The Importance of Hydration for Bodybuilding

The only difference between water and oxygen is that you can live without water for 3 to 5 days but you canít live without oxygen for more than a couple of minutes. Water is essential to life. But it does more than just hydrate and clean your insides, below are a few other functions of H2O.

Water transports oxygen and glucose directly into the muscles.

Water is critical for healthy blood, brain, muscle and bone function.

Water is vital for digestion of food to convert the digested food into energy.

Water is required to remove metabolic byproducts from hard-working muscles. i.e. carbon dioxide.

Water regulates body temperature, training often generates up to 20 times higher temperature in the muscles.

Staying hydrated is without a doubt the most overlooked aspect when building muscle. A study was done at 10 gyms in California which showed that 40% of gym-goers training on the floor are partially dehydrated when training. It is not just dehydration which can cost you muscle, but partial-dehydration can also cost you potential muscle growth.

Dr. Wildman did a study on powerlifters that clearly showed that limiting fluid intake will reduce power output, increases rate of fatigue and will also increase the risk of getting injured. In another study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology clearly showed that bodybuilders who lost 3% of bodyweight in water, showed they could not complete as many reps, higher perceived exertion and it took longer for the heart rate to return to normal.

It's important to note that by the time you get the signal that you are thirsty, you are dehydrated, it better to drink water on a regular basis throughout the day. Below is a list of reasons why you would need to increase your water intake for the day:

Alcohol/Caffeine consumption

Increased sweat-loss i.e. Hot environments


Increased physical activity

Increased Stress


Eating large amount of food

If sodium consumption is increased, then water will help the body to excrete sodium and any excess water Other studies also show that even when partial dehydration starts, it will stop lipolysis which is fat cell metabolism and you will increase fat deposits when dehydrated. Below are a few good reasons to always make sure that you are hydrated during your day:

Reduce fatigue

Improves weight-loss and fat-loss

Reduces fluid retention

Builds muscle

Increases muscle tone

Reduction is disease

Body-temp regulation

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