You’ve been working hard, killing your ab workouts, and sticking to your meal plan to reduce that pesky body fat. You’ve even skipped those late night food runs with your buddies, but your abs still aren’t showing. What gives? It could be that your body is holding water. That’s right, subcutaneous fluid stored in your cells, causing your skin to have a puffy, inflated look, and ultimately covering any muscle definition you may have earned.
There are a number of factors that cause water retention – too much sodium, supplements, and even dehydration – to name a few. There is good news though, you can naturally help your body get rid of that extra water so that you can reveal those hard-earned abs. Note: flushing excess water to reveal muscle definition will only work if you have a low body fat percentage. If you don’t fall into that category just yet, work on getting there before you blame water weight for hindering your reveal. Check out these tips to help you showcase that six-pack.
1. REDUCE SODIUM
An almost guaranteed way to store extra water is by having a diet high in sodium. The more sodium you intake, the more water your body will hold. Be sure to read nutrition labels and avoid foods that are high in sodium such as processed foods like soups, canned foods, frozen meals, seasonings, and condiments.
2 DRINK MORE WATER
It may be counterintuitive, but you can avoid water retention by increasing the amount of water you drink. The body needs water to flush out our cells, and if the body isn’t getting enough, it will store water until it gets enough. Providing your body with a sufficient amount of water will allow it to perform optimally.
3. SWEAT IT OUT
As we know, sweat is simply water that’s stored in the body. If you have excess water weight, working out hard and sweating will help shed it. Keep in mind that the weight will come back as soon as you rehydrate. With that being said, it’s a good method to use if you have an event coming up and need to shed a little weight.
4. WATCH YOUR SUPPS
Creatine is a common supplement for those that want to add size to their frame — and it’s great for that. Creatine pulls water into the muscle, which increases protein synthesis. While taking creatine, you can expect water weight gain from two to four pounds. If you want to look shredded, you might want to stop taking it at least a week prior.
5. LOSE THE LIQUOR
Alcohol is dehydrating — that may sound like a good thing. However, if your body is dehydrated due to alcohol consumption, it’s more prone to hold onto water from any other source to try and compensate for fluid loss. It’s best to avoid alcohol of any sort if you want well-defined muscles, especially if you’re prepping for an event. You’re better off to save the alcohol consumption for after the event.
6. EAT ASPARAGUS
Little known fact is that asparagus are a natural diuretic. They’re also a great source of fiber as well as vitamins A, C, E and K. When preparing these, make sure you skip adding salt or salted butter.
7. DRINK CRANBERRY JUICE
Cranberry juice is a natural diuretic that will not only flush excess water from your body, but toxins as well. Try to opt for cranberry juice concentrate versus cranberry juice cocktail to avoid unnecessary added sugar.
8. TAKE A MULTIVITAMIN
Lack of certain micronutrients such as vitamin B1 and B6 can lead to unwanted water weight. Be sure to take a multi-vitamin to ensure you’re getting all necessary nutrients to help your body work optimally.
9. TRY DANDELION ROOT
Dandelion is an herb that has properties that can increase urine production, which makes it a natural diuretic. It also helps remove excess toxins from your blood and supports liver function.