The Essential and Optimal Drink for Bodybuilders

Bet you’d say the most important drink for a bodybuilder is a protein shake. You’d be wrong.

For most of us, when we think of something essential for bodybuilders, we think of protein. However, the most abundant substance in our muscles is actually water. In fact, approximately 79% of muscle tissue is made up of water![1]

Benefits of Water

man_bodybuilder_workout_drink_healthy_muscles_picWater is needed for the digestion and absorption of protein, carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients. Not only that, the transportation of these important substances in our bloodstream to the muscles relies on sufficient amounts of water. Let’s not forget that the bloodstream is composed primarily of water and that an optimal amount of water is absolutely essential for proper circulation in our body.

Water also lubricates our joints. Bodybuilders developing joint problems are not uncommon. Had they been adequately hydrated, things might have been different.

Water, Bodily Functions, and Fatigue

Water plays a very important role in countless bodily functions. Many people are spending their days somewhat dehydrated and don’t even realize it. In one study dehydration increased fatigue significantly at 70% in the dehydrated compared to the group that was adequately hydrated.[2] Fatigue is the last thing that a body builder wants to feel when at the gym.

We all know what happens if we forget to take out the kitchen garbage for too long. It starts to stink. The same goes for our bodies. Water is essential for the transport of waste material out of our body. When we don’t get enough water, our intestines can become backed up which leads to reabsorption of waste products that were meant to be excreted from the body. This can also cause fatigue.

You May be More Dehydrated than You Think

glass_water_pour_grass_nature_outside_pure_picIt can be difficult for us to get enough water from drinks other than water itself. Soda, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages have diuretic properties that cause us to urinate more frequently. As a result, we lose more water from our bodies than we realize. These drinks should not be counted as water when calculating how much water you are consuming per day. On the contrary, they cause the need for even more water.

Let’s not forget that we lose massive amounts of water when we sweat. And if you’re in a very dry climate where the humidity is below 20%, you might not even know that you’re sweating because the sweat usually evaporates before you even feel moist.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

Some professional bodybuilders recommend drinking as much as 10 quarts of water each day. I suggest consuming at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. If you have been sweating, drink much more.

I also strongly suggest avoiding water treated with chlorine, fluoride, and chloramine because these chemicals, when consumed daily, have been shown to have detrimental effects on human health.[3][4][5] In other words, avoid unfiltered tap water.

Drinking enough water is also a simple and inexpensive way to improve the appearance of your muscles. This is because staying hydrated also keeps your muscles looking larger than if you were dehydrated.

Learn how to properly hydrate for exercise!

[1]H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158

[2] Active Dehydration Impairs Upper and Lower Body Anaerobic Muscular Power

Jones, Leon C; Cleary, Michelle A; Lopez, Rebecca M; Zuri, Ron E; Lopez, Richard

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 22(2):455-463, March 2008.





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