Water for Bodybuilders | Build Muscle & Lose Fat

How Important is Water for Bodybuilders?

Water for Bodybuilders

Everyone knows that the human body is made up of over 70% water, and how important it is for general well being, but what is often overlooked is the importance of water for bodybuilders.

We’ve all heard that we should be taking in the recommended 6-8 glasses of water every day. But are you really drinking as much as you need?

Although water might be somewhat boring and tasteless, and drinking it might be a chore, once you understand the benefits that come with drinking enough of it, you’ll be drinking it at every chance you get.

Water is the most important substance that you put into your body. It is present in every cell and all biological processes, including: circulation, digestion, excretion and respiration. Water is essential for the body to function properly, and as a result, anyone looking to gain mass or lose fat should understand the role played by water for bodybuilders.

If you are not getting the right amount of water every day, your body will not be able to metabolise fat and digest food as effectively as it would if it were fully hydrated. So, infact, it is not just water for bodybuilders… Everybody needs to look at their water intake.

Water In/Water Out

The body gets its water from both food and the fluids you drink. It is worth considering that as much as 2.5 litres of water can be lost every day, through sweat, waste removal and respiration; even more on workout days. This water must be replaced, as if you lose more water than you take in, you will become dehydrated.

Water for Bodybuilders

The Importance of Water for Bodybuilders is often underestimated

A very good way of monitoring your hydration is by looking at the colour of your urine. If your urine is yellow, this is a good indication that you are dehydrated. Also, as simple as it sounds, try not to let yourself get thirsty.

Feeling thirsty means you are already dehydrated and the body is prompting you to provide it with fluids. Try to drink water before you feel as though you need to. Simply put, this just means drinking small amounts of water, regularly, throughout the day.

Drinking large quantities of water at once, is not an effective way of hydrating yourself. Drinking too much water in one go will cause the body to expel it as waste. It is far better to drink small amounts every so often, so that the body has a constant supply.

The Effect of Water on the Aging Process

Not drinking sufficient amounts of water has been proven to speed up the aging process. If ignored, dehydration will take its toll on the body. It causes the body temperature to rise, resulting in more water being lost through sweat and also the loss of electrolytes such as Potassium and Sodium. In terms of the visible signs of the aging process, some of the effects caused by dehydration include:

  • Sunken facial features.
  • Reduced skin elasticity.
  • Dry skin.
  • Scrotal tongue.

Water also helps to ward off the signs of aging by keeping the volume of blood in the body high, which ensures that all of the capillaries in the body are reached. For example, the human eyes are crammed with capillaries and use more Oxygen than any other organ in the body. Blood is the main distributor of oxygen and nutrients, ensuring that cells have everything that they need to stay hydrated, nourished, vital and young.

The discs between the vertebrae in the spine are dependent on water. Without adequate water, the likelihood of an individual developing spinal injuries such as slipped discs, compressed discs and a curved spine is greatly increased. Proper hydration will assist you in your posture, and as a result you will have fewer aches and pains/injuries.

Water is responsible for keeping the skin moisturised and wrinkle free. Contrary to popular belief, it is when water is applied to skin, that skin is able to absorb moisture directly. Although moisturisers are designed to do this, this is not how they work. Moisturisers work by trapping a thin layer of moisture against the skin, which the skin then absorbs. When a moisturiser is applied to dry skin, although it may feel as though it has softened the skin, it isn’t really achieving anything. Moisturisers should always be applied after a shower or bath, when the skin is damp.

What Are the Benefits of Consuming Water for Bodybuilders?

As we’ve mentioned, water is involved in many chemical reactions and functions of the human body. The ones that we’re concerned with as bodybuilders, are its ability to increase the rate at which fat is metabolised, the greatly increased protein synthesis it causes, its volumising effects on the muscles and its positive effect on the rate at which food is digested.

There are lots of reasons why water is so effective at helping us to build muscle and reduce fat. Let’s take a look at some of these:

Water for Bodybuilding

Are You Getting Enough Water?

1. When the body is fully hydrated, workout performance is greatly improved, as the body is better equipped to deal with the physical demands you are asking of it. Many bodybuilders will take a 2 gallon container into the gym with them when they workout. This is a simple way to ensure that you are getting the maximum performance from your body during your workout.

2. Another reason to ensure you are hydrated is to take advantage of the cell volumising effect that water, when combined with creatine, has on the muscles. This cell volumising effect not only increases protein synthesis, but also causes an anabolic stimulus, increasing the amount of nutrients that enter each cell. This is not only true for creatine supplementation, as the body will source all of the creatine it needs from a balanced diet.

3. Water alone, cannot be considered ‘anabolic’, but there is definite evidence to prove its anti-catabolic properties. Dehydration stimulates Cortisol secretion. Cortisol is released during exercise, and is responsible for the breakdown of muscle tissue for use as an energy source. Ensuring the body is fully hydrated removes the risk of Cortisol related catabolism almost entirely.

4. A high protein diet is great for building muscle, but one of the side effects of protein metabolism is increased production of Urea. Drinking plenty of water, for bodybuilders on high protein diets, helps the body’s renal system to remove this waste product, and pass it as Urine.

5. A natural byproduct of fat metabolism, Keytones, are removed from the body through urine. If a bodybuilder is fully hydrated, then the body is able to remove this waste more easily, and the fat burning process occurs at an improved rate.

6. Both digestive and metabolic rate are greatly hindered by even slight dehydration. Ensuring that you are fully hydrated allows for both of these two key processes to function at their full potential. This is important for both those looking to reduce body fat (cut), and those looking to build muscle (bulk). A poor metabolic and/or digestive rate will not only slow the rate at which fat is burnt off, but will also impair the rate at which nutrients can be absorbed.

7. Muscle is made up of approximately 70% water, whereas fat consists of on 25% water. Proper hydration adds weight to existing muscle, which allows that muscle to work more efficiently, which as a result burns off fat. The more muscle you build, the more water you will need to consume.

8. Water for bodybuilders looking to lose fat, can be an effective appetite suppressant. Water has a filling effect on the stomach, which will take the edge off any sensations of hunger you m

9. You can help curb your appetite when you drink 6-8 glasses per day because of water’s filling effect. If your stomach is full, it can help you not to overeat.

10. People with good cardio vascular fitness burn calories at a higher rate, as their muscles store Glycogen in greater quantities. Every 1 gram of Glycogen holds onto about 3 grams of water. More water for bodybuilders at the fitter end of the spectrum, will be required for energy and calorie burning.

11. Drinking chilled water is an effortless way of burning calories. Consumption of cold water causes the body temperature to drop slightly, and in reaction to this, the body begins to burn calories in order to raise the temperature back to where it should be.

Water for Bodybuilders Summary

Water is the most important substance available to the human body. It is present in every single cell, and every biological process. Not getting enough of it can do some serious, often irreversible damage, to the body. Getting enough of it offers some real worthwhile benefits: increased fat loss, greater protein synthesis, cell volumisation and slowing of the aging process, to name but a few. All you need to do to take advantage of this amazing substance is make sure you drink enough of it!

Photo Credits: Matthew Bowden, Eyesore9, limonada

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