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how long does the water weight last?

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Old 11-11-2010, 07:14 AM   #1
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Default how long does the water weight last?

Just curious - I know several people who have posted here that a day after heavy lifting or heavy exercise their weight can fluctuate a few pounds.. Well two days ago I ran 5 miles in the morning then did a really intense weights class (and I did more lunges than I ever thought possible) that night and did my usual 2.5 mile (mostly uphill) hike back home.. Needless to say, yesterday and today I've been very very sore from the weights class (I'm a runner normally so I don't think that hurt) and my two mornings later my weight is still up 3 lbs. It seems most people lose the weight within a day, but if I'm still experiencing the sore muscles do you think its still normal for my weight to be up! I did go over a bit this weekend eating wise, but not 9,000 calories over. And b/c ive been working out so much, i've increased my caloric intake a bit.


Also besides rest & water - any recommendations on speeding up the muscle recovery process? I've got my first half marathon to run on Saturday!!
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:07 AM   #2
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I dont really know with exercise but I have noticed with sodium related water gain that it can take up to 4-5 days to lose it for me. I love salt. It is so sad
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:45 AM   #3
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LOL -- I did something similar -- took an extremely intense "Athletic Yoga" class last Friday and was soooo sore all over for a 10K race on Sunday. Good news -- I finished faster than I even dreamed possible!

For recovery, drink LOTS of water. Water is itself a diuretic. The more you drink, the less you retain.

Twenty-four hours after whatever exercise caused the pain, you can start heat therapy. Warm bath, heating pad, etc.

Just read in Runner's World last night that Aspirin/Ibuprofen(advil)/naproxen(aleve) can actually slow the healing process because they block protein re-synthesis. I was surprised, because I though the anti-inflammatory process of these drugs actually helped healing. Not so (Runner's World, December 2010, page 49).

As far as how long -- I would imagine as long as you are physically sore, the muscles are still holding on to water. I don't let it bother me when I suspect it's just water.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:49 AM   #4
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Protein fo muscle recovery, but that's usually recommended in the first 15 mins after activity.

I'm a little concerned about how much you're working out and running if you half is Saturday. My first half is Sunday and it was my understanding that is is very important to taper your milage the two weeks before. This week I'm running 3 days, 3 miles each day. I'm also doing 2 days of strength training but not too intense. But I'm a rookie runner, so I don't know.

If you are still sore then yes you are still retaining water. Extra running makes me retain also. It can take serveral days for me to lose water weight.

Good luck on your half!
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:22 AM   #5
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Thanks for your responses guys!


Ncueno - Tuesday morning was my last run for the week - I was going to run up until yesterday (only 3 miles planned for yesterday) and do pilates tonight, but because I am still sore I've decided to stop all workouts. Good luck on your half as well!!
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:41 AM   #6
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Great Alexandra! I was freaking out that the rest of your week was going to look like Tuesday
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:58 AM   #7
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The taper is really more of a tradition than a real *need* especially for a half marathon done at a recreational pace.
Its a little different for competitive marathoners, because the stress on your body of running 20+ at a competivie pace requires time to not only repair the damaged and stressed muscles, but also to refill the glycogen stores needed to complete the marathon distance (a an intensity at Lactic Acid threshold.... a competitive pace)

I never really taper even for a marathon, though i always back off the strength training the week before, purely to flush out the excess water weight from the muscle repair process ( so i can run lighter!)

Taper feels good though huh?

BTW, by "taper" i am referring to the traditional, structured plan of stepping back for 2-3 weeks.
OF COURSE you need to take it easy for the few days leading up to the big day!


Good Luck Ncueno-- youve worked so so hard Oh, and congrats on reaching your goal of "happy"! I dont know if i will personally EVER be able to achieve that.

Alexandra-- good luck to you as well

What halves are you both doing?
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:29 PM   #8
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Thanks MK!

I'm doing the Coronado Silver Strand.

Necessary or not, I'm all in on the taper-it's amazing! One more light ST session tonight and an easy 3 miler tomorrow morning before the big day Sunday.

MK, I've been reading your posts lately and I just wanted to say thoughts are with you and I hope you can work through whatever it is you're going through.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:54 AM   #9
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As long as you're sore the muscles are still retaining water. It's to do with micro-tears, and I guess micro-swelling to an extent.

thesame7lbs--I'm tempted to agree with you about what you read about ibuprofen. I recently got a strong ibuprofen prescription for my knee as my kneecap isn't running quite straight and irritates a nerve and muscleband, and while I was taking the tablets it didn't feel any better at all, but after they finished I started to be in less pain. Bizareeo
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:27 AM   #10
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when you start to do exercise that builds up mussell you will add a few pounds as mussell is heavier then fat, so you are not really gaining weight you are gaining mussell. I always add a couple of lbs when i start working out so i switch to measuring rather then weighing in for the 1st few weeks
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:01 PM   #11
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