The Athlete


Diuretics are popular in the world of sports nutrition. Highly controversial, they have been banned by many sports regulatory bodies, such as the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency, who have banned all forms of diuretics, and test for such diuretics as acetazolamide, bumetanide, chlorthalidone,etacrynic acid, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, mannitol, mersalyl, spironolactone, and triamterene.

Diuretics are sometimes referred to as water pills because they help to eliminate retention; water that is naturally stored in the human body. They are used by athletes as a performance enhancing supplement. Many bodybuildingers use high amounts of diuretics before a big competition to increase their definition and get rid of any water in their system.

There are three main types of diuretics; thiazide diuretics, potassium-sparing diuretics, and loop-acting diuretics. Although they all act in slightly different ways, they have the same overall effects; they all lower the amount of salts and waters in your body, which helps lower blood pressure and increase sports performance. Some examples of other types of diuretics, all of which were developed for medical purposes, are Diucardin (hydroflumethiazide), Hydromox (quinethazone), Naturetin (bendroflumethiazide), Aldactone (spironolactone), Dyrenium (triamterene), and Midamor (amiloride).

Diuretics were not originally designed to improve sports performance. They were originally given to medical patients who suffered from high blood pressure, edema, and certain kidney disease. Diuretics are also used to treat congestive heart failure. If you are thinking of trying or using diuretics to improve sports performance, you should think twice. There is a long list of negative side effects associated with the use of diuretics. Some common side effects of diuretics are diarrhea, severe muscle cramps, sensitivity to sunlight, lightheadedness, joint pain, and cramps. You especially should not use diuretics if you are pregnant, have any type of kidney problem, become dehydrated easily, or have allergies.

It's good advice that athletes should not take any form of diuretic, since there are many potentially life-threatening side effects and because they are banned by most athletic organizations. It's just not worth the risk.