Tim's Tips are Written by Tim Rigby, M.A., NSCA-CPT
By now, you’ve probably learned not to obsess with what the scale says, but rather to look at your measurements and observationally monitor your progress in the mirror. What you may not know is that any temporary edema (water retention) is likely not caused by consuming a lot of fatty foods, but rather from eating sugar and sweets. After all, just one molecule of sugar will cause you to retain 30 molecules of water. In men, this is manifest mainly in the abdominal and chest areas. You may also be experiencing the homeostasis effect of your body fighting the diuretic effects of caffeine or alcohol and inadvertently retaining water. There are many clever ways to beat the bloat, however.
For starters, try consuming additional whey protein, which helps flush out excess water. You can also take vitamin C which is quite safe, even up to 3,000 milligrams a day; this is an excellent fighter of water retention and any amount your body doesn’t need will simply be excreted. Vitamin B6, which you should be taking in conjunction with protein, is also good for banishing the bloat, in doses of 50-100 milligrams depending on your body weight. Exercise – especially cardio, where you’re moving distances – is good for loosening up retained water to shuttle it to your kidneys and then flush it out. You can also try using a sauna or hot tub to induce a sweat. Most importantly, simply drink more water – it may sound counterintuitive, but for flushing out retained water it works like a charm.