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Why do athletes take diuretics?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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12y ago

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Diuretics are a class of drugs/substances that cause the body to shed water through urination. They are normally used for people who have trouble with water retention or high blood pressure.

Sports with weight restrictions, like Wrestling or boxing, might see the use of diuretics as the shedding of water prior to a weigh in might allow the athlete to "make weight" while maximizing the amount of lean muscle mass they have. Athletes who are cheating by taking steroids or other performance enhancing drugs might take diuretics in an attempt to dilute the concentration of drugs in their urine and thus pass a drug test.

Needless to say, diuretics should only be taken on the advice of a health care professional. Use can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances which are counterproductive to athletic performance, and in the long term kidney problems can result.

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Q: Why do athletes take diuretics?
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