What They Found
During phase 1, the athlete lost 4.4kg. During the “cut”, the athlete exhibited clear symptoms of the relative energy deficiency in sport syndrome, reductions in resting metabolic rate, the inability to complete the maximal oxygen uptake test and perturbations to endocrine status and hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol).
In phase 3 during the cut to make-weight (weight-loss of 7.3 kg), the athlete experienced a significant stress response:
⇒ 3-fold increase in plasma cortisol
⇒ Evaluations in serum proteins
⇒ Elevations in plasma osmolality
⇒ Elevations in plasma sodium concentrations
The plasma sodium observed (148 mmol.L-1) was near to severe levels of hypernatremia (>150 mmol.L-1) where mortality may occur. Similarly, the relative and absolute changes in serum creatinine levels during the final phase of the weight cut are consistent with acute kidney injury.
Finally, following the 32-h rehydration and refueling strategy, the athlete gained 10.6 kg in absolute mass and 2 weeks after the competition, resting metabolic rate, markers of endocrine status, lipid profile, hydrations status and kidney function had all returned towards normative ranges.