Hormone You’ve Never Heard Of For Getting Super CutUnder Burn Fat/Fat Burning, Hormones/Health, Recent Posts
Sometimes a guy wants to look as super-shredded and lean as possible. It might be for a competition, photo shoot or maybe just a hot date. Whatever the reason, besides muscle definition, there are two factors that impact just how lean and defined you look–body fat and water retention. Obviously, you can’t look shredded if you’ve got a layer of fat covering the muscles. But even if your body fat is in the single digits, excess water can make you look less defined and sometimes, even bloated. Minimizing excess water weight is what we’re going to explore here today.
Aldosterone is one of the hormones that manages the volume of fluids held in the body–water in particular. And while for most guys water retention isn’t going to be an everyday issue, if you are a competitive bodybuilder or you need to look extra-ripped for a photo shoot or special event, retaining even small amounts of excess water can make all the difference in the world.
First, a little background on Aldosterone, which is released by the adrenal glands. Aldosterone is one of the hormones that helps regulate the body’s sodium and potassium levels. This in turn helps control blood pressure and the balance of fluids and electrolytes in the bloodstream.
The adrenal glands produce more Aldosterone when the body is trying to conserve fluid and salts. This means that high levels of Aldosterone equate to more fluids being retained in the body. When Aldosterone levels are low, the body retains less water.
The entire process is actually managed by the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). If you’re looking to get super shredded and hard with that contest-ready, ‘paper-thin’ skin, then how to manipulate the RAAS is definitely something you want to understand. By learning to manipulate the RAAS you can influence Aldosterone levels and affect how much water your body retains.
A typical strategy that many guys use to reduce the amount of water they retain is to decrease their salt intake and cut back on the amount of water they drink. Decreasing salt intake is good, but it only helps so much. And unfortunately, because the body is always striving to maintain a state of homeostasis (aka the status quo), drinking less water causes the body’s metabolic systems to conserve water.
This actually causes Aldosterone levels to spike, so drinking less water doesn’t have the effect that you want and actually causes the body to retain more water.
So with this in mind, we know that we have to look at another strategy. Strangely enough, one of the ways you can manipulate the RAAS, lower Aldosterone levels and reduce the amount of water retained, is to actually drink more water, not less. This seems to contrary to what you want to achieve but it’s not the way the body works. But it’s a little more complicated than just drinking gallons of water before a competition or event.
Successful manipulation of the RAAS to reduce water retention requires timing and strategy. Finding the right ‘window of opportunity’ is essential to success. Before you start trying to reduce water retention, you’ll need to first make sure that you’ve already shed any unnecessary body fat.
There’s no point in going through the trouble of shedding water when there’s a layer of fat underneath. So step one is to get your body fat percentage into the low teens or even single digits. Once you get to that you point, you’ll be in a position to be able to get shredded by reducing how much water your body retains.
The next step is to follow a specific protocol that incorporates the manipulation of protein and carbohydrate ratios combined with a period of high water intake (hyper hydration) followed by a rapid, timed period of limited water intake (dehydration). You will begin the hyper hydration and dehydration phases several days before the competition or other event for which you want to appear super shredded.
This strategy works because the hyper hydration phase will cause Adosterone levels to drop, meaning that your kidneys are flushing out most of the water you’re drinking–also causing you to piss a lot.
The targeted period of dehydration will allow you to rapidly shed water weight, leaving you super shredded and ultra-lean. But because you’re doing it for such a short period of time, the inevitable spike in Aldosterone levels and the accompanying increase in water retention, won’t happen until after the competition or big event.
For those of you that have been asking for more information about cutting water weight we hope this sheds some light on the topic.
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