What is hydrated weight testing and why we do it

Hydrated weight testing is a clinical test where the specific gravity of the urine sample is analysed to determine the hydration levels of the individual tested. GAMMA first introduced this in its continental and world championships in 2021 as it aims to encourage athletes to compete at their normal walk-around weights.

Purposely shedding dramatic amounts of body weight to tip the weigh-in at a specific number in a short amount of time can be extremely dangerous. Read more about the findings from the California State Athletic Commission here.

By introducing hydrated weight testing, it helps to make amateur MMA safe for everyone while shifting the mindset of MMA athletes that there is no need to drop a significant amount of weight or put on a large amount of weight ahead of a bout.

Impact of severe dehydration

Athletes’ wellbeing

  • Increased risk of acute cardiovascular problems
  • Increased risk of ischaemic disease (e.g., blood flow to organs is compromised, low oxygen in tissue) and strokes
  • Increased risk of brain injuries

Performance of Athletes

  • Decreased mental clarity
  • Negative effect on repeated high-intensity efforts
UFC Athlete Paige VanZant shares her story about weight cutting and the dangers of it

How athletes are tested at GAMMA events

All athletes will do the usual weigh-ins and a sizable number of athletes will be selected randomly to do weight & urine specific gravity combined testing.

Reliable and state-of-art testing equipment – Siemens Multistix 10 SG – is used to test the athletes and carried out by top qualified medical staff. Note: Athletes are able to easily check their own hydration status with the Siemens Multistix 10 SG or any similar sticks that test for urine specific gravity.

Download the PDF version of the protocol here.