What bodybuilding drinks should athletes drink for muscle growth, fat loss, and an energy boost? Find out about protein powder, energy drinks, sports drinks, and dietary supplements to see how they affect the body.
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Everything an Athlete Should Know About Bodybuilding Drinks
Benefits of Water
We bet you would 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 supplements. However, the most abundant substance in our muscles is actually water. In fact, approximately 79% of muscle tissue is made up of water!
Water is needed for the digestion and absorption of calories, protein, carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients. Not only that, but 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 an optimal amount of water is absolutely essential for proper circulation in our body. Water also lubricates your joints. It’s not uncommon for bodybuilders to develop joint problems. Had they been adequately hydrated, things might have been different.
Pro Tip: Light stretching exercises after your workout will help maximize blood flow and help with muscle recovery.
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 by 70% in the dehydrated compared to the group that was adequately hydrated. Fatigue is the last thing you want 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 bodies.
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 and bloating.
You May Be More Dehydrated Than You Think
It 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 you’re sweating because the sweat usually evaporates before you feel moist.
Note: Can bodybuilders drink alcohol? The answer: it depends. Professionals who are training for a competition are very strict with their diets and aren’t allowed to drink any form of alcohol. But if you’re just an average fitness buff who wants to shape up, then you can still drink alcohol. Just be mindful of your alcohol consumption, and don’t go overboard.
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 even 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. In other words, avoid unfiltered tap water because even the U.S. government wants the fluoride levels in tap water to be lowered.
Tip: Carry a bodybuilding drinking water jug with you wherever you go to stay hydrated. You won’t forget to drink your water if you have one on you at all times. Also, using reusable bodybuilding bottles instead of disposable plastic ones helps reduce your plastic consumption.
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Other Bodybuilding Drinks and Supplements for Maximum Gains
1. Protein Drinks
Protein supplements are probably the most popular supplements in the fitness industry. In fact, everyone from newbies to seasoned athletes has probably taken some form of protein supplement at least once.
The reason it’s so popular is protein is a vital part of muscle development and recovery. Proper protein intake is important if you want to build muscle mass, speed up weight loss, and improve your athletic performance.
So to maximize your workout gains, you need to start counting the grams of protein you consume.
A good protein intake ratio to follow is around .8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. f you’re trying to make a lot of muscle gains, you should be looking to add 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.
Tip: Are you following a plant-based diet? Then you can try Sunwarrior’s Classic Plus plant-based protein supplement. It’s a great protein source for vegan health buffs who do not include meat and dairy in their meal plan.
2.Fulvic Mineral Complex
Prolonged exercise leads to a progressive water and electrolyte loss from the body as sweat is secreted to promote heat loss. Since it is established that dehydration will impair exercise capacity and can pose a risk to health, the intake of fluid during exercise to offset sweat loss is important.
Liquid light is perfect before, after, or during workouts to provide many minerals, including trace minerals, and electrolytes, but it plays a large role in protecting, nourishing, and detoxing cells with the might of fulvic acid. Fulvic acid acts like a cellular taxi, aiding assimilation of other nutrients.
3. Meal Replacements
Don’t have the time to eat the necessary amount of food to meet your required caloric intake and achieve your dream body? Don't worry because now you can use meal replacements.
These are all-around supplements that contain carbs, fatty acids, protein, and other nutrients the body needs to function.
On top of that, they’re extremely easy to make! Just mix the powder in a tall glass along with water, and you’re good to go!
So if you’re looking for complete, all-around bodybuilding drinks, then you have to look into meal replacement supplements.
Take your workouts to the next level with the help of pre-workout supplements! These are energy-boosting drinks or pills athletes use to improve their performance.
You can use it to increase endurance, improve muscle strength, or enhance speed. Overall, it’s a very versatile supplement every athlete should consider adding to their supplement regimen.
Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend is excellent as a plant-based pre-workout supplement. It’s formulated to help people reach and retain high performance.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of any health buff’s diet.
They improve the digestive tract’s function, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy vision. The benefits might not be directly related to muscle building, but they’re still important if you want to live a healthy lifestyle
Check out how Kasia Sitarz makes a quick and easy avocado protein smoothie in this video from Sunwarrior:
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 muscle mass looking larger than if you were dehydrated.
What are your favorite supplements to put in your bodybuilding drinks? Post them in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 21, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.