Don’t Cut Water During Peak Week
The practice of dehydrating before shows is a ritual for bodybuilders and other fitness competitors. Despite the fact that it is not effective, if taken too far it is also dangerous. I fully realize there is nothing bodybuilders fear more than “holding water” or being “spilled over” on show day.
To avoid this, it is been common practice for decades to cut water before a contest. On the surface this seems to make sense, but when you know how the human body actually works you will soon realize that cutting water is a detriment, and actually kind of absurd. First off, water comprises about 75% of muscle tissue. This means if you don’t have water, you don’t have fullness on stage. It is that simple.
So how do you avoid spilling? Spillover and subcutaneous water retention is not caused by water, it is caused by too many carbs. Water will always follow glucose. Glucose is stored within muscle tissue along with water as glycogen which provides fullness. If you consume more carbs than the muscle can hold, the excess glucose will float around outside the muscle and water will follow.
Time to use analogy. Let’s assume your body is like a bathtub with the drain open. If I turn on the water it will simply drain out as it comes in. However, if I throw a few sponges (carbs) into the tub, water will stick to the sponges. If I keep throwing sponges into the tub, water will continue to fill the tub. Eventually if I throw too many sponges into the tub they will breach the top and water will begin to “spillover” all over the floor. In this scenario it was not the water that was the problem, it was the sponges. Had I not thrown so many sponges into the tub, the excess water would have continued to drain out as normal.
This is precisely what happens with water in your body. If you don’t consume more carbs than your muscle can hold, the excess water you drink will simply be urinated out as normal. So don’t fear water on show day. Carb up appropriately, drink plenty of water, and your body will flush out any excess. This is how you come in full and tight on show day.