Ger­man Borus­sia play­ers will have to pay 1,000 euros for every 100 grams they eat over the hol­i­days.

In Ger­many, they took an orig­i­nal approach to mon­i­tor­ing the health of foot­ball play­ers. Borus­sia Dort­mund play­ers will have to pay 1,000 euros for every 100 grams they eat over the hol­i­days. Accord­ing to the authors of the ini­tia­tive, this mea­sure will allow play­ers to eat more mod­er­ate­ly dur­ing the hol­i­days and will help them stay in good shape dur­ing the hol­i­days. The guys’ weight was record­ed after train­ing, and a con­trol weigh-in will be car­ried out imme­di­ate­ly after the Christ­mas hol­i­days. Those who have gained weight will be mer­ci­less­ly fined.

In prac­tice, this ini­tia­tive has a lot of pit­falls and there are great risks that some foot­ball play­ers, who are sig­nif­i­cant­ly over­weight, will resort to tricks that are harm­ful to their health. So, what are the prob­lems with this ini­tia­tive?

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Weight isn’t just about fat

It is unlike­ly that ath­letes will gain mus­cle tis­sue dur­ing the hol­i­days, but a few liters of water, which will change the read­ing on the scales, may well do so. The fact is that dur­ing the hol­i­days peo­ple often drink alco­hol and eat foods high in salt. And even if your con­sump­tion is mod­er­ate, you may see a few extra kilos on the scale the next day. It was the water that was retained.

In turn, it is unfair to fine an ath­lete for water reten­tion. The flu­id can be removed with­in a few days, and it does not have a strong effect on ath­let­ic per­for­mance.

There is an opportunity to cheat

Pro­fes­sion­al fight­ers cut weight before impor­tant com­pe­ti­tions in order to qual­i­fy for the weight class. This is not a typ­i­cal diet, but a com­plex med­ical pro­ce­dure that often involves tak­ing diuret­ics. All water leaves through the kid­neys, and the per­son reach­es the tar­get lev­els.

It’s just bad for your health. Dehy­dra­tion is a seri­ous prob­lem that can lead to chron­ic ill­ness. Is it worth risk­ing the health of par­tic­u­lar­ly care­ful foot­ball play­ers for the illu­so­ry prospect of main­tain­ing their shape?

Scale inaccuracy

Most scales may give incor­rect results. Espe­cial­ly if we are not talk­ing about expen­sive med­ical mod­els. Often a per­son can gain sev­er­al kilo­grams more with­in just a few hours. Only due to inac­cu­ra­cy of equip­ment and slight water reten­tion.

In gen­er­al, the ini­tia­tive looks inter­est­ing, but is unlike­ly to change any­thing. It will only cause out­rage among some play­ers who tried to main­tain weight, but still gained 1–2 kilo­grams of water over the hol­i­days.