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Hydration is the key, whether you are a serious athlete or just a bodybuilder out of passion. Effective Hydration includes consumption of not only water, but more essential nutrients and antioxidants to supports and absorb the same. Hydration ensures your body’s temperature is maintained, and your joints are lubricated. This helps to transport the nutrients to reach the entire body, which helps you to stay healthy and energized.
Failing to dehydrate can lead to lowered performance. You may feel tired, dizziness, or other severe symptoms. You can improve your training sessions with a long list of water’s well-known health benefits, here’s all you need to know about the importance of hydration for muscle gain:
- Water maintains muscle pump: when you exercise the muscles undergoes contractions and during these contractions water is driven from the blood into your muscles and makes them swell. If you are not hydrated well, your body will find it difficult to maintain blood pressure and circulation while working out. Hence, it’s important to stay hydrated on a regular basis to build muscles.
Water helps build muscle: Water is needed to transport nutrients into cells and transport waste out of the body. Water helps form protein and glycogen structures.
To move and flex your muscles, you need water. If your body is dehydrated, your muscles will be deprived of electrolytes and will cramp. Since muscles are controlled by nerves, without a proper balance of water and electrolytes, muscle strength and control will also suffer.
It is essential that you stay hydrated if you want to build muscle and experience optimal performance in the gym.
Hydration speeds recovery: Dehydration can cause muscle soreness, which is one of the biggest blockers to your training session. It can make it difficult to stay consistent in your training. As a result, this can lead to longer recovery time. This is why hydration is important to speed up recovery, detoxification and maintain proper muscle function. A well-hydrated body also helps increase endurance and stamina.
- Water prevents muscle breakdown: At an early stage of bodybuilding, preventing muscle breakdown is very indispensable. Well-hydrated muscle cells prevent muscle breakdown after an intense training session. Low hydration levels in the body can lead to cell shrinkage and protein breakdown. By simply drinking water or hydration-based supplements in the right amount, you can keep your cells swollen and reduce protein breakdown. This will lead to better muscle growth.
HOW MUCH WATER IS LOST DURING NORMAL BODY FUNCTIONING?
The average amount of water lost per day includes:
• 16 ounces (0.6 kg) through respiration (average)
• 16 ounces (0.6 kg) through invisible perspiration (more if sweat is visible)
• 48 ounces (1.81 kg) through elimination
COMMON CAUSES OF WATER LOSS
• Caffeine/alcohol consumption (diuretics)
• Increased Stress
• Hot environments; increased sweating
• Increased physical activity (water loss from sweating)
HOW MUCH WATER IS ENOUGH?
It is suggested that the average person – who is fairly inactive – needs a minimum of 8 to 12 glasses (-2.84 l) of water per day. However, this quantity is too low for bodybuilders and other active people. Active people require much more to replenish the fluid lost during exercise.
Depending on your size and perspiration rate, about four glasses of water are lost per hour of exercise. If you exercise in a temperate climate, you are likely to lose about half a gallon of water through perspiration.
If you work out in a warm climate, you can easily lose a gallon or more by the end of your workout and cardio session. Bodybuilders require even more water to help metabolize the additional food and supplements consumed.
TIPS TO STAY HYDRATED AND GAIN MUSCLE:
Invest In a High-Quality Water bottle:
When it comes to staying hydrated with water, quality is just as important as quantity. Compared to plastic, which is the most convenient, a high-quality water jug made from stainless steel is non-toxic and contains no harmful chemicals like BPA, which can leach into the body over time. Stainless steel, one of the best materials for a sports water bottle, will never rust, so your water won't have an unpleasant metal taste. It will also last a lifetime, which means less plastic pollution in the environment, a major contributor to climate change. A reusable water pitcher is not only better for your health, but also for the planet, so it's a win-win for everyone.
Whether you're working out at the gym, going for a walk or a hike, a stainless steel water bottle also gives you easy access to water on all your daily adventures. Look for one with a durable handle, providing you with an easy, slip-free grip when you're on the go. There are several types of caps that are also designed for the active lifestyle, including a flip-top spout, a flexible straw and a wide-mouth design, all of which provide drip-free access to water and never any leaks.
Pre-Hydrate, Exercise, Rehydrate & repeat:
For optimal athletic performance and muscle gain, staying sufficiently hydrated during your workout isn't enough. According to experts on sports nutrition, you also need to drink enough fluids before and after your workout. How much water you need depends on many factors, such as the intensity of your workouts and your unique physiology.
As a general rule, the American Council on Exercise suggests drinking 17 to 20 oz (0.76 kg) of water about 2 or 3 hours before your workout. During your warm-up, they advise drinking 8 oz (0.3 kg) of water; when you're exercising, you should drink 7 to 10 oz (0.38 kg) of water every 10 to 20 minutes. Finally, they recommend drinking 8 oz (0.3 kg) of water no more than 30 minutes after your workout. Furthermore, if you sweat during your training session, you should drink 16 to 24 oz (0.91 kg) of water for every pound of lost body weight.
For high-intensity workouts lasting longer than an hour, the sports nutrition experts recommend staying hydrated with a sports drink, which will help replace any salts or electrolytes that are lost through sweating. You should also be careful in choosing the right sports drink for your needs. According to familydoctor.org, “They are often high in calories from added sugar and may contain high levels of sodium. . . If you drink the entire bottle, you may need to double or triple the amounts given on the nutrition facts label.” They also point out that some sports drinks contain caffeine, which may have a diuretic effect on the body, causing frequent urination which means more fluids to replace.
• Remember to drink at least 16 ounces (0.6 kg) of water after sleeping 8 hours. Sleep—especially in a dry and hot room—can rob your body of needed water. You can easily wake up in a dehydrated state after a long sleep under these conditions.
• Drink more water when caffeine is consumed. Caffeine is a diuretic. Water intake should be increased when excess caffeine is consumed.
• Drink water cold when possible. Cold water absorbs into the system more quickly than warm water. Some limited evidence suggests that drinking cold water can actually help burn calories.
• Drink at least 1 1/2 gallons per day, up to 3 gallons (11.36 l) a day as needed. As a minimum, if you are an athlete or a bodybuilder, your needs will be much higher than the average adult. Increase your intake according to the factors that require increased water intake, as noted above.
• Do not forget the impact that supplements and medicine may have on hydration. Some supplements (and medicines) require that you take more water for them to be effective (and because some may be diuretics or cause harm if enough water is not consumed.
• The easiest way to stay hydrated is to drink at least eight ounces each hour you're awake. When you are in the gym and thirsty, it is easy to drink 4-to-8 times that amount if you bring a wide-mouth container with you for constant refilling.
With the combination of a weekly fitness routine and plenty of hydration, you’ll be able to achieve all your fitness goals!
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