So, you’ve decided once and for all that you would finally lose the fat around your stomach and expose your six-pack. You’ve started training hard, targeting your ab muscles from all angles with different of exercises, started a sound diet regimen to decrease body fat and you’ve even started skipping late hour snacks and yet you still can’t show off your chiseled abs.
What the heck is the problem, you might ask. Well, it’s very likely that the body is holding excess water, in the form of subcutaneous liquid that’s stored inside the cells, which causes the skin to have an inflated appearance, which will cover any muscle separation you might have achieved underneath.
This condition is also known as water retention and there are several reasons for it like, consuming excess sodium, certain supplements and sometimes even because of dehydration. But all is not lost since there are numerous ways in which you can help the body to eliminate the excess water and reveal the muscles you’ve struggled so much to build and show.
There is an important thing to note here which is that eliminating the extra water will only reveal the abs beneath if you have achieved a low body fat percentage. If you haven’t achieved this yet, take care of that first before blaming water retention. In this article we present to you 9 ways in which you can reveal the six-pack underneath:
1. Reduce sodium intake
One sure way to know that you are storing excess water is consuming too much sodium. The higher the sodium amount, the higher the water amount the body will store. Make sure that you read the nutrition labels on products before you buy them and ditch the foods that have a high sodium content like canned foods, soups, frozen foods, condiments, and seasonings.
2. Increase water intake
This may sound a bit counterintuitive, but you can actually reduce water retention by increasing water intake. Your body requires water in order to flush out the cells, and it isn’t getting enough, it’ll start storing it until it has enough. Filling your body with enough water will enable it to function optimally.
3. Sweat it out
Sweat is water expelled out of your body and used as a temperature regulating mechanism. If you hold extra water, training intensely and sweating profusely will help you eliminate it. You should take into consideration that the weight will return when you rehydrate. That’s why it is good to use it if you have a bodybuilding contest coming up and you need to shed some small amount of weight.
4. Pay attention to supplements
Creatine is one of the most widely used supplements, especially by those who want to add more muscle size in a shorter amount of time. The way it functions is by storing water inside the muscle, thus increasing protein synthesis. If you’re consuming creatine, you should expect to gain water in the range of 2-5lbs. If getting a shredded look is your goal, you will need to stop using it minimum one week prior.
5. Eliminate alcohol
Alcohol is known to cause dehydration and at first, this might seem like a beneficial thing. But, if the body is dehydrated because you’ve drunk too much alcohol, it’s much more likely to hold onto other water from any part of the body to compensate for the water loss elsewhere. The best solution is to avoid it altogether if achieving a chiseled look is your goal, especially before a contest. Reward yourself with a drink after the contest.
6. Eat more asparagus
It’s not widely known that asparagus is an excellent natural diuretic. It also has a high amount of fiber and vitamins A, C, E and K. When cooking asparagus, don’t add salt or salted butter.
7. Drink cranberry juice
Cranberry juice like asparagus is also a natural diuretic that will flush both the toxins and the extra water from your body. Always buy cranberry juice concentrate instead of the cocktail so that you avoid the added sugar.
8. Take multivitamins
If the body is lacking in micronutrients like vitamin B1 and B6 you may experience water weight gain. Always take some kind of multivitamin to make sure you get all the needed nutrients to ensure proper body functioning.
9. Consume dandelion root
Dandelion is a plant which has properties which can increase the production of urine, making it an excellent diuretic. It will also help you in eliminating the toxins in your blood and improve liver function.