Water weight is a real problem that can undermine your efforts to build a fantastic body. Here's how to deal with the problem and make water weight issues a thing of the past.
Get Rid of That Excess Water
There are many reasons people start an exercise program. Some have been instructed by their doctor to lose weight. Some want to pack on a lot of muscles while others are searching for the coveted six pack abs. If you belong to the latter group and have been working out hard in the gym but still can’t show off your six pack, it could be that your abdominal muscles are hiding behind excess water weight. Read on to discover ways to cut water weight and reveal your abs.
Reduce Sodium Intake
Are you in the habit of eating lots of salty foods like potato chips, pre-packaged meats, and canned foods? If so, you could be consuming more salt than your body needs. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the highest level of salt that should be consumed per day is 2,300 milligrams. The average intake of salt for most Americans is 3,400 milligrams per day.
This is much more salt than the body can handle on a daily basis and all that salt makes the body attract and store excess water. If you need to reduce your sodium intake, stick with fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats. When purchasing pre-packaged foods, check the label for sodium content. If it’s too high, consider choosing a low sodium version of the product, or choose another product. Once you do that, your water weight will decrease and you’ll be able to see your abdominal muscles.
Drink More Water
Although you may think it is counter-intuitive to drink more water when trying to cut water weight, drinking more water can actually help you to decrease stored water in the body. If you are very active or have a diet high in sodium and you don’t drink enough water, your body will store water. Your body is a machine that’s dedicated to your survival, and storing water is one way that it does that.
In order to make your body release stored water, you have to introduce a lot of water on a consistent basis. Bodybuilders should set a goal of drinking a gallon of water every day. By staying thoroughly hydrated your body’s survival mechanism won’t kick in and you will be able to cut water weight.
A diuretic is something that allows the body to excrete excess salt and water. There are diuretics that are available from the doctor, but nature also has some pretty effective diuretics of her own. Foods like asparagus, cranberry juice, and the dandelion herb are all powerful and natural diuretics.
Asparagus can be part of a healthy lunch or dinner and contains only 27 calories per cup. Cranberry juice is delicious and can be found in low-calorie versions, some only containing five calories per serving. Dandelion herb can be found in tea form that you can drink several times a day. These diuretics have the added benefit of removing toxins from the body and also help support liver function.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
It’s great to have a drink with your buddies after work or at special functions, but alcohol could be contributing to excess water weight. Drinking alcohol can lead to mild forms of dehydration and as stated before, your body’s primary goal is your survival.
To your body dehydration means a shortage of water and it will store the water that you have in the body. It will continue to store that water until you consume a lot of water. Having a drink occasionally is fine, but if you are going to drink alcohol you should also remember that you need to drink a lot of water to compensate for the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
Reduce Carbohydrate Intake
Excess carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in the body. In order for the body to store glycogen, it needs water. If you have ever gone on a low carb diet or started a diet that required you to reduce your carbohydrate intake, you would have noticed a rapid amount of weight loss at the beginning of the diet. Most of the “weight” that is lost at the initial stages of these types of diets is water weight.
Reducing carbs also reduces the amount of glycogen stored in the body. When glycogen stores are reduced, your kidneys excrete excess water. By reducing your intake of carbs like pasta, rice, and sweet potatoes and replacing them with vegetables, you’ll help your body excrete excess water so your abdominal muscles can be revealed.
Get the Best Results
People often ask ‘how long does it actually take to get six-pack abs?' Well, cutting excess water weight is just a matter of examining your diet and taking the appropriate steps to correct improper nutrition. Sodium, alcohol, and dehydration are substances that contribute to excess water weight. Drinking more water, carbohydrate reduction and taking natural diuretics are ways to help you get rid of water weight so you can finally show off your six pack.