The one thing a lot of people forget about is how important water is for our bodies. But WHY is water important? Obviously living a bodybuilder lifestyle, or even just a healthy lifestyle at that, you are most likely going through some physical activity to keep in shape. This exposes you to water loss, which leads to dehydration, and dehydration leads to decrease in strength and endurance.
One myth regarding water intake is “only drink when you’re thirsty”. Upon the onset of thirst you are usually more than 2-3% dehydrated. That may not seem like a lot, but in regards to your strength and endurance, it will decrease both by up to 15%. Say you’re running a marathon and with 10 miles left you are at the 3% dehydration point, this means you are decreasing your endurance by up to 15%. On average, lets say you are running 6:00 minute miles at the 3% dehydration stage for the last 10 miles. If you weren’t at that dehydration stage you would have cut off 90 seconds on your total time, saving 9 seconds a mile. That’s a lot at that level.
Here’s a few reasons why water is important:
- Water flushes out toxins and other metabolic waste products from the body
- Water can help the body metabolize stored fat
- Water helps lubricate our joints
- Water regulates body temperature
- Water carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells
- Water helps in the digestion and absorption of food
A couple things you should also know:
- Soda and coffees don’t necessarily count as water. They both contain caffeine which can act as a diuretic (which makes you pee more in simpler terms, thus expelling more water).
- The average adult loses around 8-12 cups of water every day.
- If you aren’t drinking enough water, your body will retain water to compensate for the shortage. More water in = more water out, for the most part.
- Water can act as an appetite suppressant which will sometimes crave feelings of hunger when dieting.
The question you might be asking now is “how much water should I be drinking?“. Here is what I use for a base with my clients:
- If you don’t exercise – 1/2 Ounce per pound per day.
- If you do exercise 2/3-1 Ounce per pound per day. The more you exercise, the more water you need.