Traveling for a Bodybuilding & Physique Event and Water Manipulation

October 10, 2018

As an athlete prepping for a show, the key to bringing the best package onstage is to slowly bring down body fat levels throughout the prep until a low enough body fat level is achieved to reveal the muscle separation and detail.


Once this has been achieved, the athlete must then manipulate the water held in the body to make the muscle even more defined. This is done by maximizing water retained within the muscle, while minimizing water held under the skin.

 
This is achieved by drinking large amounts of water for 7 to 10 days prior to the event, then cutting back using various methods.


Many feel compelled to turn to dangerous diuretics which can be fatal. Other athletes use herbal diuretics, which could be safer if directions are followed and the herbal diuretics are approved by your doctor.


Whichever method you follow, things can become tricky when air travel - especially internationally - is thrown into the mix.


The human body naturally retains water when it sits at a high altitude for several hours, which is an issue for athletes competing in bodybuilding and physique events I have experienced this many times during my career as I competed in the United States and Europe, often just days apart in the different countries. 

HOW DO ATHLETES MAINTAIN A DRY LOOK WHEN FLYING?

  • Get up and walk. The first thing you should do is get up and walk as often as possible during the flight. Keep blood flowing throughout the legs to avoid water retention in the ankles.

  • Drink water. Drink water throughout the flight. The best diuretic is water itself. 

  • Light Workout. Try to get a light workout in as soon as you when you reach your destination.

  • Epsom Salt Bath. If you feel you are still holding water, add an Epsom salt bath along with the usual protocol that you use. The idea is basic osmosis. Run a hot bath and dump two large boxes of Epsom salts into it. Agitate the water until all salt is dissolved. Lay in the bath for approximately 30 minutes. The idea is that the high saline solution in the water, as opposed to the low sodium content in the skin cells, will draw the water from under the skin. I have found this to be effective, but only used under extreme situations where all else has failed.

 

Some people retain very little water when they fly, so this may not be an issue for you specifically. But if you are flying to an event, be prepared with these tips and come in as dry as possible for your next show.

 

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