How to Lose 30 Pounds in 24 Hours: The Definitive Guide to Cutting Weight


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For thousands of athletes, cutting weight is a critical science. Heavyweights are an exception. (Photo: MMAWeekly)

Gaining 34 pounds of lean mass in 28 days? Impossible, or so claim the skeptics.

Losing 20+ pounds of fat in one month without exercise? Impossible, or so claim the skeptics.

So let’s add another item to the list of impossibles: I have lost more than 20 pounds in less than 24 hours on more than a dozen occasions.

The most extreme example was 33 lbs. — from 185 lbs. to 152 lbs. — in less than 20 hours, which produced a rather unpleasant 120 beat-per-minute resting pulse while attempting to sleep.

In 1999, I was a gold medalist at the Sanshou (Chinese kickboxing) national championships in the 165-lb. weight class (here is a video sample of Sanshou). This is perhaps the most controversial accomplishment in the 4HWW, as I make it clear:

I arrived the on-site at 187 lbs., weighed in at 165 lbs., and stepped on the platform to compete the next morning weighing 193 lbs.

This post will explain exactly how it’s done — the techniques, the “drugs”, the science — and include excerpts from a series of articles I wrote for Powerlifting USA in 2004 called “The New Technology of Water”. Even if you have no need to cut weight, after reading this, you will know more about organ function and hydration than 99% of all athletes in the world…

The kickboxing anecdote was controversial because those who cried foul have never competed in weight-class-based sports. This post will also therefore serve as a primer for armchair critics who should do more due diligence. Cutting weight is a prerequisite for elite competition in such sports — period.

Matt “Kroc” Kroczaleski knows this. He is one of the most successful powerlifters in history, with incredible totals at both 220 lbs. (970-lb. squat, 661-lb. benchpress, 783-lb. deadlift = 2414-lb. total) and 242 lbs. (1008-lb. squat, 666-lb. benchpress, 788-lb. deadlift = 2463-lb. total). Here is how he begins his 2007 article on cutting weight:

What follows is a brief summary of the process I have successfully used to cut up to 30 lbs in less than 24 hours. (I went from 250 lbs to 219 lbs for the 2007 Arnold in 22 hours.) I put it all back on in less than a day too. I did this without any type of diuretics or IVs. It was all done entirely through sweating to lose the weight and drinking/eating to replenish it. This process was designed for competitions with a 24-hour weigh in period prior to the competition.

Our methods are almost identical, and I’ll include some of his suggestions.

Phase One – From 187 lbs. to 165 lbs.

Here we will examine, in practical terms, the necessary science of dehydration and the most effective modifiers and methods for attaining competition weight while minimizing muscle and organ damage.

It should be noted that dehydration can result in internal organ failure, coma, and even death, particularly when diuretics are used. The death of Austrian bodybuilder Andreas Munzer should serve as a reminder of what can happen when the use of drugs like Aldactone and Lasix (the latter and fast-acting insulin are arguably the two most dangerous drugs used in sports) is taken lightly. From a post-mortem article in The Observer:

His blood was viscous and slow-moving. His potassium levels were excessively high. He had been dehydrated by the diuretics he used in the days before his last competitions. His liver was melting. A post-mortem would find that it had dissolved almost completely.

ultra sec.jpg (JPEG Image, 500x568 pixels) - Scaled (87%)
The visible fibers of Munzer, who suffered multiple organ failures from diuretic abuse. Not worth the risk.

Is this article then irresponsible? I think it’s quite the opposite. I’m publishing it now because I’m saddened to still read of athletes killing themselves with imprecise approaches.

It’s a sad fact that weight-class based athletes will attempt this regardless, so I’m trying to provide safer guidelines. I don’t want to encourage casual sex among high school students, either, but I’m a realist and recognize that “just say no and abstain” doesn’t work and results in unintended pregnancies, etc. I’d rather have an open discussion and offer education to those who will do it regardless, which is the vast majority.

I’m of course obligated to emphasize that “this article is for informational purposes only.” TO REPEAT: RAPID DEHYDRATION IS DANGEROUS AND BOTH BRAIN DAMAGE AND FATALITIES ARE NOT UNCOMMON.

I present this article as an introduction to briefer and, in many respects, safer approaches that can supplant some of the more dangerous practices (thiazide-based and loop diuretics in particular) while delivering comparable results.

The practice of severe dehydration will continue among elite athletes in weight-class-based sports until competition weigh-ins are held as athletes step onto the platform or mat to compete. The problem is amplified further when athletes gain muscular mass over the course of a single competitive season, yet are required to remain in a single weight-class to retain records and ranking. My hope is that the approach details in this piece, as extreme as it is, helps athletes avoid even more dangerous practices (wearing garbage bags in saunas, etc.) that are common and more blunt, which results in excessive and imprecise loss.

So, how does one drop from 187 lbs. to 165 lbs., then perform 18 hours later at 193 lbs.?

Latent Heat and Electrolyte Reuptake Modification

It is contended that there are two appropriate vehicles for the facilitation of short-term water loss (diuresis): the manipulation of thermoregulation, and the manipulation of hormones related to electrolyte balance and water retention. In other words, you can combine 1) increased water excretion through the skin via temperature treatments with 2) increased water excretion through urination, which is dependent on the modification of kidney function.

If you weigh 200 lbs., 120 of those pounds are water, which is distributed between three systems: blood, cell interiors (as pertaining to powerlifting, muscle fibers), and the spaces between the blood vessels and the cells dependent on them. Approximately 8% of your total water volume is contained in blood plasma, 67% is contained in the cells themselves, and 25% is found in the spaces between the two, which includes subcutaneous water. It is imperative that athletes understand the distribution areas from which excess water, and not life-sustaining water, can be most safely excreted, pulling from critical systems only as a last resort. Thermoregulatory and mild electrolyte manipulation, with potassium-sparing supplementation for the latter, provides a compelling combination of efficacy and safety. Bear in mind that “safety”, particularly when used in the context of something that is inherently dangerous, is relative.

Exercise, whether running or otherwise, is not used for dehydration, as it places a load on the muscular and nervous systems when recovery is impaired, decreasing the force production capacity we want to preserve for competition.

Additionally, athletes should never dehydrate for the first time before competition. Just as with any technique, dehydration should be practiced within 85-90% of competition requirements at least two times in pre-season to ensure each athlete understands the individualized performance consequences and required recovery times.

Rehydration and additional hyperhydration are also accomplished through two primary vehicles: increasing the speed of water absorption, and increasing the volume of water that can be retained in the body for muscular performance purposes. This is done primarily with purified water and modified molecules of glucose.

By scientifically hydrating and increasing arterial blood plasma volume, you increase blood pH levels (alkaline), increasing the ability of hemoglobin to bind to oxygen. The end result is that proper hydration increases oxygen delivery to body tissue. A 1-1.5 quart loss of water can result in as much as a 25% decrease in aerobic endurance for this reason. By increasing plasma and cellular hydration you can conversely increase oxygen delivery and uptake, with a subsequent increase in endurance (hypothesized by some to be primarily dependent on aerobic mitochondrial activity).

Thermoregulation: Humidity and Brevity

Torranin has demonstrated that dehydration decreases both isometric and dynamic muscular endurance by 31% and 29%, respectively, following only a 4% reduction in body-mass by sauna exposure. This would still only represent an 8 lb. reduction for a 200 lb. competitor, a moderate decrease by weight-class competition standards. This further establishes the functional impairments caused by dehydration and the paramount importance of limiting the time spent in this state.

It is the author’s empirical experience that target dehydration should be accomplished over as short a period of time as safely possible, and that moderate dehydration sustained over multiple days only exacerbates the inherent problem of maintaining glycogen stores and muscle tissue integrity.

Saturday Weigh-In: 9am

If weigh-ins are hypothetically held at 9am Saturday morning, restrict additional salt intake beginning at Thursday dinner. No red meat or starchy carbohydrates (bread, rice, potatoes) should be consumed on Thursday night or on Friday, as both of these food product categories cause the disproportionate storage of water (3 grams of water per 1 gram of glycogen; creatine and fibrous tissue water retention in red meat). Drink your normal volume of liquids in the form of purified or distilled water until Friday morning, at which point water consumption, limited still to purified or distilled water, should be reduced to 1/3 your normal volume. If you don’t want to do the math, just drink 1/3 cup every time you would drink a full cup.

On Friday night, following a early (5-6pm) and light dinner consisting primarily of vegetables, thermoregulatory work should begin and water consumption should be eliminated until weigh-ins. Non-prescription diuretics, discussed in the following section, would be consumed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday, in addition to upon waking on Saturday.

10-Minute Sessions

The bathtub is the preferred tool for dehydration based on the outside humidity in total submersion, which is 100%. The higher the humidity, the less the evaporation, and the more your body must sweat to cool core body temperature. This is why athletes will sweat more in a steam room than in a dry sauna. Fill the bathtub with water that does not burn the hand but causes moderate pain if the hand is moved underwater. Your target weight by bedtime should be 2-3 lbs. MORE than your necessary competition weight, as you will evaporate that volume range of water during 6-9 hours of sleep.

Set an alarm clock next to the bath for 10 minutes, and preferably have someone who will also alert you at the 10-minute mark. Submerge your entire body and head in the bathtub, entering which should take at least 2 minutes. For ease of entry and to minimize movement, sit cross-legged at the front of the bath and lay down slowly, putting your head underwater so that only your face is exposed to the air and pointing towards the ceiling. If you feel faint at any point or when you reach 10 minutes, exit the tub and run cold water over your scalp but no other areas; ideally, place an ice pack on your head and neck instead of using water. Towel off, but do not shower, as you will reabsorb water through the skin. The author has seen elite wrestlers make the mistake of taking a shower the morning of weigh-ins, only to find they have gained 2-3 lbs.! Do not make this mistake – avoid showers completely until weigh-ins. After toweling off and urinating following the first 10-minute session, weigh yourself on two scales, taking the average of four weighings: two on each scale to account for any mechanical inaccuracies. Many athletes will lose too much weight the first time they use a bathtub, and this only extends the necessary recovery period. Take a 5 minute break near a cooling source or at room temperature if you have not made weight, and repeat 10-minute submersion sessions with 5-minute cooling breaks until you are 4-5 pounds from your required weight. At least two pounds will be lost as a result of the potassium-sparing diuretics detailed in later sections, and if you lower your body weight excessively, you should consume water to ensure you are 2-3 pounds HEAVIER than your required weight before sleep.

Two practical suggestions from Matt Kroczaleski:

When there’s a very short timeframe, the only thing that matters for the weigh in is how much the food physically weighs, not the calorie content when I consume it. I allow myself two pieces of bread with peanut butter usually spaced out evenly during the cut. The first piece is typically consumed about eight hours into the cut (about 10–12 hours out from the weigh in) and the second piece about six hours later. I always feel a renewed energy and sense of well-being after these small snacks. I don’t allow myself to drink ANYTHING during the cut because this is counterproductive to what I’m trying to achieve.

I will chew on and spit out ice chips during my five minute breaks, but that’s as close as I come to drinking any type of fluids during the weight loss process.

Potassium-Sparing Non-Prescription Diuretics: Blood Flow and Sodium Filtering

Nearly all diurectics produce their effects of diuresis by directly or indirectly acting on the kidneys. There are two primary types oral or injectable diurectics, those that increase blood flow to the kidneys and those that inhibit reabsorption of electrolytes by the nephrons or loop of Henle in the kidneys.

It is best to think of the kidneys as the body’s blood filters — Each day, 150-200 quarts are filtered through the kidneys, where toxins, excess water, and unneeded minerals are removed. If you increase the amount of water that is excreted per quart of blood, and simultaneously increase the volume of blood passing through these filters per hour, the effect is pronounced diuresis through dramatically increased urination.

Prescription diuretics, especially loop diuretics such as Lasix, often cause excessive depletion of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, ions that regulate electrical transmission and heart function. Moderate potassium insufficiency can cause DNA damage and muscular cramping, most certainly resulting in impaired lift performance. More severe depletion, which can have an onset of minutes with intravenous injection, has resulted in organ failure and cardiac arrest for athletes who do not understand the serious nature of these medications. Diuretics are designed for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure.

The author has found two compounds particularly effective for short-term water loss that mitigate the above problems: dandelion root (taraxicum officianalis), and caffeine, a xanthine alkaloid we’re all familiar with.

Dandelion root has the highest vitamin A of any known plant (14,000iu per 100g of raw material) and a high choline content. Dandelion root is one of few commonly available plants that increases sodium chloride excretion by the renal (kidney) tubule while simultaneously exhibiting potassium-sparing properties. When sodium excretion is increased, the kidneys increase water excretion to maintain electrolyte and osmotic balance. Dosages for dehydration, based on a 4:1 extract, are 250-500mg 3x daily with meals.

Caffeine not only increases sodium chloride excretion but acts primarily by increasing renal blood flow and stimulating parietal cells to increase gastric secretions. The latter combines with dandelion’s effect of increased bile flow to not only increase water excretion but food elimination (gastric emptying). Dosages for dehydration are 200-400mg caffeine (preferably caffeine anhydrous) 2-3x daily with meals. 200mg is roughly equivalent to two cups of drip coffee, or one medium cup of french-pressed coffee.

Used in combination for a 200 lb. competitor, 250-500mg of dandelion root would be taken with 200-400mg of caffeine at all three Friday meals (remember that dinner is early, 5-6pm), and upon waking 3 hours prior to weigh-in at 9am. It is recommended that the athlete also supplement each meal with a non-prescription 99mg potassium product.

Phase Two – From 165 lbs. to 193 lbs.

How do you use sugar alcohols, skin protectants, and insulin mimickers to recover from dehydration and move from a precompetition 187 lbs. and weigh-in of 165 lbs. to 193 lbs.? How can an athlete retain 50% more intramuscular fluid for improved oxygen delivery and power output?

Just because you’ve weighed in doesn’t mean you are ready to compete. Far from it.

Proper cellular hydration is required for glycogen synthesis and muscular contraction. Dehydrate a muscle by just 3% and you cause an approximate 10% loss of contractile strength and 8% loss of speed. Ball State University research has demonstrated a 7% decrease in speed over 10 kilometers by runners dehydrated by just 2%-3% of total body mass. For a 150 lb. strength athlete, this represents a very meager 3-4.5 lbs. of water loss.

This further establishes the paramount importance of rapid rehydration for optimal safety, recovery, strength performance following voluntary dehydration, particularly when the percent of total Lean Body Mass (LBM) is significant (the author has supervised, but does not advise, up to an 18% reduction).

One objective during the dehydration stage is the preservation of muscle fiber and blood plasma fluid volume with simultaneous excretion of extraneous subcutaneous water, which is located between the skin and muscle.

Similarly, the objective during rehydration is the increase of muscle cell and blood plasma fluid volume to predehydration or hyperhydration levels in the shortest time possible. What is hyperhydration? In the context of powerlifting, hyperhydration is a state produced when one artificially increases the amount of water the body can retain for improved power output and oxygen delivery. To that end, athletes I’ve worked with have used the following modifiers and tools, whose usage and dosages are included later in this article:

Blood plasma volume:

Room-temperature baths, PJ-A3AH MicroStructured™ water unit, Glycerol, glycerin, 1,2,3-propanetriol, electrolyte supplementation

Muscle cell hydration (sarcoplasmic hypertrophy):

Room-temperature baths, Panasonic PJ-A3AH MicroStructured™ water unit, 4:1 carbohydrate/protein ratio, glucose, glucose disposal agents and insulin mimickers, creatine monohydrate

Using Skin as a Water Channel

In the exact reverse of the dehydration protocol, it is advised that while consuming bio-engineered water (below), the athlete capitalize on the largest organ in the body as an initial vehicle for water uptake: skin. Take a 15-minute bath in room temperature water, preferably with Epsom salt for systemic magnesium supplementation and muscular relaxation (decreased electrolyte supply often causes muscle cramping).

Understanding the Small Intestine, Gastric Emptying, and Aquaporins

It is critical that any athlete with a short time span for rehydration increase gastric emptying, or the speed at which liquids pass from the stomach to the small intestine for absorption. Blood plasma fluid volume optimization precedes muscle cell hyperhydration, as the solids consumed for glycogen restoration will decrease the speed of liquid gastric emptying. This needs to be accomplished before glycogen is restored by ingestion of solids.

Also note that most commercially-available sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) and so-called “replacement fluids” contain much too high a concentration of sugars (high-fructose, dextrose, glucose, sucrose, maltodextrin) or other solutes to move efficiently from your stomach to the primary site of absorption in the small intestine. This does not mean you avoid solutes entirely, as I’ll point out below with ORS (oral replacement salts); it just means that you need to precise.

The optimal process of initial rehydration would move ingested H20 from the digestive tract (specifically, the small intestine) to the bloodstream quickly and without volume loss, and then through the semi-permeable cell membrane, again without volume loss (“loss” defined by eventual excretion, rather than retention, of water).
Protein channels in the cellular membrane, called “aquaporins”, only permit single-file influx of water molecules in clusters 3-6 angstroms in diameter. Unfortunately, 50-85% of purified water molecule clusters are 11-13 angstroms in diameter. Thus, while more efficiently assimilated than unpurified water, you may still excrete 50-85% of the purified water you ingest. For optimal hydration, defined by maximum H20 uptake % per ml ingested, there is a newer and more effective option: purified micro-clustered water. Through the process of electrolysis, basic tap water is restructured into smaller clusters of 5-6 water molecules, as identified with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Raman Spectroscopic Meters (NMR 0-17 peak shift from 130 Hz to 65 Hz).

Important note: the scientific literature available in English on micro-clustered water is confusing at best and convoluted with nonsense. The above explanation of “restructuring” was provided by an importer and could fall in the latter category. In fact, I’m inclined to believe this is the case.

The results discussed below, however, are from self-experimentation after purchasing the Panasonic PJ-A3AH from the same importer who had obtained several units after seeing them used in Japanese hospitals to treat burn victims.

I find the experimental results hard to explain as placebo effect: I and several other athletes were able to each drink more than 70 ounces from the Panasonic PJ-A3AH microclustered water unit (nearly 9 tall glasses of water), with no discomfort or excretion even 5 hours later. Divided by 16 oz. and multiplied by 1.5, one might extrapolate that the equivalent of approximately 6.56 pounds (1 gallon is 8.33 pounds) of tap water were assimilated. All of the athletes involved hydrate throughout the day and generally urinate at least once per 1.5-2 hours.

Regardless, the Panasonic unit is difficult to find, as are filters, so purified or distilled water can be used in substitution. Water molecules can move across the cell membrane, not just via aquaporins, albeit at a slower speed.

To avoid hyponatremia, or water intoxication, in both cases, it is recommended that you consume 75mg of sodium per 8 ounces of water (approximately 1/3 teaspoon per quart) to maintain electrolyte and water homeostatis. If you don’t, salt-dependent thirst-drive will be inhibited prematurely to prevent over-dilution of the blood. During a three-hour rehydration period, subjects consuming moderately sodium-infused water restored 82 percent of lost fluids versus 68 percent for subjects consuming water alone (Maughan RJ). Glucose can additionally increase absorption of water through the intestinal wall.

An even easier option is to also consume an ORS (oral replacement salt) drink like Pedialyte, which is popular among wrestler. The reasons to do so are clear in this comment from reader Craig Weller:

I once participated in a hydration lab as part of a combat medicine course.

A premise of the course was that many modern rehydration methods are ineffective and even counterproductive.

Participants were split into four groups and hydrated with either plain water, water with ORS, Gatorade or IV’s. My notes are several states away right now, but I think the amounts were around one gallon per hour for four hours.

Most participants in the Gatorade group developed fairly bad diarrhea. I was in the plain water group, which developed symptoms of hyponatremia. It was surprisingly miserable. The IV group (plain saline) developed ridiculous edema. They looked like Michelin men.

The only group that didn’t suffer much was the ORS group. They didn’t have the edema, hyponatremia (headache, fatigue, etc) or diarrhea of the other groups. As I recall, they also didn’t excrete quite as much (we measured urinary excretion down to the milliliter and graphed it over the four hours).

All groups except for the ORS group reported adverse effects for around 24 hours after.

Most of that seems fairly common-sense, but experiencing it firsthand was a dramatic learning experience.

The Sweetest Alcohol for Rehydration: Consuming Hand Moisturizer

Glycerol (1,2,3-propanetriol), commonly sold in supermarkets as “glycerin” for skin moisturizing, is a sugar alcohol with hygroscopic (water-binding) properties. Glycerol is used in meal-replacement bars to maintain softness and used in hand moisturizer because of its ability to pull water from the air. Glycerol is a three-carbon alcohol, which along with Free Fatty Acids (FFA) are produced when a triglyceride (stored fat/adipose tissue) is glycolyzed. It is theorized that glycerol drives water into blood plasma by increasing absorption of water in the distal tubules and collecting ducts of the kidney. Those who has read this entire post will recognize that we manipulated kidney function in the opposite manner initially to increase water excretion.

Glycerol-induced rehydration significantly increases plasma volume restoration within 60 minutes and at the end of a 180-minute rehydration period. Total urine volume is lower and percent rehydration is subsequently greater following glycerol usage (Scheett TP). In submaximal ergometer testing, mean heart rate was lower following glycerol ingestion by 4.4 +/- 1.1 beats/min (p = 0.01). Endurance time was prolonged after glycerol use in two studies: Study I (93.8 +/- 14 min vs. 77.4 +/- 9 min, p = 0.049) and Study II (123.4 +/- 17 min vs. 99.0 +/- 11 min, p = 0.03), demonstrating that pre-exercise glycerol-enhanced hyperhydration both lowers heart rate and prolongs endurance time (Montner P). The ingestion of glycerol improves hydration beyond that provided by equal volumes of Gatorade or water alone (Griffin SE).

Serum glycerol concentrations are normally 0.05 mmol/L at rest but can be increased to 20 mmol/L by ingesting 1-1.4g/kg of Lean Body Mass (LBM) of a 40% glycerol solution with 20-26 mL/kg LBM of water. Averaging these amounts and converting them to US English volume measurements, one should consume .543g/lb LBM of glycerol and .3984 fluid ounces/lb. LBM.

150 lb. athlete: 81.45 grams of glycerol with 59.76 fluid ounces (1.86 quarts) of water (preferably microclustered)
200 lb. athlete: 108.6 grams of glycerol with 79.68 fluid ounces (2.49 quarts) of water
250 lb. athlete: 135.75 grams of glycerol with 99.6 fluid (3.11 quarts) ounces of water

It is critical that the supplemental water is consumed with glycerol; otherwise, water will be pulled into blood plasma from the only available source, muscle cells and surrounding tissue.

Glucose and Insulin for Increasing Hydration Speed

Carbohydrates are converted to glucose through digestion and unused blood glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. In part 2, our athlete did not consume starches from Thursday lunch to weigh-ins at 9am on Saturday, and he will have depleted glycogen stores by necessity: each gram of glycogen holds 3 grams of water.

To optimally rehydrate after initial bioengineered water/sodium/glycerol consumption, one must optimize glycogen stores so the full water storage capability of the body is restored. This is accomplished by consuming macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates) with glucose disposal agents to enhance sensitivity to insulin, as storage hormone released by the pancreas. Insulin also stimulates glycogen synthase, as enzyme necessary for glycogen synthesis.

Several principles must be followed:

1. Consume your first meal 90-120 minutes after post-weigh-in glycerol and purified/distilled water ingestion.

2. Consume carbohydrates (CHO) with protein to optimize insulin response, but do not consume more protein than permitted by a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. More protein will interfere with water retention. Caseinates (cottage cheese or milk) or whole food proteins are preferred to whey, which is a fast-acting protein that can cause catabolism after 1.5 hours.

3. Take 100mg of Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA or thioctic acid) per 75 pounds of bodyweight + 50mcg of chromium polynicotinate (not picolinate) with each meal following weigh-ins. Both compounds increase insulin sensitivity and deposition of nutrients into muscle cells. The latter is a niacin-bound chromium referenced as 50x more bioavailable than chromium picolinate for purposes of glucose disposal and insulin mimicking.

4. Consume 5g creatine monohydrate and at least 75mg of salt with each meal, as both will work in conjunction with CHO as water “carriers” to increase absorption through the intestinal lining.

The Hyperhydration Advantage: Underutilized and Underestimated

By understanding engineered H20, its modifiers, and the science of hyperhydration, it is possible to weigh-in at 165 lbs. and compete 12 hours later at 193 lbs. It is also possible to consume 1.5 gallons of water in 16 ounces or increase protein synthesis 3-fold while simultaneously optimizing fat-oxidation.

Few elite athletes understand, let alone capitalize on, the hydration modifiers that represent next-generation tools for improving oxygen delivery and sports performance. It is precisely this broad ignorance that makes engineered hyperhydration one of the most valuable tools for athletes seeking a legal and safe performance advantage with results that rival any dietary supplement currently available.

Last but not least: do your research and don’t treat this as a low-stakes game. It will kill you. Here are three examples in one five-week period.

Caveat emptor.

Good luck to those whose sports require this. Train hard and drink smart. No medal is worth a Munzer-like ending.


Related and Suggested Reading:
Pavel: 80/20 Powerlifting and How to Add 110+ Pounds to Your Lifts
Physical Performance Posts: Why a Calorie Isn’t a Calorie, Intermittent Fasting vs. Caloric Restriction, Krill Oil…

Posted on: January 18, 2008.

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283 comments on “How to Lose 30 Pounds in 24 Hours: The Definitive Guide to Cutting Weight

    • This is awesome stuff, and very well-written. I have worked out in gyms with amateur and semi-pro body builders, and I have seen some of the grueling things they do to their bodies in the months before competition. Very hard on the body and organs; I myself wouldn’t have the guts to put my systems through such extremes, but I understand the necessity of doing so in very few circumstances. Again, very good job with this!


    • Eh, I win 500 quid if I lose more weight as a percentage of my body than my brother by next week (we had a month but I was kind of lax about it and only lost 8lbs).

      I think this is interesting and I am fairly sure I don’t have the discomfort tolerance to take it to a dangerous level… mwahahahaha I shall win my money and then eat a huge delicious christmas dinner and thumb my nose at the world.

      Also, parents of the world, lol weight loss competitions don’t work, especially not for monetary reward (rather than say pride) since it just encourages people to find cheats :3


  1. Crazy stuff Tim… But a great post. It’s impressive how you always seem to do the impossible. Next thing we know you will be a successful rapper or an actor or something like that!


  2. Tim, another great read! Actually, I will have to read it a couple time to fully digest (or should I say absorb) the material.

    But I do have one question about conditioning, how does “cutting weight” impact conditioning? In many examples in MMA, athletes who cut a significant amount of weight will often appear “tired” or “sluggish” in their fights like when Brandon Vera dropped down to LHW at 205lbs.


    • @ACercenia,

      Cutting weight kills conditioning if you don’t rehydrate completely. Matt Kroc has always reported feeling 100% after his cutting, but he knows how to get fluids back into his system. Powerlifters and other athletes will often use an IV drip to rehydrate on tight deadlines, but this isn’t something you should do without supervision.




      • I agree you ideally want to recover fully, but that’s not always possible. After the deaths in wrestling they changed the weigh-ins from competing 24 hours after your weigh in, to competing 2 hours after the weigh-in, with hopes to cut down on the weight cutting by athletes.

        As a result wrestlers are still making the same cut with little or no time to recover, making it even more dangerous because they are competing in a dehydrated zombie like state. So then how would you advise the recovery process when you have 1 hour to so after a 10% body weight reduction cut? The other 1 hour would be used for your warm up time before your match.
        From my experience you don’t have time to eat a meal and can only snack. Drinking fluids with a high sugar content gives me a stomach ache and if I eat too much I feel heavy and bloated.
        I’m curious to hear your take on it.


  3. Hi Tim,

    Impressive. really impressive. I am in my 2nd week of “Losing 20+ pounds of fat in one month without exercise”. It just works. People just feel affraid about testing themselves to the limits. I am happy to say that I am designing a great lifestyle since I read you book. Thanks Tim, I can not wait for another post!


  4. Very interesting article.

    Im also on the process of loosing weight, and i would like to make a warning :

    if your IMC is very high (like mine) dont try those high profile method which are designed for specific top athletes metabolisms.

    Like we say in France : do not sell the bear’s skin, before having killed him.


  5. Very informative! Thanks for posting.

    I did enjoy reading this in the book. It was genius, really.

    It is interesting to learn about how the systems of the body work. So many people are desperate or naive and will do crazy things to achieve these types of results without fully understanding how the methods work and any risks involved. I wonder if a modification of this could be used for non-athletes simply as a weight-loss tactic? Obviously a more realistic goal would be to lose up to 5 pounds a week or so.


  6. This method is certainly quite impressive, and the science incredibly detailed. And while your rebuttal is fair, I agree with the larger criticism, which is that this goes against the spirit of weight-class competition, which is to pit people against others in a similar physical range. Rather than gaming that system, wouldn’t the better solution be to eliminate this ‘loophole’ and have something like daily weigh-ins for a period leading up to the competition to ensure that competitors actually belong in a certain range, and thus the event is ‘fair’ in that respect? Or am I missing some other aspect of this?


    • @Jeremy,

      I agree completely, but until the rules change, athletes will all cut weight. This is the unfortunate reality, and has led to some improvements in NCAA wrestling at least, where I believe some competitions now have weigh-ins as you step onto the mat to wrestle. This reduces the incentive to drop classes dramatically.




  7. Great article.

    I think the following sentence may need revising:

    The above explanation of “restructuring” could was provided by an importer and could fall in the latter category.

    Trent Layell (@tlayell)


  8. Pedantic grammarian moment: might want to correct “The above explanation of “restructuring” could was provided by an importer and could fall in the latter category.”

    I don’t ever need to weigh in, but thanks for the tidbits related to hydration in general.

    Can you cite a source for “A 1-1.5 quart loss of water can result in as much as a 25% decrease in aerobic endurance for this reason.”? Just curious about the details…


  9. Actually having re-read it a couple of things spring to mind

    Re: whey. Though I agree with the proportions whey is very probably the smart choice due it’s speedier movement through the gut, it’s all about time after all. Casein is not your friend time wise. Any sharp drop off in serum amino acid concentrations would be overcome by the small, regular re-feeds popular when putting weight back on.

    Also considering the amount of CHO being consumed in the period between weigh in and competition I couldn’t ever see catabolism being an issue

    ….Just my opinion and experience.

    Also no mention of waxy maize starch or rice oligodextrin? Both can be useful.


  10. Nice article Tim, but why post a pic of two great fighters that don’t have to cut weight for their weight class? Fedor forever…


  11. Wow great information there. It is very interesting to see what athletes who have weight requirements go through. I have always shyed away from this for two reasons. My thyroid gland was very hyperactive when I was in high school causing an inability to gain weight (it is difficult to play football at 145 lbs much less wrestle with no muscle mass). The second is that I just like team sports.

    I do have a question pertaining to the Thyroid gland. Is there any techniques to super charge that gland? Now that I am in my mid 30’s I find that it is more difficult to lose 5-10 lbs that I gain after a few weeks of eating poorly. I would like to have some natural supplements, or activities, that will help me in regaining some of that good hyper metabolism that I had as a high school student.


  12. Hi Tim,

    interesting article. Sidenote: Andreas Münzer was Austrian. It’s like in this joke “Austrians try to persuade the world that Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler was German.”

    Thanks for 4HWW.