the “Urine Color Test for Boxers”?
  • Did you read the American College of Sports Medicine position statement?
  • Did you watch the Athlete’s Plate video and view Team USA’s Athlete’s Plate templates?

This concludes Session 4. Please continue to Session 5 next week.