How to Get Veins to Pop Out

Two Methods:Getting the Bodybuilder LookTemporarily Popping Your Veins

You can force your veins to pop out quite easily just by cutting off your circulation. If you want veins that bulge on a day-to-day basis, however, that'll be a bit more of a challenge. Whether you're looking to freak out your friends or getting ready for that bodybuilder photo shoot, we've got you covered.

Method 1
Getting the Bodybuilder Look

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    Reduce your body fat percentage. Having veins that bulge like a body builder's comes down to body fat percentage. The veins that will pop out are surface veins. The less padding you have between your skin and your veins, the more prominent your veins will be. Eat a diet focused on getting lean by decreasing your body fat.
    • Below 10% body fat for men should result in most major veins being visible. The lower your body fat, the more visible your veins will be, especially in hard to see places like your abs.[1] For women, the body fat percentage should be around 15%.[2]
    • To get this percentage of body fat, eat clean. That means loads of fresh vegetables and lean protein while skipping junk foods, soda, and dessert.[3]
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    Lower your sodium intake. Sodium causes you to retain water. When your body is retaining water, your skin puffs up, obscuring your veins.[4]
    • Keep away from the processed foods and pretty much anything you haven't made yourself. Odds are if it's prepared outside of your kitchen, it's been doused in salt.
    • Currently, 2,300 mg of salt is the upper limit daily recommendation. That's just one teaspoon of salt. The Institute of Medicine and the American Heart Association suggest 1,500 mg of sodium per day.[5] To make this manageable, buy fresh and use herbs and spices to jazz up your palette.
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    Build muscle. To build the kind of muscle that yields protruding veins, you need to focus on serious muscle building strategies. These muscles don't come from 3 sets of 10 reps that most people suggest for workout routines. Serious muscle building comes from 3-5 reps at a heavy weight.
    • Start by doing 6 sets of 5 reps, but increase the weight you are lifting by 25%.[6] Muscle needs to exert force to grow.
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    Amp up the cardio. Cardio is an excellent way to burn fat and get lean. High intensity interval training (HIIT) works great for this. HIIT workouts are when you do super high intense bouts of cardio with rest in between for 20-30 minutes.[7]
    • Examples of HIIT are cycling between short intense bouts of speed and rest or completing 10 100-yard sprints with 60 second rests in between.
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    Drink water. Drinking enough water keeps you hydrated and your muscles hydrated. This helps reduce your water retention. Drinking more water than necessary can flush excess water, therefore lowering your water retention.[8] Keeping a healthy level of potassium in your system helps you expel water instead of retaining it (like sodium).[9]
    • Many bodybuilders dehydrate themselves before a competition. Drinking less can lead to your veins becoming more prominent.[10] This method is not recommended because it is very dangerous. If you use this method, use it with extreme caution.
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    Eat less carbs. Carbohydrates increase the amount of fluids your body holds. Eating a low carb diet can result in lower water retention under the skin.[11] Diets low in carbohydrates also lead to fat loss.
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    Safely consider diuretics. Diuretics rid your body of water, helping to make those veins prominent.[12] You can buy diuretics, or you can use natural ones, like espresso. Diuretics can be extremely dangerous, though. If you use them, be safe and smart about them.
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    Try supplements. Agmatine is a supplement that is a by-product of the amino acid Arginine. Agmatine prevents nitric oxide from breaking down in your body, which promotes increased blood flow to your muscles. Enhancing this blood flow can increase your vascularity.[13] A nitric oxide supplement can also help you achieve more prominent veins.[14] Creatine is another supplement thought to attribute to increased vascularity.[15]

Method 2
Temporarily Popping Your Veins

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    Tie something around your arm. Using tourniquets increases pressure in your veins and fills them, causing them to be easier to see.[16] Tie something around the section of your arm or leg where you'd like the veins to pop out.
    • Another method is to place your right hand right above your left wrist (or vice versa) and grip it tight.
    • This is the same idea used when you go to give blood or give a sample drawn. The nurse ties a band around your arm to get the vein to pop so she can see where to put the needle.
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    Clench your hand into a fist. After securing the band around your arm, clench and unclench your fist several times. Doing this with a tourniquet traps the blood in your veins, which causes the veins to pop out.[17]
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    Continue until you feel a pressure in your arm. This should take about 10 to 15 seconds. Just as if you were holding your breath, you'll be able to tell when your arm or leg needs oxygen. Your veins should be popping out.
    • Release your hand or the tourniquet when your limb needs oxygen. The veins will slowly return back to normal upon the release.
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    Try holding your breath. Holding your breath hinders the flow of oxygen in the body and increases blood pressure. Close your mouth and nose and press hard. Bodybuilders sometimes use this trick when posing to make their veins pop.[18]
    • This method can be dangerous. Popping veins this way can sometimes lead to ruptures. These can happen in less serious places like the eye, or in serious places like the brain. Just remember to breathe after 30 seconds or so.
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    Exercise. During exercise, cutaneous veins are pushed towards the surface of the skin, making them appear to pop. This is especially prominent in bodies with low percentages of body fat.[19] Lifting weights can produce more prominent veins in the exercised muscles. Veins are also more prominent after exercise because you are dehydrated.[20]
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    Increase your body temperature. When your body heats, the blood is pushed towards the surface of the skin, increasing the appearance of veins. One quick trick some bodybuilders use is to use a hairdryer on your skin to get the veins to pop. Another, safer way is to heat your body through the foods you eat. Try hot peppers or cayenne pepper. Some supplements also provide the same benefits of these foods.[21]

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Body Tricks