Water Loading


Water Loading

There are many ways in which an athlete can make weight for a particular sport. Some sports are blessed with 24 hour weigh ins and others are 2 hour weigh ins.

Of course, the athlete should be monitoring his or her weight far before the start of their competition. If they are considerably over weight then they should start dieting early enough that they can lose weight gradually without affecting performance too much.

However, if the athlete is a week away from competition and still has weight to lose then there are a few different methods that they can employ to lose the last few kilograms, all of which involve manipulating water. Methods that involve losing water via sweat include using the sauna, steam room and hot baths.

However, there is a method known as water loading which involves the athlete becoming super hydrated before cutting back to become slightly dehydrated. Although there are different ways to utilise water loading, here is the method I used it to make weight for the English Weightlifting Championships:

6 days out
Mon 15/1/18 bodyweight 87.2kg, drink 5 litres of water

5 days out
Tue 16/1/18 bodyweight 86.5kg, drink 4 litres of water

4 days out
Wed 17/1/18 bodyweight 86.1kg, drink 3 litres of water

3 days out
Thur 18/1/18 bodyweight 85.7kg, drink 2 litres of water

2 days out
Fri 19/1/18 bodyweight 85.6kg, drink 1 litre of water

1 day out
Sat 20/1/18 bodyweight 85.0kg, drink 0.5 litres of water

Competition day
Sun 21/1/18 bodyweight 84.3kg, sip water until after weigh in

After weigh in, it is ESSENTIAL that you rehydrate properly. For this I would recommend a sports drink with the appropriate electrolytes rather than just water.
It is also a good idea to get some carbohydrates in too as most likely you would have been dieting alongside the water load. Jam bagels are your friend here! Avoid fatty foods that take a long time to digest as these could make you feel a bit lethargic as your body works to digest them.
As always, it’s good to experiment with these methods well prior to a meet to establish their effectiveness

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