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Bodybuilding Competition: Hydrate or Dehydrate?

Dr. Ward

20 May 2023

Still dehydrating yourself before competition day?

Look, I'm about to lose my mind here. How many times do I have to tell you bodybuilders to stop dehydrating yourselves like a prune just to achieve peak muscle definition? It's time to put down the bottle and pick up a glass of water because dehydration is so last year.

Let's be real, dehydration is a one-way ticket to headache city. Who wants to be walking around like a zombie on stage, trying to flex muscles they can barely feel? And don't even get me started on the risk of fainting and face planting right in front of the judges. Talk about embarrassing.

But wait, there's more! Dehydration can actually ruin your muscle size and definition, which defeats the whole purpose of bodybuilding, doesn't it? So, what's the point of all this suffering?

Listen, I know you're all desperate to show off your gains, but there's a better way to do it - water loading. It's simple: drink more water in the days leading up to the competition and let your body naturally flush out the excess water. Not only will you avoid feeling like a walking corpse, but you'll also reduce muscle soreness, prevent cramping, and improve your overall performance. And the bonus? You'll have a leaner and more defined look without the negative health consequences.

So, please, for the love of Arnold Schwarzenegger, put down the water bottle and pick up a glass of the good stuff. Trust me, your body and your fellow competitors will thank you for it. And if you don't, I'll be there in the audience, shaking my head and rolling my eyes like a disappointed parent.

If you're new to water loading, don't worry, it's not as complicated as it sounds. Here's a sample water loading technique you can try:

Four days before the competition, start increasing your water intake to about 1.5 gallons per day. Spread it out throughout the day so you're not chugging it all at once.

Three days before the competition, increase your water intake to about 2 gallons per day.

Two days before the competition, decrease your water intake to about 1 gallon per day.

The day before the competition, decrease your water intake to about 0.5 gallons and stop drinking water completely 2 hours before going to bed.

On the day of the competition, sip on water as needed to avoid feeling thirsty or dehydrated. Avoid drinking too much water or you may end up bloated.

Remember, this is just a sample technique, and you may need to adjust the amount of water you drink based on your body weight and personal needs. It's important to listen to your body and not force yourself to drink more water than you can handle. With a little practice and experimentation, you'll find the right water loading technique that works best for you.

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