Although bodybuilders lose extreme amounts of fat (and frequently dehydrate) for appearance reasons, many athletes have to do the same to make it into their weight class (or simply to perform better). Think wrestlers, powerlifters and Olympic lifters, etc. Although it would be far better for such an athlete to keep their true weight closer to their goal class and just dehydrate slightly to make it in, that doesn't always happen. Sometimes weight class athletes have to drop a tremendous amount of weight (and the more fat they can drop, the less they have to dehydrate) quickly.
Other athletes may also have a need to drop fat/weight quickly to improve their performance. Think about an endurance athlete who may improve their power to weight ratio by dropping weight or someone of that nature. I should note, and I'll come back to this, that dehydration beyond even a small level can really destroy performance capacity (extreme dehydration can cause death) so the crash diet should be used several weeks prior to the main event to drop a few pounds of fat such that normal hydration can be reattained before competition.
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