Dehydration: is it a good way to lose way?

Summer is the time when even the strangest ideas to lose weight start to seem attractive. So, in addition to conventional nutrition and training solutions aimed at fat reduction, other "alternative" methods gain popularity. This includes also "getting rid of excess of water from your organism". Proponents of this practice claim that thanks to this you can lose up to 3-4kg within a few days - without any special effort. It is worth considering whether it is at all possible, and if so, how it reflects on you organism's health and metabolic condition.

Human body is composed mainly of water

It is an undeniable fact that your body is mostly water. You have quite a lot of it inside because it is about 60 - 75% of your body weight. Theoretically, it may seem that you have the "sound supply" and you can manipulate with it according to needs. In practice, however, the situation looks a little different because water level in you body affects functioning of all systems and organs; and dehydration is a factor disturbing the balance of your body and may entail a number of negative consequences.

Can you have too much water?

Often you can come across the statement that the problem of excessive body weight corresponds largely to water stored in your body. Interestingly, such diagnosis may be put forward by some nutritionists who offer their customers means to get rid of excess of fluids. But before you reach for such preparations, you should realize that water level in your organism depends on many factors. One of them is body composition: the more muscle and less fat, the higher level of fluids in the body (similarly also the more fat storage, the lower water content in your system). What is important, there is nothing wrong with that because that's the nature of muscles that are composed mainly of water. Making strenuous efforts to get rid of these fluids is not particularly reasonable. Sometimes, however, the situation looks different: water storage takes place within other than muscle tissues which in extreme cases leads to swelling. Then it is good to take appropriate action to get rid of the problem, except that you should rather consider what was its cause. If you observe swelling, you ought to consult a doctor. Use of symptomatic agents such as popular vegetable diuretics will bring a temporary solution.

Slimming by dehydrating

Some people treat reducing water from their system as a form of weight loss. This practice is enhanced by theories proclaimed by some specialists in nutrition and supplementation. In fact, it must be admitted that by introducing appropriate dietary manipulation (removal of salt, reduced intake of carbohydrates), you can achieve some reduction of fluid level in your body. This effect can be significantly aided by food supplements containing extracts of for example:

  • dandelion,
  • parsley,
  • horsetail,
  • nettle,
  • green tea 
  • and many others.

The problem is that removal of water from your organism has nothing to do with actual weight loss. Losing weight is a fight agains overmuch body fat, not water. What's more, it is rare that this excess of water is responsible for visual distortion of your figure. "What's there around my waist is subcutaneous water" - claim some, but it really has little in common with the truth. Most important, however, is that even if you get rid of 2-3 kg of water from your body, this effect would be only temporary, and the more drastic methods you use, the greater resumption, which will eventually end in increased fluid retention. Permanent use of diuretics, even very mild, is not advisable for it is hard to tell what consequences in might entail.

To sum up

Losing weight through dehydration is not a reasonable way to get rid of excessive body weight. Reducing extra water from your organism (unless you deal with real excess) should occur spontaneously after introduction of sensible nutritional strategies and training aimed at improving body composition. Some help from mild diuretic substances may occasionally take place but only when you are a competitor shortly before a bodybuilding competition. In the case of obese and overweight such practices frequently have no justification whatsoever.