You can’t survive without water. That’s right. One can survive for weeks without food, but it takes 2-3 days for the body to shut down without water. Yet, we often overlook the importance of being well hydrated.
According to research, 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. Staying well hydrated is not only crucial for our survival but also a key factor for muscle building. We all know that it is necessary to hit the gym, lift weights, focus on strength training and increase protein intake to build muscle. But did you know water consumption is equally significant for muscle building?
Your muscles are 75% water and the human brain is 85% water. And to sustain this balance, you should take in the proper amount of fluids each day. According to the Institute of Medicine, a person should drink an average of 10 glasses of water in a day.
Let’s now figure out how water fuels our body and why hydration is crucial for athletic performance and muscle training. Water is an essential medium that supports endless metabolic processes- from protein amalgamation and digestion to muscle formation. Keep reading to learn more about why you should keep an eye on your water intake during intense workouts and how hydration supports muscle building.
1. Maintains Muscle Pump
When you lift weights or exercise, your muscles contract due to an external resistance. During this contraction, water is pushed from the bloodstream into the muscle cells and surrounding tissues of the body. This sudden rush of water swells those muscles. However, if you’re dehydrated or sweating excessively during a workout session, then your body acts in the opposite way. Water is actually driven out of the muscles into the bloodstream to maintain blood pressure and circulation.
Hence, it is vital to stay hydrated between workouts to maintain the muscle pump. Experts recommend drinking 1 huge glass of water before exercise.
2. Provides Energy
Did you know that a drop of only 2% in your body’s hydration level can cause shrinkage of the brain, leading to poor concentration, reduced coordination, lack of energy and muscle cramping? These can be a workout killer and halt muscle growth in its tracks.
When the body is in a state of dehydration, glycogen (the primary source of energy) gets depleted quickly. This results in reduced motivation and effort required for your workout. So, sip up if you want to build energy for intense workouts and prevent a sudden post-exercise state of exhaustion.
3. Helps Build Muscle
Water is the primary medium that is used to transport nutrients to all the cells in your body and also helps to flush out toxins. Furthermore, it helps to form the structures of protein and glycogen- the key elements behind muscle building.
To move and flex your muscles freely, you need water. Each time you weight train at the gym, your muscles grow and this process can be restricted due to dehydration. If your body is dehydrated, you will experience excessive cramping and dizzy due to the lack of electrolytes.
Research proves that even slight dehydration can impact muscle endurance and power. So, if you wish to increase muscle growth, lug that water bottle to the gym.
4. Reduces Fluid Retention
Your body holds on to every drop of water when dehydrated. As a result, you would notice swollen feet, legs, and hands. Diuretics are a temporary solution and the only way to overcome fluid retention and bloating is to drink plenty of water.
Keeping yourself hydrated will help your body appear toned and lean.
5. Better Performance
Research suggests that the slightest dehydration symptoms can impair anaerobic muscular power which results in fatigue, lack of motivation and decreased strength in athletes and non-athletes equally. Therefore, if you want to perform your best during an exercise session, then drink a cup of water every 15 minutes in-between your workout session to give it your best shot.
6. Helps in Post-Workout Recovery
Among the many other benefits, water helps in the transport of glucose and oxygen to your muscles.
It also helps maintain the body temperature after an intense workout session. Your body muscles produce 20 times more heat during exercise and water helps the body cool down. In short, it is the perfect source to help your body recover post-workout.
Since muscles are controlled by the nervous system, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance can affect muscle strength and cause excessive fatigue. Now you know that the solution to avoid muscle cramping is to keep a water bottle handy while working out.
We hope you gained an insight into the connection between hydration and muscle building. To promote maximum muscle growth drink the recommended amount of water and fuel your body with a nutrient-dense protein supplement. Once you start taking care of your muscles through proper nourishment, you will notice the difference. Staying hydrated will lead to increased energy levels and actively improve your body’s ability to break down the proteins required to build healthy and sustainable muscles.
So, stay hydrated and stay healthy!
Have you tried increasing your water intake to help you build stronger and more defined muscles? Do you have any tips and tricks to help increase water intake? Share your suggestions and experiences with us in the comments below and we’ll love to read them.