Diuretic or reducing water supplements are employed when certain conditions prompt specific bodily tissues to store water in excess. These help the body eliminate the retained water which would otherwise cause swelling (see the swollen legs and feet issue).
Effects of Diuretic supplements
The effects of such supplements and drugs are usually quick – in just a few hours for most. There are synthetic formulations as well as natural herbal ones to help one deal with this issue. Diuretics for bodybuilders also help counter the effects of certain hormones. These are the co-called anti-diuretic hormones, which attract and trap water inside the body.
Uses of Diuretic supplements
Diuretics are largely used in the world in many situations, but these are also advertized as beneficial to bodybuilders. Diuretics are best used during the cutting period by athletes who want to have the top advantage. By expelling all water in excess, they get their ripped muscles to show. This is as important as burning the fat away. The protocol of shedding the excessive water is started by most one week before the moment they are required to look their best.
When you’ve trained hard and really pumped your muscles, their definition should be obvious. However, when they’re hiding underneath a layer of fat and water, you won’t be seeing any well-defined musculature. This is why it’s important to use diuretics. They go along with intense cardio, sodium elimination from one’s diet and all the other essential of cutting. In fact, this is also known as the “getting dry” stage. Being dry is what earns bodybuilders the better titles.
Supplementing with glycogen is helpful, too. It pushed the water out and fills the muscles. When these are saturated, the glycogen makes them appear full.
Diuretics can be used late in the process too, like one week ahead of a contest. Bodybuilders are also advised to limit their water and sodium intake for the last 3 days or so before the event. Caffeine and Vitamin B6 are common diuretics you can easily have in your diet. As for the herbal supplements, these often contain extracts from plants like Uva Ursi, Juniper Berry and Dandelion.
The downsides of Diuretics
Diuretics come with a warning: they could get you dehydrated. One of the symptoms of dehydration is muscle cramping. It would be awful to experience this on stage. Even worse, dehydration may go as far as causing organ damage and death. There were some traffic cases in the history of bodybuilding, all related to a serious dehydration caused by intense preparations for contests.
Precautions needed to use Diuretics effectively
It’s easy to be completely won over by your goals and overdo it in the last days before a competition, so this is a most serious warning – don’t overdo it!
Your cutting strategy must include the monitoring of your hydration levels. In addition, you need to be careful with any underlying condition. You can always take over-the-counter diuretics, as well as prescription ones. In the case you decide for the first category, it’s recommended to see a doctor first and rule out any kidney malfunction.
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