Even if you are training with low calorie fruits and vegetables such as cabbage or watermelon, there is an extremely high chance that you will be consuming a higher than normal amount of calories than your body is typically used to processing. Also, since food is not digested very quickly, you may experience discomfort for a longer period of time after eating a lot, which is a drawback for obvious reasons. Consistently consuming more calories than you burn off will lead to excess weight gain, and I am not referring to muscle weight in your arms and legs. To avoid the extra calories and increased weight gain, some eaters train to increase their stomach capacity by using water and other calorie-free liquids. While this method can be effective, it can be a lot more dangerous too, so please read The Extreme Dangers Of Water Training if you have not already. With that being said, there are ways to slowly and safely increase your stomach capacity using water, and you must do it gradually to maintain that level of safety. Training with food is much safer and definitely the better option between the two, but to simply say don’t train with water while some of the top professional eaters are training with water would be hypocritical. Follow this liquid training plan to prepare for your eating competition:
A One Week Plan For Expanding Your Stomach Using Water
1. Set the date and time – If you have not already, make sure you have read How To Expand Your Stomach Using Food, so that you can compare the two training methods. While you are using 2 completely different substances to train, you need to follow a similar structured training schedule so that your body can adapt to the changes gradually, allowing you to achieve the best results. Just like when training with food, you need to establish the date and time of your challenge or contest so that you can adjust your training regimen accordingly.
2. Analyze how much water you currently drink – This isn’t an official step really, but before beginning your training week you need to consider your current level of water intake along with your body type. If you rarely drink water, and feel that you don’t even get the recommended daily amount that your body should be getting, please consider yourself a beginner. There really is no set amount of of water to set as a standard because like calorie intake, the amount of water that your body needs is based on your body type, activity level, and other factors. A 5’2″ twenty year old female most likely requires less water than a 25 year old professional athlete who is a 6’5″ and 280lb (127kg) male. If you are not used to drinking water, then your body is not used to consuming a lot of water either, so you need to consider that when selecting how much water you want to drink. You need to increase the amount you train with at a slower pace than somebody who is used to drinking 2 gallons per day on a regular basis. Thinking about this will help you maintain safety and avoid getting hurt.
3. Days 1 and 2 – For the first two days, you basically want to prepare yourself for the upcoming rest of the week by increasing your daily water intake considerably. I am a 6’5″ male weighing 250lbs (114kg), so I try to drink 2-3 gallons of water steadily throughout the days before I am going to involve light water training. Just because that is what I do though, that does not mean you need to have the same goal. Just make it a point of emphasis to drink a lot of water throughout the day and early evening, drinking no more than 1 quart (32 ounces) at a time.
4. Days 3 and 4 – Now you are ready to start drinking more at one time than you did the first two days. Chug 1 quart (32 ounces) of water at multiple times throughout the day. Drinking one quart of water quickly is no where near any kind of dangerous level, so there is no need to mix the water with a flavor and/or electrolyte additive. If you are working or at school, bring along a 32 ounce (1-liter) water bottle to make sure you are getting your water training in during the day, and not just in the evening when you get home. Because water goes right through your body a lot faster than food, and you are not yet dealing with extreme amounts of water at one time, you can chug multiple times per day to help teach your stomach muscles to relax further. Spread the water training sessions out every few hours. Just don’t go overboard, and allow your muscles and organs to rest.
5. Days 5 and 6 – If you were able to chug the quarts of water easily on days 3 and 4, aim for a 1/2 gallon (2 quarts or 2 liters) on day 5. You may have already tried to drink 2 quarts on day 4 if all of the quarts of liquid on day 3 went down easily. Since your body has had some time to adjust to the increased consumption of water, you are able to experiment a little bit more now. Just make sure you don’t increase by more than 1 quart at a time. Do not step up from 1 quart to 3 quarts, especially if you are not adding an electrolyte additive or drinking a liquid with electrolytes already included. Use your results on days 4 and 5 to decide how much to aim for on day 6. If at the end of the day on day 5 you were able to drink both quarts without any discomfort, increase to 3 quarts on day 6. The amount you attempt on day 6 along with how your body reacted will decide how you train on day 7, just a few hours before your eating competition. Take day 6 seriously, but be careful and maintain safety.
6. Day 7 is game day – This article does not really cover day seven which is game day!! For more information on day seven, please read The 24 Hours Before Your Eating Competition in the Before The Challenge section.
Even if you are only wanting to focus on training with food to increase your stomach capacity, you should still be drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Water is the single most important nutrient that you can give your body, and it is also very important to your body’s digestive system. Water is known as the “universal solvent” and plays a vital role in helping to digest and metabolize your food. Since you are putting additional stress on your digestive system due to the increased amount of food you are giving it so that your stomach capacity expands, the water will help take away some of that additional stress. Water is also vital for losing the excess weight you may be gaining due to the increased amount of calories. Water is definitely an eater’s best friend, so do not underestimate its importance. Another reason that eaters choose to train with water is that it is very affordable, and much cheaper than food. 99% of the time it is basically free and very budget friendly.
The training plan established above is meant for beginners looking to find out how competitive eaters use liquids to increase their stomach capacity. At no point in this article do I mention attempting to drink more than 3 quarts (3/4 gallon) in one sitting. As you will learn by reading The Extreme Dangers Of Water Training if you have not already, if you drink too much water at one time and your body cannot handle the amount added, this may deplete your electrolytes in your body which will cause you to basically drown yourself. In a worst case scenario, this can result in death. You may also pass out, and that may result in you falling and hitting your head on something which can cause additional damage on top of the damage caused by drinking too much water. If you are interested in attempting to drink more than 3 quarts of water, which is not recommended, please use a low calorie sports drink such as Gatorade or Powerade which contain electrolytes that make a big difference.
You may have heard a story or two about some of the top elite professional eaters being able to drink over 2 gallons of liquid in one sitting. While that is true, know that it took them multiple years of training to reach that capacity level. If you have been training for 2 months, don’t attempt to train like people that have been training for 12 years. You simply are not at that level, and there is absolutely no shame in admitting that. Also know that you don’t have to drink the liquid all within one minute to experience the benefits. While water gets processed much quicker than food, it does not leave your stomach within minutes. It is perfectly okay to chug a few gulps, and then take a quick break to burp up any excess gas or air created in your stomach, and then continue chugging. You may even take a few minutes if necessary. By taking a few minutes to chug the 3 quarts of liquid, you allow your body to adjust, and you also allow it to let you know if you need to quit so you don’t get dizzy.
If you try to force your body to chug too much, your body may throw the water up and this can harm your progress. You DO NOT want to allow your body to get used to throwing up, so don’t get carried away no matter what. Competitive eating is meant for fun, and it is not worth hurting yourself. Also, know that there are 2 additional drawbacks to training with water. The first thing to realize is that drinking an excess amount of water puts additional stress on your kidneys and a few other internal organs, so don’t think that it is okay to do it all the time just for fun. Too much of anything is not necessarily a good thing. The second thing to remember is that what goes in must go out. Because you are consuming a lot more water and liquids, you will be going to the bathroom more often, so don’t be surprised that you are going to the bathroom a lot more. Also, you may want to avoid chugging water within 3-4 hours of going to sleep. You may find yourself waking up multiple times at night to go to the bathroom. While getting up once or twice is okay and even normal for some people, you don’t want to interrupt your regular sleep pattern because you are always up peeing throughout the entire night.
You have now learned about how to train with food (if you read that article), and also how to train with liquids. While both methods can be very effective, I have found that the safest and most effective way to increase your stomach capacity is to combine both methods. To find out how to do that, read Expanding Your Stomach Using Food AND Water. This is the method that I use which I have been perfecting for the past few years now.
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