One of the most common bodybuilder complaints on show day is “water retention.” This term describes the blurring of muscle contours caused by a relative excess of extracellular water. Athletes involved in other sports, especially those associated with certain weight classes or restrictions, will also complain about “water retention”, referring to extra pounds that can be shed through dehydration, use of rubber tracksuits, saunas, etc. .
It is common practice among these athletes to use a class of drugs called diuretics to get rid of excess water. While the use of diuretics is most evident in bodybuilding, their abuse is more common in sports such as wrestling and racing (both horse and jockey) and modeling.
Diuretics increase the amount of water lost during urination. Most commonly used in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure), they can also be used to treat other conditions, providing life-saving therapy in critical situations.
Lasix is a brand name for a drug that is currently sold as a generic drug and can be produced under a variety of brand names. Contrary to popular belief, generics, including foreign-made ones, turned out to be bioequivalent (containing the declared amount of the drug with the same effect on the body). This makes Lasix or its generic equivalent very inexpensive.
The low price of lasix and the obvious effect of the drug seem to have kept counterfeit products from entering the black market.
Diuretics act on the kidneys by different mechanisms; some are milder and relatively safe, while others are extremely effective and carry more risk. Understanding how Lasix works requires a fairly extensive knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the kidneys, but it can be explained in general terms sufficient to appreciate the effects and risks inherent in this drug.
The kidneys filter a number of waste products from the blood and remove excess ions (or electrolytes). This is an essential function of the kidneys as it keeps blood pressure in a healthy, normal range when functioning properly. The ions can be excreted in the urine after being filtered or returned to the blood depending on the blood pressure. If it is high, more ions are released (departed). This lowers blood pressure by drawing more water into the urine, so the body is dehydrated to a certain extent to lower blood pressure.
The benefit of using diuretics for bodybuilders is clear. This is the withdrawal of excess fluid, which gives more relief to the muscles.
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