In a recent interview, former Mr. Olympia and retired IFBB bodybuilder, Ronnie Coleman, condemned the usage of diuretics. Seeing them as a life-threatening hazard, he went on to say they should be banned from competitive usage entirely.

To those unaware, diuretics refers to medications designed to increase the expulsion of water and salt from the body. In the bodybuilding world, these pills are taken so the body retains less water, allowing the muscles to appear more defined. An extremely common side effect is dehydration, which can get so bad as to cause kidney failure and heart issues.

Ronnie Coleman on Diuretics

In a new interview, Ronnie Coleman discussed his own experiences with diuretics. He recollected a time where he almost died, stating: 

“The one that stands out the most to me is ’01, where I was totally dehydrated the day of the show, and I was thinking I was going to die. That stands out to me more than any other show because I was on my way to the hospital and Chad (Nicholls) called me and said ‘Don’t do that!”

“I wasn’t cramping or nothing, I was just exhausted, tired. I didn’t have no energy. When I went to get out of bed, I couldn’t hardly get out of bed because I was so exhausted and tired. I went to try to walk around a little bit, and I didn’t have no energy to walk around. I was like ‘Man, I’m out of it. Ain’t no way I can compete like this.”

Speaking from his own experiences, Coleman went on to talk about diuretics’ impact on the larger sport of bodybuilding. Seeing their often fatal impact on many other athletes, Coleman believes they are dangerous enough that they should be banned entirely. He stated:

“I think they probably all need to test them again for diuretics like they did when (Mohammed) Benaziza died. That’s the main problem. Those diuretics are dangerous,” Coleman said.

“Those diuretics are dangerous. They will kill you, as we’ve seen in the past. I think it’s mostly all about the diuretics, so I think if they brought diuretic testing back, that would solve the problem.”

As an 8 time recipient of the Mr. Olympia title, Coleman is obviously a great authority on the sport of bodybuilding. If diuretics are of such concern to him, it should be in the interest of many competitions and institutions to heed his advice and take a deeper look into their usage. 

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