T Nation

Problems Holding Water

LONNIE123 id really like to get your opinion on this, sorry my PMs dont seem to work

Greetings everyone,

I wasnt sure if i should put this in the bodybuilding forum or in the nutrition forum…so i just picked this one. warning, i wrote a lot.

Recently i did my first bodybuilding show…at some point around 4-5 weeks out i began noticing that when i woke up i was seeing the indents of my sweat pants around my waist…fastforeward a few weeks with a cardio increase my feet and ankles began holding lots of water, i assumed this would go away when the cardio stopped. fastforeward to the monday before the show, we start loading sodium and water—at this point i bloated up like a ballon- calves and feet and ankles were completely swollen- i was freaking out (It should also be noted i was on an extreme diet at this time…basically protein only and green veggies and 90 mins cardio a day- i was very overtrained and metabolism and hormones did not exist at all)on the thrusday night before i show i almost decided to drop out because the retention was so bad. stuck it out and competed anyways, after i cut water and used an over the counter diuretic, they looked less bad on stage…

Fastforeward to the monday after the show- the retention has gone down even more…at this point i go see a doctor and he is concerned and perscribes me an actual diuretic (lasix-20 mg).
Tuesday i woke up, and weighed 5 lbs less than i did at the weigh in at the show and look damn dry. continued taking the meds for 6 days- this eliminated almost all the water retention that was left over. However now that my life is normalized, im still retaining a bit of water. By the end of the day my socks are leaving an imprint above my ankles…and you can just feel a bit of the water in the legs. Although it is very mild at this point. I got blood work done while i was on the direutic and it showed that my UREA and Creatinine levels were elavated. I met with my family doctor about this and we agreed that we should get the bloodwork done again now that i was feeling more normal and not taking the lasix. I have not gotten the results back from this yet. (i will call about it on monday)

So that brings me to the point of this thread…Im trying to figure out anything i may have been doing nutritionally that could of caused this (and is still causing it).

During the last run of my prep i really did salt everything heavily (just trying to make things taste better/different) and used A LOT of artificial sweetners. Aspartame, stevia, lots of sucralose, you name it…if it had 0 cals i was drinking it.

Now my diet has normalized and im using moderate amounts of sodium and sweetners. for example i might have some sugar free maple syrup, a few cyrstal lite singles, and flavour some oats with a couple 1g packs of stevia. I eat Kale chips with some salt every night, nothing extreme, maybe still a bit heavy on the sweeteners. Does anyone think this could be causing my water retention?

a few more questions:
1- perhaps its possible that my body isnt holding water, its just the same water thats been stuck in my body forawhile now? (i know this sounds silly but the amount im retaining is mild and has stayed constant for the last week) Im considering attempting to dry out again to see if this clears up/changes anything

2- Is it normal to just retain a little bit of water? because like i said its pretty mild, but before dieting for this show, i never noticed anything like this

Im very worried that my kidneys arent functioning properly and that i perhaps won’t be able to compete again.

Hey man, about how much water were you taking in? From my experience sometimes a higher consumption of sodium and low intake of water can turn your body into panic mode and actually cause you to retain more, sometimes increasing hydration can flush liquid more effectively. best of luck

[quote]Ausboss wrote:
Hey man, about how much water were you taking in? From my experience sometimes a higher consumption of sodium and low intake of water can turn your body into panic mode and actually cause you to retain more, sometimes increasing hydration can flush liquid more effectively. best of luck[/quote]

on the monday to wednesday before the show i took in 3 gallons a day- i was given premission to use crystal lite and another sucralose flavoring to get it down… i probably drink about half of it with sweetners and half of it normally.

right now im not measuring my water intake, but i was thinking of trying 1 gallon a day to see how i respond.

I wonder how much stress is playing a role in your situation, which can throw the body out of balance on all sorts of levels. Overdoing the adrenals with severe diet and training may effect hormones responsible for excreting water. You mentioned that your diet and training was pretty demanding leading up to the show. I can relate to really pushing the limits and know a couple competitors whose ankles would also swell up leading into shows, mainly due to stress. You also said water retention has gone down since the show, which would make sense. I hope your situation is not a permanent one and once you get everything figured out and restored, you’ll be able to compete again.

[quote]jmogill1 wrote:
I wonder how much stress is playing a role in your situation, which can throw the body out of balance on all sorts of levels. Overdoing the adrenals with severe diet and training may effect hormones responsible for excreting water. You mentioned that your diet and training was pretty demanding leading up to the show. I can relate to really pushing the limits and know a couple competitors whose ankles would also swell up leading into shows, mainly due to stress. You also said water retention has gone down since the show, which would make sense. I hope your situation is not a permanent one and once you get everything figured out and restored, you’ll be able to compete again.[/quote]
thanx, yes the last three weeks i was a complete wreck, eating about 1000 cals a day and 90 mins cardio, most definitely could of been a factor…today im not showing any signs of water retention at all, however ill have to wait till the end of the day because thats usually when it gets noticable…i decided to cut out all aspartame and sucralose today and only drink lots of water for the rest of the week.