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Dr. Anastasios Papanagnou Content Administrator Updated on: 07/03/2024. Next review: 07/09/2024.

Diuretics in bodybuilding: diuretics for athletes

Bodybuilding and diuretics

Diuretics are pharmacological drugs that have a diuretic effect. In sports, they are most often used to get rid of unwanted weight - drying. They remove fluid from the body without reducing stamina and energy. While these drugs can help you lose weight quickly, they are ineffective for weight loss. After all, their function is to remove fluid from the body, and they do not help the process of fat burning. With the help of such means, athletes achieve beautiful muscle definition without using doping.

The effectiveness and mechanism of action of diuretics

Diuretics were invented for medical purposes. They were used to treat hypertension, heart failure and kidney disease. Medicines provoke the release of fluid from the body, which causes a decrease in blood pressure. They alter the natural state of fluid balance, which is dangerous for dehydration. And the use of drugs must be coordinated with the opinion of doctors, since dehydration can lead to an acute lack of potassium, serious illness, and even death.

The function of the kidneys is to filter and control substances that are useless for the human body. They maintain the level of minerals (electrolytes) necessary for life by excreting them through urine or retaining them. Electrolytes are called fluids inside cells and intercellular spaces. They are an important element in the course of biochemical reactions.

The mechanism of action of all diuretics is reduced to excretion of sodium from the body, they do not allow it to penetrate the renal filter and are excreted along with urine. After all, it allows fluid to remain in the body. With a decrease in the amount of sodium, the volume of subcutaneous fluid also decreases.

In bodybuilding, to achieve results, you must adhere to a strict regimen. Athletes train hard for months. Then, a few weeks before the start of the competition, cardio training and "drying" of the body are performed according to the diet and the use of various drugs, which include diuretics in bodybuilding.

Why do they take

There are two reasons why bodybuilding athletes start taking diuretics:

  1. One of the additional properties of such drugs - with their help athletes can hide the fact of using stronger doping prohibited in competitions. Diuretics increase urine flow and change its pH, thereby making the concentration of other substances less noticeable.
  2. To achieve muscle definition, it is necessary to get rid of subcutaneous fluid. Diuretics in sports solve this problem in just a few days.

Diuretics differ in their properties and composition. For example, saline diuretics are more effective than thiazide diuretics. Potassium-sparing ones are not as effective, but they can retain potassium in the body.

But all diuretics for athletes are aimed at preventing the reabsorption of electrolytes and fluid in the kidneys by increasing urine production.

Danger of diuretics

If you abuse the use of diuretics, you can cause a severe form of dehydration and potassium deficiency in the body - hypokalemia. At the same time, potassium-sparing diuretics are dangerous in that they cause hyperkalemia, which is accompanied by an excessive increase in potassium concentration. Hyperkalemia can be fatal.

In addition, the use of thiazide drugs leads to an excessive decrease in blood pressure, which is fraught with cardiovascular disease. There is a risk that diabetes and gout will worsen because some diuretics increase blood glucose levels.

Many diuretics are blacklisted by sporting events, which makes them doping.

The use of such drugs does not comply with the instructions and is abuse. Finding them in an athlete's blood may result in disqualification. Before taking it before a competition, you need to find out which group the drug belongs to.

Bodybuilding and diuretics

The most popular diuretics and admission rules

Pharmacology offers a choice of drugs with a diuretic function. They differ in composition and impact strength. Some of the most popular diuretics are found in pharmacies:


This drug consists of natural ingredients, which include:

  • rose hips
  • lovage
  • rosemary
  • centaury

It acts gently on the body. Essential oils increase blood flow in the renal pelvis, which prevents the absorption of excess fluid and sodium salt. Due to rosemary, kanefron has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects, removing germs and bacteria naturally. Herbal ingredients relax the muscles, relieve pain and reduce spasms. It is used in the treatment of diseases of the genitourinary system.

The drug is released in the form of tablets or drops. It is considered safe and is prescribed even for treating children. The course of admission is designed for six weeks.


This is a drug that has an excellent property of expanding blood vessels and relieving spasms. It is the first diuretic with a thiazide-like effect. It was originally developed for the treatment of diseases associated with high blood pressure, and its diuretic effect is secondary. The daily dose of this drug for therapeutic purposes is 1.5 mg per day.


This medicine has a strong effect on the body. The effect begins to appear within ten minutes after ingestion. It is one of the most popular drugs among bodybuilders. Its mechanism of action is to rid the body of:

  • excess water
  • sodium
  • calcium
  • salts and chlorides

Most often, athletes use it before performing to achieve maximum muscle definition. But it is better to apply it in a few days. The drug is available in the form of tablets or a solution that must be administered intravenously. The second option helps to achieve the effect most quickly, within 3 hours to remove a large amount of liquid. For two to three days, it is recommended to take 20 mg every twelve hours or 20 mg every twenty hours. It is better to combine the medicine with 50 mg spironolactone to prevent potassium deficiency in the body.

The strong effect of the drug is dangerous, taking an increased dose can get a side effect. Too much fluid loss can lead not only to muscle loss of shape, but also to serious health problems in the future. Therefore, it is better to pay attention to herbal preparations with a milder effect.


It is low-toxic and has a mild effect on the body. It belongs to the group of thiazide diuretics. These drugs remove fluid and sodium from the organs, while maintaining potassium levels. They are not capable of causing addiction, but prolonged use leads to hypoglycemia due to the loss of chlorine ions.

The drug is quite popular among athletes, although it does not have strong diuretic effects, but it is easy to use and has hypotensive properties. It is available in tablets and is recommended for use a few weeks before the competition.


This drug has a milder effect than Furosemide, but its action is similar. It is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract almost immediately after ingestion and removes fluids and salts from the body within a short time. The drug belongs to the group of loop diuretics.


This drug is most popular among athletes - bodybuilders. Apply it at 100-200 mg per day for three days. It provokes regular urination, so it is recommended to take it before six in the evening so as not to disturb sleep.

Special sports diuretics

Athletes-bodybuilders want to achieve results sooner, so the preference is given to more “harsh” drugs. A strong effect is possessed by:

  • Furosemide
  • Torasemid
  • Lasix
  • Triamteren

Manufacturers of sports nutrition and nutritional supplements are developing products that already contain herbal substances that have diuretic properties. Such supplements are less harmful and may not lead to hypokalemia. They effectively remove excess fluid and improve muscle definition without compromising stamina or energy.

Despite all the side effects and risks of using diuretics in sports, athletes do not stop taking diuretics regularly, wanting to achieve results by all possible methods. The most effective drugs carry the greatest risks. It is important to remember that no sporting achievements can be equal to lost health.

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