and in this article, sort of a boring topic but it’s a basic fundamental nutrition subject that I haven’t talked about before and that is bodybuilding and water intake, and more specifically how much water should you drink per day for the best overall health benefits as well as to maximize muscle growth, strength gains and fat loss.
So without going in to much detail, a proper water intake is obviously important for a bunch of different reasons.
Your brain and your muscles are about 70 to 80% water and staying properly hydrated throughout the day provides a lot of different health benefits like helping with digestion, regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients,
assisting with proper brain function, these are just a few examples of many, and when it comes to bodybuilding and water intakes specifically, there’s also a direct connection there as well.
Studies have shown that being even slightly dehydrated decreases strength and physical performance.
Water also seems to have a direct effect on mood and concentrations so that might carried over to your training sessions as well.
It helps to keep joints lubricated which could assists with injury prevention and on top of that staying properly
hydrated will also caused you to retained less so you’ll have less subcutaneous water retention and that will reduce bloating a bit and give you a slightly more define appearances assuming your body fat levels are low enough.
So then the next question is how much water should you actually drink? The issue with giving a set guideline to everyone is that it really highly depends on the individual.
Overall bodyweight is one thing but it’s also going to be hugely dependant on how you sweat throughout the day and that’s going to be influenced by a lot of thing like you training schedule, how often you workout, what type of training you’re doing and how intense it is, how much you move around throughout the day in general, the type of climate that you live in, all of these things play a big role in affecting your levels of hydration.
Somebody who lives in a hot climate and trains six days per week including weight training and cardio, that person is likely going to require a lot more water to stay hydrated than somebody who trains three days per week
and works a desk job in place with a cooler climate even if those people are at the same bodyweight.
So you will hear a lot of different recommendations, there’s this standard eight glasses of water a day, another common one that I’ve used in the past was about half an ounce per pound of body weight.
Some people will just say that they drink one gallon even, which about 3.8 liters. And then you’ll hear all kinds of other different recommendations in between there.
These recommendations generally will put the average person somewhere around the right level but my advice would more so be to just adjust your water intake to your own needs and a good way of doing that is just by looking at your urine basically.
So as long as you’re making an effort to consistently drink water throughout the day, you’re not thirsty and your urine is reasonably clear and odorless then those are really the most important things to pay attention to when it comes down to it. And if that takes 2.5 liters or 4 liters or 6 liters for you to get to that point then that’s fine because
it going to largely depends on the person and will vary from day to day as well depending
on how active you are.
So I’d suggest starting off your day by getting in a good half liter to a liter reasonably soon after waking up just to get off on the right foot and then from there just take a water bottle with you throughout the day because that will be a good reminder so don’t forget and also gives you an easy visual just so you can see how much you drank at any point.
Also keep in mind that all liquids except for alcohol do count towards your daily total, whether it’s pure water, juice or coffee.
Coffee isn’t nearly as powerful a diuretic as most people think and it does hydrate your body, and then on top of that you’ll actually get in a decent amount of water just through your food intake as well.
I think it’s about 20% of people’s water intake actually comes from food. One word of caution that I would give though, is that it’s generally not a good idea to be consuming large amounts of calorie containing liquids as a way of meeting your daily water needs, even if those drinks seems to be healthy. So things like juices, sugary
smoothies, sports drinks, these are all pretty high in calories and it can add up really quickly if you’re not careful.
So control the amount of those is fine as long as you take the calories into account but the majority of your water intake should be in the form of plain water or flavored drinks that are zero calories.
But in any case bottom line on bodybuilding and water intake, don’t stress out about it too much, you don’t even necessarily need to specifically track exactly how much you drank, just make sure that you have access to water throughout most of the day, make sure that you’re making consistent effort to drink and stay hydrated and make sure that your urine is reasonably clear and odorless at most point and beyond those things I really wouldn’t worry too much about it.