Ever wonder how fitness models look so unreal and shredded on stage and in shoots? Aside from leading fit and active lives and maintaining trim bodies, we peak our physiques for special occasions by cycling our sodium and water intake. It's an advanced technique that demands close monitoring and attention. It's not for everyone but if you're dedicated and determined enough this is how we do it.
The idea is to eliminate the water that sits between the muscles and skin. If one's body fat is low enough and muscle development high enough, the result is a ripped physique -- deep cuts between muscles groups and a general look of tightness.
Now, I must emphasize this is not a get-thin-quick scheme. Extra body fat can not be done away with in this fashion. We are talking about water, not fat. Also, this is a very temporary tactic -- it lasts a day! Just enough time for a shoot, competition or other special event you may have where you want to look your most lean and tight.
Yeah, dehydrating yourself, even for a short period, isn't the best thing in the whole world. But it is safe if done in a controlled method. Fitness models and competitors have been doing it for decades, mostly without harm (though, there have been a couple of cases where certain bodybuilders have combined extreme dehydration with drug use, and yeah, it wasn't pretty).
I follow this protocol myself for my competitions and shoots with BodyRock.tv.
Please use common sense if you intend to try this. I once knew someone who dehydrated for his bachelor party weekend in Miami while under the sun on the beach drinking. That is not good idea.
You may want to check with your doctor first, before beginning to attempt dehydration.[caption id="attachment_94918" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Most fitness competitors are "dry" when they hit the stage. It deepens muscle definition. I certainly don't look like this all the time![/caption]
1. Identify your target date
It might be for the competition, shoot or other special occasion such as a wedding or high school reunion.
2. Two weeks out, keep sodium intake high
Consume at least 2500mg daily. Use and app like MyFitnessPal to track nutrient intake.
3. At 5 days out
Reduce sodium slightly to 1500mg
4. At 3 days out eliminate sodium all together and emphasis natural diuretic foods.
Three days before the event avoid salt completely. Use a salt-free seasoning like Mrs. Dash to add flavour to foods. Be conscious that many dressings, sauces and drinks contain salt. As much as possible prepare everything yourself. Consume more asparagus, cranberries, ginger, brussels sprouts and dandelion tea. Coffee will also aid in the drying out process.
5. At 1 day out (the day before your event) cut water intake
Drink no more than half a gallon, taking small sips when needed.
6. The big day.
You should wake up feeling dry and tight. Have a coffee or a tea in the morning and continue to sip small amounts as needed.
7. After the Big Day.
After the event is done, re-hydrate. Drink a Gatorade, coconut water or anything else high in electrolytes. Reintroduce sodium slowly. If you rush into it, you will retain water and become water-logged and feel puffy.
Once again, practise this with caution, be reasonable and safe.