The British Journal of Sports Medicine has published a report stating that if you are in a marathon race and lose at least 3 percent of your weight during the competition, you are more likely to win the competition. This report was based on the study that was undertaken by South African researchers who have found opposite findings from that of the experts and sports authorities who say that if you ever lose more than 2 percent of your weight, your chances to win an athletic event diminishes.

The South African researchers were able to come up with this conclusion by gathering data from 643 competitors: 560 males and 83 females. These competitors joined and completed the competition in Mont Saint Michel marathon race that was held in France in 2009. It was a 42-kilometer race.

Before and after the competition, the researchers all weighed the competitors. The researchers wanted to see the impact of weight loss on the result of the competition. Competitors lost weight from up to 8 percent and some gained up to 5 percent of their original weight. The results were different even though all competitors received the same advice, and that is to drink 250 ml of water or an energy drink every 20 minutes during the said competition.

The temperature during the race was from 9 to 16 degrees Celsius or equivalent to 48.2 to 60.8 Fahrenheit, which is not a tough temperature to bear. The researchers were able to find out that those who joined the competition and lost weight were able to finish with the best records.

Marathon runners who were able to finish in four hours lost an average of 2 percent from their original body weight. This is in comparison to those runners who lost 2.5 percent weight and finished in three to four hours. In general, runners who finished in three hours or less lost at least 3 percent of their body weight.

The results in weight loss were not connected to age and gender. This was according to the authors of the report. In addition, it does not also mean that a higher weight loss percentage lessens the runner’s chances of better athletic performance and results.