The Pros and Cons of Neoprene Belts and Diuretics
Do you ever feel as though you look lean one day, and extra puffy another? Many of us struggle with this issue and, as a result, have an inconsistent body image. Water weight gain is real, and usually comes the day after your menstrual cycle began or after you’ve increased your sodium and carbohydrate intake. You can also hold onto excess water weight if you don’t drink enough water to begin with. Even if you aren’t a competitive athlete, there are tons of products being marketed towards people who feel puffy all the time. A couple popular products used often are Neoprene sweat belts and diuretics. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both. After reading this article you should be able to make an informed decision on whether or not you actually need one of these products!
Neoprene sweat belts are sold at almost any major pharmacy, some clothing stores in the fitness section and of course online by companies like Sweet Sweat. Neoprene is a type of synthetic rubber material, usually lined on the inside of a wide belt that can be tightened around your waist. While wearing this during exercise, the neoprene conducts more body heat directed at your waist, causing you to sweat more. Manufacturers market Neoprene belts and suits as a quick way to burn fat and lose weight, not revealing that the weight you will drop will mostly be water.
There is some evidence suggesting that excess heat conducted to that area will increase your caloric expenditure by 29% per minute, which may be beneficial. As long as you understand the weight you drop will not be permanent from using this product, give it a try. If you look less puffy the next day or the scale goes down, you could safely assume it was due to water and just not body fat.
Diuretics are not advised for water weight loss due to risking dehydration. Bought over the counter, you would recognize names such as Diurex and Xpel. Diuretics work by increasing the flow of urine. They remove the sodium and chloride from the body in the urine, and in turn the sodium and chloride draw excess water out. It is important to access caution while using this class of drugs. If there is a great output of sodium from your body, but not even sodium intake, this could cause your body to not pump enough blood to the heart. The side effects of diuretics are: dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, weakness, thirst, muscle pains or cramps, hypotension, confusion, seizures, etc. The more water you lose, you also risk depleting your electrolytes. Diuretics have their purpose and are often used by competitors to “dry out” before their show debut.
In my opinion, using these products on occasion while you are increasing your water intake is not going to harm you if done carefully, but can have serious side effects if over done. If you are really concerned with letting go of water weight gain, there are more natural and herbal cures such as Dandelion Root which can be taken as a soothing tea, or through pills.
The first step to having a consistently positive body image of yourself is to first understand that, especially if you’re a woman, your weight and water retention is going to fluctuate all the time and this is NATURAL! Using these products long-term can harm you and will not benefit you if your diet, water intake and workout regime are not already consistent and benefiting you.