Fitness man drinking from water bottle

Thirsty? Why hydration is important for muscle building

You’ve probably heard the generic advice to drink more water a million times. But why is that, and why do so many people tell you to stay hydrated? 

This post will explain precisely why hydration matters a lot for muscle growth and overall fitness.

Let’s dive in.

A Few Quick Facts About Your Body

Did you know that up to 60 percent of your body consists of water? Lift one of your hands in front of your body and take a look for a few moments. What do you see? Skin, knuckles, nails, and muscle, right? Well, each of these tissues consists of water. 

Your skin is 64 percent water, and even your nails contain water: about 18 percent, according to estimates. Similarly, nearly one-third of your bone mass is actual water, and your muscles are a staggering 79 percent water.

Water is essential for all living organisms, and staying hydrated will go a long way in keeping you healthy and feeling at your best. 

Three Fitness Reasons For Staying Hydrated 

1. Water is Necessary For Your Athletic Performance

Staying hydrated is essential for your athletic performance. Drinking enough liquids improves your ability to move, promotes superior thermoregulation, assists cognition and mental clarity, and optimizes your training performance. Some data suggests that good hydration can also prevent muscle spasms that become more common as you get fatigued or lose electrolytes.

Where many trainees reach for pre-workout supplements to boost their performance, drinking more water could bring the same benefits and improve health outcomes.

2. Hydration Promotes Muscle Recovery

Though it may not seem so, adequate hydration is necessary for muscle recovery. Water allows us to flush out toxins more effectively; it transports nutrients to cells and balances the body’s pH. Keeping your muscles hydrated is also necessary for optimal muscle protein synthesis and healing. 

3. Water Can Promote Satiety

It’s no secret that nutrition plays a vital role in our fitness outcomes. Controlling what you eat is necessary to build muscle, lose fat, optimize your performance, and promote good health. The problem is that making better nutritional choices isn’t always easy, and everyone can fall victim to cravings and hunger. 

The third reason hydration is necessary for optimal fitness is that it can have a favorable impact on your desire to eat food. For example, some data finds that drinking water before a meal can lead to greater satiety and allow people to control their food intake better. 

How Much Water Should We Drink Daily?

Your specific needs will depend on your age, gender, size, how much you sweat, the climate of your country, and more. Still, general guidelines suggest that men drink up to 3.7 liters of liquids daily (125 fl. oz) and women – 2.7 liters (91 fl. oz). You can get that amount through drinks (water, tea, etc.) and foods (fruits, veggies, etc.). 

Drinking water before, during, and after working out is particularly beneficial because that’s when we are more likely to lose fluids from sweating. For instance, you can drink up to 25-30 ounces (740-890 ml.) in the hours leading up to your session. Have an extra 7 to 10 ounces (200-300 ml) of water during your workout, depending on how much you sweat.

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