How to Eliminate Water Retention
Our muscles contain 75% water. The “dry” muscle refers to the muscle that is dry, that is to say, the definition of which is not masked by a skin full of water. At the end of preparation for a bodybuilding competition, some athletes reduce their intake of water because they fear subcutaneous retention. By taking very little fluid, he hopes to eliminate all the water that masks the definition of muscles. But in reality, you can drink all the water you want (the less you drink water, the more sodium you concentrate and the more you retain subcutaneous water). Ie if it does not contain sodium, and if care is taken to avoid absorbing any sodium-bearing food.
The responsible for water retention
It is sodium that draws water out of the cells, while potassium retains it. By reducing the intake of sodium, and by taking potassium supplements, the muscles swell and the subcutaneous water disappears. Yes, but the body defends itself against any imbalance and, after a few days, it excretes potassium and retains sodium. It is therefore necessary to remove the sodium only two days before the competition. A longer duration of sodium restriction, and potassium will soon be at such low level that you will no longer make weight!
Better understanding of water retention
The diffusion of water between the inside and the outside of the cells, through the cell membrane, is called osmosis. The movement of the water takes place between the cell compartment and the extracellular compartment, the latter comprising the blood plasma and the subcutaneous and muscular interstitial fluid.
The cell membrane which separates the two compartments is permeable to water but not totally permeable to electrolytes (atoms and molecules charged electrically). When the membrane separates two liquids, one of which is richer in electrolytes than the other, the water passes from the less concentrated solution to the more concentrated solution. The osmotic pressure of the most concentrated solution is said to be higher than that of the less concentrated solution.
At osmotic equilibrium, the concentration of water is the same on both sides of the cell membrane. Schematically, it can be said that the water concentration is determined by sodium chloride outside the cells, and by potassium and organic molecules inside the cells. The concentration of water is determined by the number of molecules dissolved in water, each molecule taking the place of a molecule of water.
Sodium and potassium do not stop coming in and out of the cell. But a real sodium pump is opposed to the accumulation of sodium in the cells. Sodium is therefore at a low rate in the cells that reject it permanently. This is why, in the case of sodium retention, the latter accumulates mainly in the extracellular fluid which then becomes greedy for water. Water accumulates and causes water retention. It is the sodium that controls the amount of water in which the cells bathe. Sodium helps to regulate blood pressure, as well as blood volume. In a hypertensive, increased sodium permeability of the cell membrane increases the concentration of sodium in the cells. The origin of this hypertension may be taking anabolic steroids.
Limiting water retention before a competition
It is possible to momentarily modify the ionic equilibrium on either side of the cell membrane.
The cell at rest is in ionic equilibrium, ie there is a slight negative electrical potential inside with respect to the outside of the cell. This is because sodium (positive ion) is actively pumped out, while potassium (also a positive ion) circulates freely.
Reminder: The cells have a high concentration of potassium, low in sodium. They accumulate potassium by actively rejecting sodium: in fact, potassium is electropositive like sodium, and by expelling the sodium from the cell, potassium is attracted electrically.
The concentration of sodium is about 10 times stronger outside the cells than inside, and potassium is about 35 times stronger inside the cells. The cell membrane has a system that removes sodium ions from the cells, thereby attracting the K + ions (sodium pump).
If there is suddenly less sodium available, and more potassium, the concentration of electrolytes becomes stronger inside cells than outside cells. This results in an osmotic movement of water entering the cells.
But if you want to emphasize your definition before a competition, without ignoring that the body defends against any imbalance, you must adopt a brief sodium restriction strategy.
Indeed, after two days, excess potassium relative to sodium stimulates the secretion of aldosterone by the adrenal glands, and aldosterone stimulates the kidneys to retain sodium and excrete potassium.
This leads to a rise in the osmotic pressure of the plasma, which causes the release of antidiuretic hormone through the pituitary gland, resulting in water retention.
Method against water retention
The solution is to suppress the aldosterone secretion by consuming too much salt one week before the competition and then to remove it altogether during the last 36 hours, which is too short for the alert to be given and that l Aldosterone is mobilized quickly enough to prevent sodium leakage. After a week rich in salt (sodium) with salty foods and meals , during which the body gets used to saving potassium and chasing sodium, you reduce it suddenly, creating a very strong momentary imbalance between sodium And potassium, which draws subcutaneous water into the muscle cells. In this way, one loses its sodium just before the competition, and one does not lose its potassium, which keeps its muscular volume. You will have more volume and muscle relief if you recharge your blood sodium at the last moment.
As soon as they are weighed on the day of the contest, most competitors can afford to eat salty and to drink abundantly, in order to increase very rapidly the blood volume circulating in the muscles (8,5 g of salt to Retain one liter of water). But competitors who are too emotional on the day of the competition do better to refrain from this rebound in sodium, especially if they took supplements of potassium: indeed, the excess potassium plus the anxiety linked to the stress of the last Day cause aldosterone to be released very quickly and in large quantities at the very moment when one wants to reload in sodium. In this case, sodium intake is disastrous for muscle definition. The same is true for female competitors as they approach their rules: they must restrict sodium to the end. When you really have a retention problem on the day of the competition, it means that the body has a water that can be used by the muscle cells to recharge in glycogen, provided you avoid absolutely any sodium intake. In this case (residual retention problem without sodium), the competitor may be advised to reduce his liquid intake within 24 hours before the competition. The water that is under the skin will be sucked by the muscles that recharge in glycogen. The little water that can be drunk must be distilled water, or in any case very low in sodium).