I’m always amazed at how many people seem to know the answer to this question yet in practice they fail. Everybody I’ve talked to seems to know that 8-12 glasses of water a day is the recommended standard.But if I ask them how many glasses of water have you consumed today? The answer is usually none. Or the other standard answer at a corporate environment “does coffee count?”
While 8-12 glasses of water is great for the average sedentary person, many of us are fitness conscious or on the pursuit of some type of bodybuilding physique. With that in mind, I think the new standard for bodybuilders should be approximately 1 gallon of water a day.
As a bodybuilder, you are putting much more nutrients, food, supplements, and other stuff into your body. What your body does not use, it must rid itself of by any means necessary. Usually it does this via water. So drinking plenty of water becomes a necessity. Increasing protein puts a strain on your body and drinking lots of water can keep things “moving.” Creatine monohydrate supplementation requires a lot of water. Creatine is all about cell volumization. Making sure your cells are completely hydrated helps with the volumization process. NO2, a hemodilator, requires water. Many other supplements require water as a transport and a flushing method.
The side effects of drinking too little water are an excess build-up of certain chemicals. Creatine can leave behind some build-up that overtime, becomes a bit hard to pass. Putting such a strain on the body is also self-defeating. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not just about Creatine and NO2. It’s about making sure you are hydrated.
Being properly hydrated has it’s benefits other then just the flushing methods and cell volumization discussed above. Your state of alertness is affected by your hydration levels. Performance in the gym by a hydrated body is enhanced. Your body is roughly 70% water. It makes sense to hydrate it. Drinking water is not just for hot days. It’s for intense workouts in the gym. In fact, being hydrated has that perpetual pump that is so sought after.
There can be too much of a good thing. Drinking water to excess leads to water intoxication, referred to as hyponatremia. As you consume water, blood plasma increases and dilutes the salt content of the blood. While this is happening, you lose more salt by sweating. Consequently the amount of salt available to the body tissues decreases and over time, the loss interferes with brain, heart and muscle functions. Water intoxication is more commonly found in endurance athletes.
Drink plenty of water per day, but just keep in mind, there can be too much of a good thing. Being properly hydrated is necessary for optimum performance in the gym and for keeping your body performing well.
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Marc David is a bodybuilder, writer, and author of the the e-book “The Beginner’s Guide to Fitness and Bodybuilding” (BGFB): What Every Beginner Should Know but Probably Doesn’t. Marc has written over 20 articles and has been featured in several health and fitness websites. Marc’s opinionated and informative articles on bodybuilding, weight loss and training are featured regularly on: www.freedomfly.net