|07-29-2012, 08:02 PM||#41|
is after a Masters WR
Bearded Beast of Duloc
The adult male has roughly 30 feet of bowel. The gut can hold between 7-13 pounds of chyme (partially digested food) along its length. This, of course, depends on how much a person eats and how often.
Food takes about 24 hours to pass from one end to the other and this depends on several factors, but roughly speaking, it's in there for about a day. (If you are very interested in how long your food takes to process you can take a fecal marker with your food and when it shows up again you'll have a personal estimate! You can use large amounts of food dye at a particular meal, blue for instance, and look for it in your feces. Otherwise, let's just assume about a day.)
For the time it is held in the lumen of the bowel it counts as bodyweight. It doesn't help you lift (like muscle weight), and it doesn't help stabilize you (like water weight). In fact it doesn't do much of anything except add ballast. It is quite unnecessary for competition. In fact in many sports it is preferable to undertake on an empty stomach. But what about yesterday's food? The body has absorbed most of the calories and nutrients but it is still in there (in chyme form) adding pounds to the scale and benefiting nothing in terms of strength.
It is desirable to weigh in with as little amount of chyme in the bowel as possible.
There are several methods of clearing the gut. The first is to restrict intake of food for several days. The intestines will continue to push the remaining matter out and if it is not replaced by eating, will result in bodyweight loss equal to the weight of the matter defected. If a person is in the habit of eating regularly this can be up to several pounds over the course of a few days. It is not uncommon to see drops of 7-9 pounds in body weight in a person who is fasting for religious reasons. Although some of this is dehydration, a good deal of it is gut clearance (5-7 pounds).
The major caveat presented by fasting is that of energy depletion. For the fast to rid the gut of the majority of fecal matter it takes up to 4 days. It may be even longer because the less one eats, the slower the bowels begin to move. No one wants to go without food for half a week before a major competition. It is draining and can have obvious negative effects on strength. I have been witness to this "starvation" method many times and seldom have I seen it be successful when attempted without modification. It is a rare individual can cut calories for days before a meet and still do well, yet I have been amazed at a rare few occasions where this bull-headed, extreme method was pulled off. Far more often I saw it end in frustration with the lifter making the weight class and performing far below their expectations the next day.
But that leaves an interesting scenario. There is some useless "dead weight" in the bowel at the time of weigh-in that is not needed for the competition. But the process of clearing it without modification involves fasting for long periods which impairs performance.
The idea is to find a way to clear the gut quickly without the extended fasting. The food can be easily replaced in the 24 hour period following the weigh-in prior to competition and the body may hardly miss it.
Enter the use of laxatives. There are all-natural, non-drug laxatives (like the new Ex-Lax senna laxative) and drug laxatives. All perform exactly the same function albeit by different mechanisms. They move the contents out of the bowel.
There is a surprising variety of laxatives available today. The very popular Ex-Lax trade name for yellow phenolphthalein has recently been removed from U.S. and European markets after some 6 decades of common use but there are still plenty of options left. This leaves most athletes in a trial and error situation to find the most effective laxative for them. For all but the most extreme cases, roughly speaking, any one will do. Some commonly used programs are outlined below.
A light program for loss of 5 pounds may consist of simply using an adult dose or two of senna laxative (completely natural) the night prior to weigh-in. This will loosen the bowel and usually cause movement within 12 hours. If little is eaten from the evening until the weigh-in this can result in a 2-5 pound loss. There are other natural options but senna seems the most reliable and well tolerated.
This is a short process lasting little more than half a day. If food restriction is begun at dinner of the evening before weigh-in, and laxatives are taken before bed (let's assume weigh-in is at 10:00 a.m.) then the whole process is only about 15 hours long (depending on how late dinner is eaten) and occurs mostly while asleep! Upon rising there should be a substantial bowel movement and only a short period of fasting ensues (a missed breakfast!).
The athlete finds this to be a good starting point and by keeping accurate records can tailor the duration of the fast and manipulate the amount of food taken the last day to their needs. Often the dinner will need to be missed and sometimes the laxatives need to be taken earlier. With the right timing, an athlete can learn to leave up to 5 pounds in the bathroom with almost no undesirable effects and be able to pass any drug test with flying colors. This is completely natural.
A moderate program of a 5-8 pound loss is a little more involved. Longer fasts are necessary up to 24 hours. And clearing must be more complete. Often drugs are used. The most popular drug laxative is now bisacodyl. There are many varieties available, pills, tablets, chocolate flavored squares, and even suppositories. They all work the same, but begin to work at different times. A suppository will start to work sooner than any of the ingested varieties. A suppository can cause a bowel movement within an hour, while the other administrations may take between 6 and 12 hours to work. Bisacodyl is a strong laxative. It is very consistent. Finding the right dosage for any individual takes several "runs" (pardon the pun). I have witnessed dosages of 2-4 x normal used with good success. I have also seen massive overdoses of 6-9 x normal used with varying results. Too much of any laxative (even the all-natural ones) can cause unwanted side effects including painful deep abdominal cramping, painful gas, irritation of the bowel, and actual dehydration through the bowel (severe diarrhea) which can lead to electrolyte disturbances and muscular cramping just to name a few. Getting the dosage right is kind of like that art stuff that I had mentioned earlier. Athletes find out the hard way what too much is. Sensible athletes start out with tolerable amounts and carefully make adjustments with keen documentation. When unwanted effects begin to show up they back off and avoid the more serious complications. But leave it to some to always go too far. Prudent action with careful attention will tell aware athletes when to limit the dosage.
A moderate program would be considered a 24 hour fast with a double dose of bisacodyl the afternoon before the weigh-in (20 hours prior) and a repeat double dose at bedtime (12-14 hours prior to weigh-in). The exact dosages will vary greatly between athletes. Never take anything for granted.
An aggressive program may include the laxative magnesium citrate. These are bottles of fluid that are drunk by patients who must undergo colonoscopy or other diagnostic procedures for the bowel. They are harsh and thorough laxatives. They can be used in combination with other laxatives such as bisacodyl. They act fast and hit hard. Most require no prescription and can be found at any pharmacy or grocer. Some do require prescription, but are very easy to get. Regular over the counter varieties are plenty strong enough. The best way to describe the way these act is to say they cause a complete flushing of the system. Up to and even over 10 pounds can be flushed with mag-cit. This usually accompanies a 30-40 hour fast and is used as the last in a series of laxative administrations the very day of the weigh-in (quite early in the morning). Most of the gut will be clear already and the mag-cit truly finishes the job. Often bisacodyl has been given on two successive evenings prior but some athletes find that mag-cit is sufficient alone. An administration of mag-cit the evening before the weigh-in (around 9 or 10 o'clock) may result in a less than restive sleep (with frequent trips to the john), but is certainly an effective means of weight manipulation.
Many athletes have been successful with a moderate fast of 30-40 hours accompanied by two evenings of bisacodyl administration and a bottle or two of mag-cit in the morning of the weigh-in. This is too much for most and really unnecessary if some type of water restriction is used concurrently. Many athletes will use mag-cit in one or two doses by itself or in combination with a moderate fast and skip the stacking of two laxatives. Sometimes mag-cit is even used without a fast. There are many variations.
It is my opinion that total reliance on drugs alone without restrictions in food or water will eventually backfire and almost always leads to increased use of the substances bordering on abuse. I am a big believer in discipline and personal responsibility. Increasing dependency on external factors to do a job that could just as well be done with fortitude will erode the individual's self-confidence and almost certainly lead to an unpleasant experience at one point or another. There is the sometimes subtle but always present delineation between use and abuse. The real difference lies in the regard of the thing. Attitude makes all the difference. Is it used as a tool or a crutch? The difference is not really apparent to outside eyes but the individual knows for certain the truth. There is a difference between use and abuse. Every athlete must decide on which side of the line they stand.
* Potential Loss: up to and even over 10 pounds. Depending on total amount normally carried in the guy. Big eaters can lose more because there is more there to start with. 7-13 pounds is the range.
* Duration: no longer than 50 hours. Often less; 20-40 hours.
* Technique: restrict food intake and facilitate the emptying of the bowel with laxatives. Methods vary from all natural, gentle compounds to harsh drugs. Timing and dosage is widely varied between individuals and requires trials before the athlete develops consistency.
* Effort Level: low to moderate. Fasting requires discipline.
To health - dehydration and all its associated risks are present through the mechanism of severe diarrhea. Reactions to laxatives such as abdominal cramping and intestinal irritation can occur. Any drugs used carry all the side effects linked with that particular compound and are outlined on the package.
To performance - very few. The fecal matter in the guy contributes nothing to performance and its loss is unnoticeable even if it goes un-replaced. But the act of ridding the gut of this matter can be demanding. The fasting can cause fatigue and is not well tolerated by some. If too severe a diarrhea occurs a host of performance problems can arise such as muscular cramping and weakness (how's that for an undesirable side effect!). Aside from the risks of he dehydration, there are very few problems with this technique. It is safe to say that this form of weight loss, when not carried to far, is the least likely to cause any effect on performance.
* Up Side: easy to accomplish, the risk to benefit ration is high.
* Down Side: potential dangers of dehydration if pushed too far. Fasting is rigorous. If done moderately a commonly successful technique. Taken just a bit too far and performance is compromised.
|08-02-2012, 11:52 AM||#42|
is after a Masters WR
Bearded Beast of Duloc
Secrets of Bodyweight Manipulation - J.M. Blakley, Part Five
A very common method of cutting weight is sweating. This is a natural process that is always occurring. The technique of sweating as referred to here means accelerating that process. The body responds to elevated temperature by sweating. Most methods of inducing sweating involve lots of heat. In an effort to cool down the body it is possible for the body to shed a remarkable amount of water. This depends on many involved factors but as long as the body has not been recently depeleted of plasma volume, the body will give water even in a very dehyrdrated state to lower the core temperature. Sweating is pretty much a sure-fire method.
Old school techniques regularly involve lots of exercise like running or rope jumping with "plastics" or vinyl clothing that seals off the air from the skin and stops the evaporation of sweat. With less evaporation, there is less cooling and the body sweats even more in a vain attempt to reduce the temperature. Under some extreme cases, I have heard of exercise in the sauna or steam room or even jumping around in a hot shower. In these ways the core temperature is elevated by the exercise and the environment at the same time.
Sweating is an easy way to drop weight and will workeven if the body is very depleted already. That makes it somewhat easy to overdo. Many athletes will sweat too much and before they realize it, it's too late, they've gone too far. That is the real concern with sweating . . . it works well and too easily. It 's easy to overdo.
Methods of Sweating
The first is simply exercise. Any kind, any way. Flexing the muscles creates heat and the body seeks to lose it through evaporation. It sweats. The problem with exercise alone is that it is fatiguing. It can tire the athlete and affect performance. It is commonly used and all too often overused. There are more effective ways to elevate core temperature that aren't so exhausting. It is wise for the athlete to conserve energy for the competition.
Another way to induce sweating is by environmental heat. The sauna is ideal for this. The dry heat sauna encourages sweating by both temperature and low humidity. Several pounds can be shed in a relatively short period by simply sitting in a sauna. No matter how dehydrated the body is as long as the plasma volume was not very, very recently depleted, the sauna can almost always cut 3-5 pounds within a 30-40 minute window of repeated bouts of heating and cooling (breaks in which the athlete exits the sauna and returns). This has potential for abuse and many times I have seen an athlete keep poor tabs on their weight while in the sauna and lose several pounds more than they need to for no reason. They return for another bout of sweating yet they are already at the required weight! asteful!
There is also the phenomena of over-sweat. After exiting the sauna, core temp remains elevated for some time. If it is several hours before weigh-in the athlete can continue to lose water by imperceptible evaporation. This can be as little as 1/2 pound to 1 pound. It can vary greatly but is a common occurence. Some athletes are very surprised to find themselves needlessy underweight at the weigh-in. They usually attribute it to one of their weighing devices being miscalibrated (and this is certainly a possibility) and never consider the over-sweat. To avoid this some athletes will leave the sauna 1/4 to 1/2 a pound above target weight.
This brings up a point about the scales. First of all, never assume that all scales are evenly calibrated. Second of all, there is only one scale that matters . . . the official meet scale. No matter what the quality of that scale, it is going to count as the official weight, accurate or not. If it is at all possible, it is a good idea to access the official meet scale before assessing how many pounds must be lost. It is quite common to see a 2 pound discrrepancy, plus or minus, between scales. A serious competitor arms himself with knowledge. He may find to his delight that the official scale "weighs him light" and he must shed fewer pounds than he expected. He may also find that he must go a bit extra to make it. Whatever the outcome, he can prepare accordingly. He can adjust his protocol to the appropriate level. He will not be shocked to find that he is 1/2 pound over the class limit after having completed his program and weighing in on his home scale at a pound uncer. There is only one scale that matters.
I have access to several of the best digital scales made. They always weigh me within two-tenths of each other. That's three scales of high quality all consistent within less than 1/2 pound (that's 4 oz.)! I believe that's what I truly weigh. But I don't scratch my head and wonder when I arrive at a meet site and get a test weight on the official scale and it's got me 1-1/2 pounds heavier than I know that I am. That's normal. And sometimes the reverse is true and it's got me light. Either way I know just how much I've got to go to make it on that particular scale and I get to work with that adjusted goal. But coming in blind can cost a lot.
One of my trainees went to the Nationals and was certain he had dropped enough weight to make the 132 class the night before in the sauna. He was so certain of his success that he did not bother to double check himself on the meet scale. He was wrong. He missed the class and lifted in the 148's. He placed third which did not qualify him for the World's. With the very same lift in the 132's he would have goth won the meet and been National champ and qualified for the World meet. He really lost on the night before the meet when he quit the sauna without checking for certain the meet scale for consistency with what he thought he weighed (honestly, he knew better, but just got lazy). He took for granted that the National meet scale would coincide with our high quality scale and it cost him the meet. He never checked it. He even lifted a personal best that day, but it would have all been different if he was diligent and responsible. He could have easily lost one more pound. A tough lesson . . .
|08-11-2012, 10:59 AM||#43|
is after a Masters WR
Bearded Beast of Duloc
Diuretic compounds can be natural or pharmaceutical. They affect the amount of urine output mainly by changing the re-uptake of water in the kidneys.
They can work quickly or slowly all day long. They can be brief in action or have an effect for many hours. They are fairly safe substances given to countless senior citizens to lower blood pressure. They deplete plasma volume. Taken in abundance they can cause serious electrolyte disturbances that affect both skeletal and cardiac muscle. Their abuse is legendary.
Competitors use diuretics often alone without any of the above techniques of manipulation. For extreme cases requiring upwards of 13-15 pounds of weight loss diuretics are a viable option when used in conjunction with other methods. For weight loss under 10 pounds they should not be considered. Most diuretics have powerful actions and consequences. Admittedly, it is easier to take a pill than to restrict water intake for a day or so. But water restriction is not as acute and not nearly as easy to overdo.
Most athletes save diuretics for the most challenging of cuts. They keep an ace up their sleeve to go to when other methods seem to have little more to offer. Also, most diuretics that have noticeable effect are drugs which appear on the banned list of substances of the International Olympic Committee.
But this is not to become an ethical decision. Athletes use diuretics. I am only outlining the methods that have been used.
The effectiveness of a diuretic depends on the state of hydration and specifically the blood volume. I have been witness to an athlete who injected 120 mg. of the diuretic Lasix (furosimide) and was still unable to urinate for six hours. Lasix has a peak effect that starts one hour after taking it, lasts quite strongly for about an hour and then continues to work less and less for about 2-3 more hours. The injections can cause diuresis within 15-20 minutes. If and athlete takes a normal dose (40 mg.) it can be expected that they will urinate 2-4 pounds out quite soon an certainly within 2 hours. This particular athlete was so dehydrated when the Lasix was taken that even a heavy dose did not produce diuresis. The athlete had already, and recently, depleted his plasma volume and when the drug hit, there was nobody home. One can't get blood from a stone and one can't use diuretics when the blood volume is low.
A normal dose of Lasix is 40 mg. and if blood volume is reasonable will produce substantial weight loss. 2-4 pounds can easily be expected but results vary on a few other factors such as the body's total sodium content. It is not uncommon to see athletes use more. But it can not be said that for every 40 mg. the yield will be 4 more pounds. In fact using 80 mg. likely will only yield 5-6 pounds. If an athlete is very well hydrated and has lots of sodium 40 mg. could yield 6-8 pounds. If the athlete is already partially dehydrated 40 mg. may only give 2 pounds. Since there is no sure amount, as usual, trial and error is required.
Diuretics have different classes and operate in slightly different ways. Some can deplete the body of potassium while others will spare potassium. Athletes must be very aware of what type of drug they are using and how that particular drug affects electrolytes. If an athlete were to use a potassium-sparing drug and then supplement the diet with potassium tablets in an effort to avoid cramping, then serious unwanted cardiac effects could result. With other drugs that deplete potassium, adding potassium to the diet is a sound idea. The athlete must know what it is exactly they are doing and consult with a physician or health care professional. (There are just too many different drugs to outline here.).
I have seen it as common practice to combine different diuretics to increase the effect. While it is true that some diuretics come in combination as prepared from the manufacturer, this is generally not a safe endeavor. Almost surely more harm than good can come from it. Athletes who rely solely on diuretics for cutting weight are prone to combine drugs. Athletes who use a variety of methods to drop body weight find that a single diuretic drug in a tailored dose is completely adequate.
A drug that is very popular now is Bumex (bumetanide). It is extremely powerful and a normal dose of just 1-2 mg. will yield the same effects as 40-60 mg. of Lasix. The onset is in an hour after swallowing and lasts about 50-80 minutes with its strongest effect. It will continue to work for several hours but much less noticeably. It is more appealing because the athlete has rapid onset short action and relatively quick removal of the drug from the body. Also the athlete can put a much, much smaller amount of drug into the body (2 mg. vs. 40-60 mg. in the case of Lasix) and that is always a more elegant option.
Drugs often seen arranged from weakest to strongest are Aldact one (spironalactone), Diamox (acetazomide), Lasix (furosemide), and Bumex (bumetanide) but this list is far from comprehensive. Although some general expectations of water loss from normal dosages were estimated above, there are too many factors to call it in hard fast numbers. Every athlete must endure recorded trials and come to an understanding of the dosage as it relates to the overall hydration state and timing of the methods.
Timing is a big factor. For example, if an athlete were to use a powerful diuretic like Lasix at 10:00 a.m. buy 12:00 the major effect would have taken place. The water lost is mainly from the fluid compartment of the blood. If the athlete were to repeat another dose at 1:00 p.m. there would be little change in body weight and there is a very serious risk of upsetting things. There is no more fluid available for loss from that compartment at this time. But if the athlete were to wait until 8:00 p.m. or later, the repeated dose would have an attenuated but similar effect as earlier. This is because the body has had time to begin to replenish the plasma volume from the water held in the interstitial space. The blood is de-hydrated and the interstitium suffers dehydration. The plasma volume can now supply fluid for diuresis. If the athlete attempts a repeated dose too close in time to the first, nothing will happen and all the risks will be greatly elevated. Timing is critical to success and the minimization of risk.
The electrolyte state of the athlete at the time of diuretic use can also can have great impact on results. If an athlete were to sodium deplete for several days and administer Lasix at that time the results would be attenuated. Lasix can't work right if there is no sodium to drive out of the body. Its method of action is to cause sodium (and potassium) to be excreted. The water just follows along with the sodium. If there is a shortage of sodium to push out, the diuresis will be much less.
If an athlete has a high blood potassium to begin with and takes a potassium-sparing diuretic, intensely painful cramping can occur which can be life threatening. Even an upset in the sodium and plasma volume can cause this, not by changing the amount of potassium, but by changing its relative concentration.
I hope the "big picture" is starting to develop here. There are simply too many variables to give concrete estimations of exactly how a diuretic will work for any individual athlete unless all the variables are known at that time and in that state. Everything is ballpark. But a responsible athlete will go to the lengths of diligently making notes and undergoing mild trials to find suitable regimes.
No advice from anyone is good advice. Things like a blood test taking special note of electrolytes (potassium in particular) and hematocrit (thickness of the blood) before diuresis begins, and constant measurement of blood pressure throughout the process will provide valuable information and steer the decisions about dosage and type of diuretic.
A diuretic should not be considered if the pre-cutting blood work shows the potassium level to be above 5 mEQ. A diuretic should not be an option if blood pressure is below 100/60. The hematocrit should not be allowed to rise above 60. Although it is unlikely you will have access to serial blood draws you can get at least a pre- and post. It is arrangeable to have a draw right when stepping off the scale or within a few minutes at a nearby doctor's office. This will give the athlete knowledge that can be used to modify the program to increase safety and efficacy in the future.
The use of an aspirin a day for two weeks prior to dehydrating is said to be a good idea. It has an effect to inhibit blood clotting. In a very dehydrated state (even a very brief one such as cutting weight) there is an increased risk of cerebrovascular incident or stroke. When hermatocrit is at its highest the risk is greatest. The aspirin makes it less likely that a clot will form and reduces this risk. Any reduction is welcomed, however small.
Diuretic use is dicey but commonly occurs with no ill effects. However, improper or foolish abuse can lead to the most serious of side effects. They also carry the biggest risk to impeded performance. An athlete may escape health concerns but do poorly in the competition. Great care must be taken by athletes choosing this route. A physician should always be consulted before an athlete undergoes any addition of pharmaceuticals to their normal state.
*Potential Loss: varies
*Duration: Extremely short, several hours at most
*Effort Level: Almost none!
- To health: high, cardiac arrest, stroke and all associated dehydration risks. Also drug interaction risks with everyday meds.
- To performance: depletion in this way is notorious for sabotaging performance. Many lifters undermine themselves by excessive reliance on diuretics.
*Up Side: Easy and when done with caution, allows great loss of weight
*Down Side: Involves the use of drugs. Although there are some natural alternatives, they are very weak in comparison. The naturals can help in a fully hydrated state to cut some water, but prove to be too mild to affect any change in a partially dehydrated state.
Next: Synthesis of Methods.
|08-13-2012, 10:49 PM||#44|
is after a Masters WR
Bearded Beast of Duloc
Secrets of Bodyweight Manipulation, Part Seven - J.M. Blakley
Synthesis of Methods
Any of these methods can be used singularly or in combination. With low to moderate weight loss, possibly only one is needed. However, for extreme weight loss only a combination will be effective in the short duration desired.
The trick is to drive the body weight down for as short a time as possible to avoid rehydration of the plasma and interstitium at the expense of the dells. Ideally a series of plasma deletions and repletions a the expense of the interstitium is sought. In this way plasma volume and blood pressure are somewhat normalized and the interstitial space is dehydrated. If this persists too long, however, the interstitium pulls water from the cells and performance is compromised. Interstitial repletion must occur from ingesting fluids before the cells begin to lose too much water. The timing of the dehydration process and the weigh-in must be accurate.
To deplete the plasma, re-fill the plasma by dehydrating the interstitia, weigh in, and reconstitute the body before the cells begin to go flat requires lots of planning and plenty of practice. Art?
Let's look at a normal scenario which I have witnessed several times.
Assuming 10 pounds need to be lost to make the class and that all health parameters are normal and that the lift time is 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. In this scenario the weigh-in will be Friday at 10:00 a.m.
The athlete counts the hours back to decide when to limit water and food. For food the deadline is 2:00 p.m. on Thursday (20 hour fast). The athlete will eat again at 10:01 on Friday. One exception to the fast that helps keep blood sugar stable iseating 6 Hershey bars at regular intervals through the day. They weigh only 2.5 ounces (16 ounces to the pound) and all together will add less than a pound to the gut while providing plenty of calories to avoid hypoglycemia and the sensation that the athlete is starving. Thursday morning should be a moderate breakfast heavy in carbs. The last meal at 2:00 should also be high in carbs but light.
Water is cut out at 10:00 a.m. (24 hours). No fluids for 1 day. No exceptions.
Thursday night the gut should be cleared. This makes for a restless night but nothing a long nap after weigh-in won't cure.
Upon arising (say 6:00) check blood pressure and bodyweight. The laxative and diuretic have had their effect yet there may be between 2-4 pounds left to go.
The plasma volume was depleted by the diuretic but has had time to reestablish itself as demonstrated by a basically normal blood pressure. It is also possible to be at weight in which case there is nothing to do but wait until 10:00!
Within the next 4 hours the athlete must lose 3-1/2 pounds. A dry sauna is a viable option now. The temperature must well exceed 160 degrees or it is not suitable. A sweat bath will suffice in this case.
If a sauna is available the athlete begins with 15 minutes and then re-weighs. Taking regular intervals of several minutes cooling and 5-15 minutes in sauna, re-weighing at every interval. No more than 50 minutes should be needed.
In the event of a sweat bath 30-40 minutes will suffice, assuming 4 pounds needed to be lost. It will be much shorter (about half) if only 2 pounds need to go.
The last 1/2 pound will drift. But if the athlete is unsure of the agreement between scales it is prudent to go 1/2 pound under. That is a difference of 1 pound. This means the athlete must full a Coke bottle with sweat (16 ounces) because they did not go to the trouble of checking the scales against each other! This is wasted time and effort. The prepared athlete can leave the sauna assured they will be on after the last 1/2 pound drifts through respiration and insensible evaporation.
Once at the weigh-in site the first priority is to do an unofficial check. Every thing should be copasetic, but there's always the exception. Weigh-in is open for 1 hour usually and at least 1/2 hour. If the athlete is 1/2 pound over it can be easily lost in the car with the heater running. The athlete can also spit out 4 ounces into a cup in an hour's time. That right. Spit. Chewing gum (or chewing tobacco if so inclined) to fill a cup with saliva will create the desired outcome.
A big mistake here is to revisit any of the preceding methods. They will prove fruitless. A diuretic will take too long (unless using Lasix in an intravenous injection). The sauna is probably too far away as is the bath. Laxatives are also too slow and there isn't anything left anyway (although some suppositories claim to work in 15 minutes this never seems to be the case after one course of laxatives has been run). Standing on one's head has the ability to cause urination by driving blood to the head and setting off a carotid baroreceptor signaling the body that blood pressure has just gone through the roof. This works in normally hydrated states but not very well after sweating off 3-1/2 pounds in the sauna: plasma volume just isn't full enough. Short of drawing off a pint of blood, the options are limited.
Athletes get into trouble when they take a full 40 mg. of Lasix to drip a quarter pound at the last minute. It may do the job, but when they try to rehydrate the drug is still working against them. They drink plenty but are still urinating too much. They can't catch up. Eventually they stop diuresing but they are behind schedule and may not be able to gain the full 10 pounds back before the meet. While 8 pounds is adequate it is not ideal and it certainly is no comparison to 12 or 13 that can occur with rebound (which will be discussed later).
Spitting and heavy ventilation in a heated car are the best bet for small adjustments.
Once weight is officially made, many athletes think their work is over but the truth is that they are at the half-way point.
|08-13-2012, 10:49 PM||#45|
is after a Masters WR
Bearded Beast of Duloc
Secrets of Bodyweight Manipulation, Part Eight - J.M. Blakley
Just as much work is involved in the process of putting weight back into the body as was involved in the removal of it. This is a concept that only too few athletes fully grasp. Performance will surely be compromised if all but full replenishment of body weight is not actualized. Performance can even be aided by close attention to replacing fluids to a point beyond the starting weight. This is known as a rebound effect and is very beneficial to the lifter.
The food lost from the gut during fasting need not be restored at all. But the act of fasting does pull some stores of glycogen from liver and muscle depots. Also blood sugar levels may be low. The general energy state of the athlete can also be down. A diet high in carbohydrate for the next 24 hours will refill the muscle and liver glycogen stores as well as bring the blood glucose levels back to normal. The storing of glycogen has an added benefit as 2.5 to 3 grams of water will be stored along with every 1 gram of glycogen in muscle and liver. This has a true, deep hydrating effect at the cellular level. The plasma volume is raised if blood glucose is kept high by constantly eating of carbs every hour. The effect of carbohydrate ingestion along with fluids can have the very dramatic effect of expanding the blood volume and raising the blood pressure.
Blood pressure should be monitored closely. It is not uncommon for an athlete to eat and drink too much too soon after weigh-in and suffer headaches and nosebleeds. This can cause a risk of stroke also and can be easily avoided by keeping tabs on blood pressure andreplacing the fluids more gradually.
It is also not uncommon to see an athlete vomit the first round of foods and fluids back up. This moves the athlete in the wrong direction and the nausea can seriously impede further attempts to reconstitute. This, too, is easily avoided by exercising discipline with the first batch of reconstitution materals. Choosing to eat small amounts interspersed with rest periods will prove beneficial for the competitor.
A well tolerated volume of food must be established by each individual but it is best to start out with too little than too much and each trial begin to increase the amount. The type of food is also a major factor at this critical time. Potato chips and salty snacks are light in composition and heavy in sodium. A slice of sausage and pepperoni pizza may not be as well tolerated. Crackers, candy, or a small amount of a favorite food are good options. Too much of anything can be bad, so moderation and blood presure indicate how much will be tolerated.
Disciplined athletes will start out slow and easy and gradually eat more and more each meal. The meals also tend to get heavier and heavier. By the evening the athlete wants nothing more to do with food but will continue to eas as much as they can stand (truly forcing themselves to replenish even after they feel fine). Going this extra mile will ensure that all glycogen stores are not only brought back up to normal, but overcompensated and filled with more than was started with. This is true carbohydrate loading and can actually overfill the muscles with glycogen (and water!). Obviously this is a good thing for competiton.
The athlete continues to eat until a specified time prior to the event possible 1.5 hours pre. More if the athlete is particularly nervous or excited.
The best choices of food after the initial recomposition has begun are foods high in carbohydrate and high in electrolytes and salt. However, after a certain point, whatever the athlete can stomach will do. Every attempt must be made to consume an excess of 5,000 calories. The more the better.
A schedule should be set up and followed as closely as possible, especially at the beginning. The eating bouts should be at regular intervals and increase slowly in volume and calories. By about 6 hours post weigh-in, the reins should be let out and the athlete should eat as much as possible in each subsequent sitting. Every meal matters. The committed athlete will force the food even when they are full.
This presents a small problem. The feedings combined with the stress of the cutting process (not to mention possible sleeplessness the night before) can make the athlete a bit groggy and a nap is definitely in order. However, some athletes will take this too far and miss meals and fluids while they are napping. This puts them behind and then when they finally feel energized again and ready to eat, it's nearing time for bed. Restaurants are closing and food just isn't as easy to get ot prepare. They dismiss this and promise themselves that they will eat an extra big breakfast to make up for it and retuire with less than they should have eaten.
This is a big mistake for two reasons. First, they are unlikely to make up the missed calories. And even if they did, they're still behind the point they could have been if they had eaten at least something more the day before. Secondly, the food that is eaten immediately does not end up in the body absorbed, assimilated and transferred into the cells as food eaten the day prior would have been. Much of it is "on the way" but not yet incorporated into the muscles deep down. Food eaten the day prior has time to make its way deep into the cells where it can have the most benefit (stored as glycogen).
So if too much napping is a problem the athlete must set a timer to wake them at inervals and quickly eat the intended food and fluids and only then go back to resting and overcoming the fatigue of cutting weight.
To some degree this applies to the night's rest also. Some effort should be made to eat and hydrate throughout the night. There is a trade-off between good rest and full recomposition, admittedly. The truth is that many competitive athletes are restless the night before a big competition anyway. It is the exception to find an athlete that sleeps deeply the night prior to a meet. It is very easy to have small amounts of food by the bedstand, along with fluids, to take every time the athlete wakes up. On a particularly restless night this can be a substantial amount of calories. It is not necessary to set an alarm to rouse the athlete from slumber to eat, but the opportunistic athlete will take advantage of the night hours by continuing to reconstitute if they happen to wake up.
Next: Fluid Replenishment and the Wrap Up.
|08-20-2012, 12:08 AM||#47|
is after a Masters WR
Bearded Beast of Duloc
Secrets of Bodyweight Manipulation, Part Nine - J.M. Blakley
This seems to be easy. Just drink. The problem is that the thirst mechanism is slaked well before full rehydration is complete. Drinking when not thirsty is uncomfortable to say the least. Athletes who are not watching the scale feel rehydrated but usually fall well short of recovery (and totally miss out on rebound). The athlete cannot trust his thirst. He can watch his weight and urine color and volume. An athlete can not be said to be fully rehydrated until his weight is recovered and his urine output reaches a point (usually mid-morning on the next day just prior to competing) where he is urinating 150-250 ml. every 15 minutes and the appearance of the urine is crystal clear. During this time (which should last only about 2 hours) the athlete can begin to slow and even stop pushing fluids. Blood pressure will be re-elevated from a low point the evening before (which followed a very high point just after the weigh-in and re-introduction of fluids) and body weight should be higher than the start point.
This is not any guarantee but it is a good sign that the job has been successful. This event is unmistakable. The athlete must be sure to keep drinking back the amount that is urinated for the first hour. Then the fluids can be consumed based on thirst until the competition.
Until this event the athlete can be thought of as dehydrated and must force fluids. As with food the first bouts of drinking should be limited to 32 oz. and then at regular intervals increased to the point where the athlete is drinking to full bloat of the stomach. This must continue under strict discipline. The athlete must not let up.
As a rule of thumb, 4 gallons of Gatorade should be ingested for a 10 pound dehydration in the 24 hour period. Gatorade is a good choice because it has the best combination of electrolytes especially sodium. Other options include Pedialyte, Powerade, and equine electrolyte powders that can be added to water (yuck) or fruit juices. Water alone is not the best choice because the others offer calories and electrolytes. Drinking bouts should be between 32 and 64 oz. at a time. The duration between bouts will vary but the athlete must drink as often as possible.
The fluids will first refill the plasma compartment. Then over time leak into the interstitium. Only after these two compartments are replenished will any rehydration of the cells begin )with exception of water stored with glycogen). Every effort was made to avoid cellular dehydration, but doubtless some has occurred. The sooner the other two compartments are refilled, the sooner the cells will get theirs. And the sooner the better.
Dehydration imparts a very fatigued and weak feeling to the athlete that can have serious psychological effects on confidence. The athlete feels bone-tired and weak as a kitten. The truth is that it doesn't matter how the athlete feels the day before the meet, just as it makes no difference how he feels after the meet.
What is important is how he feels at the meet. With full reconstitution, he will feel fine. And with a little rebound he will feel great. But some athletes are spooked by the extreme fatigue the day prior. They are certain in their minds that they will be affected. They can't let it go. They hold the memory of the weak feeling like a lost lover. The sooner the athlete begins to rehydrate and shake the fog off from the cutting process the better their spirits. They must understand that the feeling is temporary (unless they don't reconstitute fully . . . they they're stuck with it!) and will pass. The sooner they start to feel better the less the psychological ill-effects. Water must be replaced as rapidly as possible after an initial ramping.
Some athletes will use an I.V. to aid the speed at which they replenish fluids. This is fine as long as the blood pressure is not allowed to rise too quickly. A slow constant drip of dextrose solution or lactated Ringer's solution is preferable to straight sodium solution. The process is time consuming especially if more than one bag is going to be used (1.5 liters +). This process is a little creepy looking and requires lots of know-how. Many athletes find a nurse or paramedic to help them.
For a body weight loss of less than 13 pounds this process is entirely unnecessary. Full replenishment is easily accomplished without the added complications of an I.V. for moderate weight loss and restoration. Without proper assistance the procedure is full of risks and complications.
Some athletes will opt to take in extra salt and electrolyte tablets at this time in an effort to aid rehydration. There are preparations of sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. It is debatable whether these really help over and above the amounts seen in force feeding. However, they are inexpensive and low risk as long as they are taken late the first day or on the day after weigh-in. By this time the body has probably achieved a semi-normal balance of electrolytes and any excess will simply be excreted.
On occasion an athlete will use a prescription potassium supplement called Slo-K. The athlete must be positive they are not using a potassium-sparing diuretic and that their blood levels of potassium are not elevated to begin with. There are ways to formulate how much Slo-K to take (in mEQs) based on urine output during diuresis. A typical estimate is 20 mEQ of potassium lost per liter of urine. This is not a complete estimate because potassium is also lost by other routes such as sweating but provides a safe "low estimate". It is better to shoot low on this one. An overestimate here can really screw things up. The athlete must measure the urine output with a container each urination. Each Slo-K tablet is 600 mg. of which only 325 is potassium (the rest is chloride). Each tablet is equivalent to 8 mEQ of potassium. It can be thought of as two tablets per liter of urine (again a slight under-estimate) roughly. The dose is divided throughout the day.
As always athletes tend to be overanxious about everything and by their very nature do things to extreme. Lots of trouble can arise with high dose potassium drugs. Over the counter potassium tablets are available in 99 mg. per tab and would take handfuls to cause problems. Of course taking 4 OTC potassium tabs every one Slow-K would have the same effect. But an athlete is more likely to think twice when taking 16-20 pills of one medication or supplement (it doesn't stop some though). I suppose it could be overdone with bananas but the athlete would have to really like bananas as well as be a total idiot to pull that off.
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