What does water have to do with your strength and building muscle? Everything.
Why water is important to bodybuilders?
Your body is made up of anywhere in between 60-70% water and when trying to build muscle, water is vital. You should never be lifting weights when dehydrated because this can result in injury, fatigue, and make your joints take a heavy beating. One study showed that a decrease in water uptake resulted in one less rep on your max. Also when dehydrated, you are not able to lift as much. It’s estimated that a 2% reduction in body fluids can result in performance decreases of up to 15-20% (Kleiner 1999). To have the best possible workout, you need to stay hydrated all the time. That’s pretty critical when trying to build muscle and strength.
In bodybuilding, your muscles contract when lifting and they produce metabolic heat. Your body prefers to stay at a certain core temperature, this greater amount of heat must be dissipated to the outside environment. This excessive amount of heat during exercise produces sweat.
Sweating results in a loss of water which can lead to changes in plasma volume resulting in the impaired ability to evacuate heat, increases in body temperature and decreased cardiac output (Ritz et al. 2003) In terms of the workout, dehydration results in a decrease in aerobic power and physical work capacity (Sawka and Montain 2000).
Water is great when on a bodybuilding diet as well Why? Bodybuilders have to eat a lot of protein and this high consumption of protein makes your kidneys and other organs work pretty hard. Water gets rid of all the toxins from those foods.
How much water do I need?
A rule of thumb would be to take your Bodyweight and multiply by 0.6. This will tell you how many ounces you need everyday to meet your hydration needs, especially when active. So for a 200lb male this would be 120 ounces or almost 1 gallon. one trick to know weather you are getting enough water everyday is to bring a gallon of water with you everywhere you go. Doing so will be a constant reminder of how much water you need to drink everyday.
Pre-hydration is vital before you workout. One way to test weather you are hydrated enough before a workout is to take the urine test. If the color of your urine is yellow or darker, your dehydrated. The goal before a workout is to make sure your urine is clear. The clearer your urine, the more hydrated you are, the stronger you will be.
Drink water as much as you can. Your body will be happier and your muscles will grow. Without water your only hurting yourself in the end.