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Human Physiology in Mixed Martial Arts (Part 1 of 3)

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The MMA Zone has put together a series focusing on science of physiology in mixed martial arts.  We start here with the building blocks of mma physiology that you can use in your MMA training.

I feel that physiology is the most important “ology” an athlete can know. I am talking about human physiology, which can be defined as the science of the functions of the human body and the chemical and physical processes involved. The better you understand how the body works, the better able you are going to be table to train in MMA and give your body what it is needing.

There are six building blocks of life. Simply put, if you are missing any of these components from your diet, you are going to die. This is stated not to scare you, but to help you remember. These six building blocks are water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. A basic understanding of the functions, sources, and appropriate amounts of each of these building blocks in MMA is essential for optimal performance. Without this knowledge, there is no basis for how you choose to eat.


The body is 70 percent water. Your muscles are 80 percent water. You can go without food for some time without dying, but only a few days without water.

As an athlete, you are constantly losing water to the environment, and it must be replaced. Most MMA athletes do not do this at the correct rate, and most are, therefore, in a chronic state of mild dehydration. This has a huge effect on performance and injury. Being dehydrated just 2—3 percent can produce adverse affects in performance.

Our simple analogy is, picture a muscle cell of your body as a grape. Then picture a dehydrated muscle cell as a raisin. Now ask yourself which one you would like to use when you are staring at your opponent across the ring.

Drink nothing but water for a week, and drink a lot of it. Try to drink an ounce for every pound that you weigh, and see how you feel.

The MMA Zone

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