To all the members of the boxing Community in the world :

The WBC with the help of VADA through their expertise in the field of doping has researched for some time a practice which can lead to delicate medical complications and even doping situations.

The reason for this special report is to try to reach as many members of the boxing Community in order to share the concerns and provide awareness of the dangers of this matter. Trainers, Boxers, therapists and members of the boxers teams must be aware of this information and take conscience about the matter.

Do not hesitate to contact VADA or The WBC in case you have doubts, concerns and need professional guidance in your nutrition and supplement intake.


Why Fighters Almost Never Need IV Hydration

By Margaret Goodman MD, VADA President

Too many assume that the best way for fighters to rehydrate after a weigh-in is via intravenous (IV) hydration to recover from a weight-cut and maximize performance.


Let’s look at this more closely as well as the VADA, WBC Clean Boxing Program, and WADA regulations regarding IV’s: Intravenous infusion and/or injections of more than a total of 100ml per12-hour period except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital treatment, surgical procedure or clinical diagnostic investigations are prohibited.


IV fluids can mask the use of prohibited substances, including blood doping.

 It’s now so easy for an athlete—or anyone for that matter, to obtain an IV.  They are readily advertised as the “go-to” treatment for a hangover.  Clinics exist everything advertising “in room treatment” along with mobile IV therapy that will come to you!  It’s become quite a money-making operation for healthcare personnel.

Of course, there are those who convince a fighter that there’s nothing more in the IV than electrolytes, glucose and vitamins like B12—when they can easily slip in prohibited substances. 

By the way, B12 has been proven to be absorbed as readily either orally or sublingually.

Most studies seldom compare IV with oral consumption when examining the benefits of rehydration.  However, a study performed over 10 years by the University of Connecticut in 2008 demonstrated that rehydration is more complicated than just the speed at which fluids enter the circulation and is influenced by physiological responses stimulated by oral ingestion.  These studies have shown that oral hydration (with the same volume ingested) is equal or even more beneficial than IV for thermoregulation (temperature regulation), cardiovascular, metabolic, perceptual and health benefits.

Obviously, if a fighter is sufficiently ill from a drastic weight cut requiring emergency care, then they have placed their kidneys, heart and brain at severe risk and shouldn’t be competing. If you are a healthy fighter and someone is recommending IV rehydration, I would question their motives and understanding of your physiology.  Ask questions!

In simpler terms, a healthy fighter will benefit equally or better from oral rehydration.  This will lower any potential risks from catheter/needle bruising close to a bout, fluid overload, air embolism, collapsed vein, infection, or use of performance enhancing drugs or methods that might severely affect their career and future.

Intravenous versus Oral Rehydration; Physiological, Performance, and Legal Considerations: Casa, Douglas J; Ganio, Mathhew S, et al. (Human Performance Laboratory, Dept. of Kinesiology, Neag School of Education, U. of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut. 2008.

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