The Most Important Nutrient for Bodybuilding and Fat Loss.
I have been getting a lot of questions sent in lately from readers asking about water; mainly things like “Why do I need to drink water?” “What does water do for me?” “How much water should I be drinking a day?” so I figured I would write up a post to cover the topic and hopefully answer everyone’s questions in one shot!
So what is this magical nutrient? Are we in Narnia?! (…Nick Swardson impression)
Why do I need to drink water?
Well the simple answer to this is: If you don’t drink water, you will die. Great way to start the article off nice and light eh? We can only live up to a few days without water so staying hydrated is essential for everyone. Athletes and bodybuilders have an even greater need to consume adequate amounts of water.
The body is composed of over 60% water; here is a picture from an article on Bodybuilding.com to show how much these important parts of your body are made up of water:
As you can see, water is quite an important element of our bodies; especially for bodybuilding, being that 70% of our muscle mass is comprised of water! Once the body gets dehydrated we see a massive decrease in performance and your muscle building and fat loss processes are very negatively affected.
Okay great, water is important and there’s a lot of it in my body. So what? How’s it gonna help me in the gym?
What does water do and how can it help with Bodybuilding/ Fat Loss?
[Bobby Boucher: Now that’s what I call high quality H2O.]
Water is tha best! for the following 10 reasons:
1) Over 60% of your body is composed of water (most of the muscle cell is water).
2) Water cleanses your body from toxins and pollutants that could get you sick. (Boost the cleansing effects by alkalizing your water by squeezing in some fresh lemon juice or lime juice!)
3) Water is needed for all of the complex chemical reactions that your body needs to perform on a daily basis. Processes such as energy production, muscle building, and fat burning require water. A lack of water would interrupt all of these processes. (Ehem… Important for bodybuilding/ fat loss? I think so)
4) Water helps lubricate the joints. (Keep yourself from ending up like Ronnie at the Olympia.. Skip the double hip replacement and be able to walk without canes? Yeaahh Buddy!)
5) Prevent cancer. Yes, that’s right – various research says staying hydrated can reduce risk of colon cancer by 45%1, bladder cancer by 50%2, and possibly reduce breast cancer risk as well.3 [So… water is pretty much the only thing on Earth these days that doesn’t cause cancer? And could actually help prevent it? Yeah pretty much]
6) Weight loss. Water can help control your appetite. Sometimes we feel hungry when we are really just thirsty! For those looking to get diced, staying hydrated can serve as an appetite suppressant. [Keep yourself felling full while getting shredded just by drinking more water? Allllrighty then!]
7) Perform better. Proper hydration contributes to increased athletic performance. Dehydration leads to weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance [and a bunch of other things to turn you from a Panzer to a Panzy in the gym!]
8) Prevent headaches. Many times headaches can be a symptom of dehydration, so drinking water can help prevent or alleviate that pain in the head. [Next time your head feels like someones beating you with a bamboo stick, try drinking more water.]
9) Glowing baby-smooth skin. Our skin’s the largest organ in our body. Consuming sufficient water regularly can improve the colour and texture of your skin by keeping new cell production functioning properly. Drinking water also helps the skin regulate body temperature through sweating.2 [“Dat skin doe!” That’s all the judges will be able to say as they admire your flawless physique]
10) Feed your body. Water is essential for proper circulation of nutrients in the body. It serves as the body’s transportation system delivering oxygen and blood to all the vital organs and tissues of the body. [Dehydrated? Kiss that sick pump in the biceps goodbye]
Okay, I get it, I get it. Water’s cool, i’ll give it a shot. But how do I know how much to drink?
How Much Water Should I Drink?
As a general rule of thumb you should be drinking half your bodyweight (in pounds) in ounces of water. (i.e. If you weigh 180lbs, you should be drinking at least 90oz. of water each day)
But I’m the next Arnnie; so don’t I need more of this stuff? [Yes, yes you do. Athletes and bodybuilders should drink even more than the minimum as a lot of water is lost during exercise]
Helpful Hints for Hydration:
1. Lean Body Mass: the more lean body mass you have the more water you need.
2. Body-Fat Percentage: the less body fat you have, the more water you need since it is easier to get dehydrated.
3. Sweat Levels: the more you sweat the more water you need to consume.
4. Activity Levels: the more active you are the more water you will need to perform your activities
5. Before Exercise Drink 8-16oz of water about 1 hour before exercise, and another 8oz 20 minutes before exercise.
6. During Exercise Drink 4-8oz of water every 10-15 minutes during exercise.
7. After Exercise Drink 16oz for every pound of body weight lost after exercise.
8. I-C-U-P If your urine is dark yellow, you need more water! Ideally, your pee should be clear or pale yellow. [Though if you take a multivitamin or supplements high in B vitamins you may see something more of a highlighter colour that looks like it could glow in the dark, or melt steel… it doesn’t and it can’t]
9. Keep a bottle with you Carry a water bottle everywhere with you as a reminder to keep drinking.
10. Eat raw fruits and vegetables You can get water from foods as well, not just beverages. Fruits and veggies are dense in water.
I hope this was informative enough to cover some of your questions on water and proper hydration. If you’re looking to maximize your muscle gainzzz or annihilate that fat, be sure your H2O consumption is up to par bra!
If you found this article helpful share it with a friend, and if you or a friend has any more questions feel free to contact me or leave a comment below!
I’m off for now; all this typing has got me thirsty, talk soon!