Often overlooked, water is arguably the second most important compound life is dependent on; oxygen being the first. Claude Bernard, a 19th century physiologist, was the first to state that living organisms live in an external environment (air and water) but the cells that make up the organism live in an internal liquid environment (Rhoades and Tanner 2003). That was actually a very profound statement for the time since we now know that the human body is approximately 70% water.
Why Is It So Important For Bodybuilders To Consume Water?
Physical activity, such as bodybuilding, exposes people to a variety of influences that can lead to water loss. Everything from the duration and intensity of the workout, the environmental conditions in which it was performed and the type of clothing worn all greatly effect water loss (Sawka et al. 2007). Additionally, the individual's physical characteristics such as body weight, gender, age and metabolic efficiency also influence water loss.
In bodybuilding, the contracting of muscles during weightlifting produces metabolic heat. Since the body prefers to maintain a certain core temperature, this excess heat must be dissipated to the external environment. Hence exercise is always accompanied by sweating.
The loss of water through sweating 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).
When you become dehydrated, you are not able to lift as much and workout at the same intensity as you would have if you were not dehydrated. 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 workout you can possibly have, you need to stay hydrated.
To maintain proper hydration, the individual bodybuilder must consider their own water balance defined as how much fluid is consumed versus how much is lost. Exactly how much water is required to maintain the proper balance is the subject of debate.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends the following for proper hydration, summarized in the next few sentences, and is perfectly suited to bodybuilding (Sawka et al. 2007). Before beginning your workout, prehydration should be considered based on urinary output and color (darker indicates improper hydration) several hours ahead of time.
During your workout, the goal should be to prevent excessive dehydration. Unfortunately, no one-size-fits all amount of water to consume can be recommended. The individual must determine their own fluid replacement requirements. This can be assessed by monitoring changes in body weight due to sweat loss.
Frequently drinking during the workout is recommended at a rate of 0.4 - 0.8 liters per hour (~14oz per hour). Post workout, the goal is to fully replace any fluids. If time permits, consumption of meals and beverages will restore the proper fluid balance. If the food or beverages have sodium in them, it is even better.
DO YOU GET ENOUGH WATER??
CALCULATE YOUR RECOMMENDED WATER INTAKE
Water is very important for many reasons. It has many health and performance benefits. It keeps your organs functioning properly, clears toxins, reduces excess sodium from your body, and it hydrates your muscle cells. It even liberates fat stores on your body so they are burned off as an energy source. Dehydration will cause a major decrement in performance>
Water plays a major role in cell volumization. This is where nutrients are pulled inside of the muscle cell causing a multitude of reactions that leads to muscle growth. Water is very important in many processes including digestion, transportation and the absorption of nutrients.
As a rule of thumb, everyone should strive for eight cups of water each day, which amounts to around two quarts. You can also figure out how much water you need to drink by taking your bodyweight in pounds and multiplying it by 0.55 to figure out how many ounces you need.
So a 200 pound individual would need 110 ounces of water a day (200 x 0.55 = 110). Obviously, if you are an athlete or avid exerciser, you will need more water so you can replace what you lost during a workout.
ALWAYS OUT WORKING THEM - RHINO :)