The Bodys Water Hierarchy

*The most important water store is in blood and the vascular system. Without adequate water in the vascular system blood volume is compromised, and if severe enough, the result is death. So this rates a big number one in the water store hierarchy.

*The second on the big three list is muscle tissue. Water is required within all muscle tissues, both smooth and fibrous, to support life sustaining metabolic processes.

*The last area of importance for water storage is subcutaneous (under the skin) areas. For those who have not been paying attention, this is the area that a bodybuilder wants to eliminate as much water from as possible the day of a show. The results are a "make-it or break-it" issue. So how do we do it? Piece of cake! (But not during contest dieting!)

The key to subcutaneous water control depends upon control of the hormone Aldosterone. Obviously estrogen control is part of this hormone cascade action/reaction factor. But, our main focus is salt and water control, so Aldosterone is the key.

Beginning 15 days out from a show, an athlete should increase salt intake 2030%. This of course means salt intake was never reduced to begin with. The amount must remain reasonably high and steady each day. This creates an environment in which the body does not have to release Aldosterone. This causes salt to stay in muscle tissue and the subsequent attraction of water stores there. Also, the all important maintaining of the sodium-potassium pump is accommodated as well. (During diet phases, this also reduces catabolism.)

During the 15 day period, water intake must absolutely remain high. 1.5-2.0 gallons daily is a base line in fact. This helps your body excrete any extra sodium, which of course it will, because Aldosterone secretion in the body has been controlled by elevated salt intake/water intake. The body will continue to dump all excess water and sodium as long as this is followed.

On the Friday night before a Sunday show, the athlete stops water intake. The body thinks it will still get the 1.5-2.0 gallons of water daily and continues to excrete water at its normal rate. This causes a decrease in blood volume and of course muscle water volume. Remember the body's water hierarchy? Well, as a survival response or reaction, the body gives up water from the area of least importance as a means of compensation. Yup, you got it. Subcutaneous water is pumped into blood and muscles. The result is vascularity, full muscle bellies, and paper thin skin.

*It's always a matter of working with, not against the body's action/reaction factors to accomplish the greatest progress and /or results.

*This works well with Creatine/Dextrose carb-loading also.

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