Youth wrestling puts kids at risk for extreme weight-loss practices. Wrestlers may try to "cut" weight in order to compete in a lower weight class, where they think they may have an advantage against a smaller opponent. But some weight-loss practices may be harmful to their health as well as their sport performance.
Each state has weight-loss guidelines for wrestlers. Before the season begins, wrestlers must undergo a medical evaluation to determine the lowest weight at which they can safely wrestle during the season.
Most short-term weight-loss methods involve reducing water weight by restricting fluid intake and using diuretics to increase urination. But wrestlers may also try more drastic measures for rapid weight loss, including:
* Using saunas or rubber or plastic workout suits to sweat off water weight
All of these methods can have serious health consequences for kids
, such as:
* Heat exhaustion or heat stroke
* Low blood sugar
* Electrolyte imbalance
* Calcium imbalance