Hydration is huge and knowing how much water to drink can be a game changer inside and out of the gym.
We all know we need to drink to water. We hear it all the time and often times we just brush it off as something we know. But in reality, are we drinking enough despite this? For us bodybuilders and athletes, we always have a water bottle on us, but even then, the question of if we are drinking enough remains number one. The right amount of water intake can affect not only your workouts but also daily life and cannot and should not be ignored.
Let’s take a look at hydration and see why this matters so much. We always hear about it, but knowing the benefits and exactly what this can do for you can greatly affect your gains and give you the best chance at fully optimizing your performance.
Why Hydration Matters
For those of bodybuilders and other strength athletes who regularly partake in grueling workouts, we know how thirsty we get. Hydration matters and for good reason. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of drinking plenty of water and why hydration ultimately matters.
- Physical Performance: The right amount of hydration can reduce fatigue, enhance endurance, keep your muscles functioning properly, and even lower your heart rate, all contributing to improved physical performance for the best results (1).
- Cognitive Function: Drinking enough water allows you to focus and have a clearer mind. When it comes to preventing headaches, enough water can prevent this from happening thus keeping you mentally sharp and free of pain (2).
- Weight Loss: By always staying hydrated, you actually feel more full, thus decreasing your desire to snack and putting on unwanted weight. Drinking before meals is a great way to control your portions so you only eat what you need to.
- Immune System: Water can flush out those nasty toxins and bacteria to support your immune system so you stay as healthy as possible without the fear of falling ill. A stronger immune system means less time out of the gym and more time seeing gains (3).
How To Tell If You Are Dehydrated
The feeling of dehydration is terrible. Plain and simple. We’ve all felt it before, that sluggish, drained feeling that most often ends with a terrible headache. Why put yourself through that? Common side effects of dehydration include things like thirst, dry skin, feeling dizzy or low on energy, and darker yellow urine (4). It’s clear that dehydration can negatively affect your workouts, so why even put yourself in that position? Working on optimizing hydration is exactly what you need in order to fully succeed both inside and out of the gym and stay as hydrated as possible.
Best Ways To Stay Hydrated
With our busy schedules, it can be tough to stay hydrated. You’re always running around, bouncing from place to place, running errands, or just consumed in work. By the time your workout comes along, you realize you’ve had maybe three sips of water. Not good enough. Always having a water bottle with you is an easy way to just take a drink here and there. Soon enough, the bottle is gone, you refill, and you’re off to the races again. For those who love caffeine, maybe try and limit the caffeinated beverages or find a good balance of water to caffeine. If you feel that drinking flat water doesn’t cut it, try flavored sparkling water or check out some awesome supplements to stay hydrated while having a great taste.
Water & Electrolytes
The relationship between water and electrolytes is important to know. We’ve all seen those bottles that have electrolytes mixed into the water. There’s a reason for that. Electrolytes are essential minerals in your body that provide benefits for a host of bodily functions. Things like muscle contractions and balancing pH levels are just a couple of examples. But of course, they also help us stay as hydrated as possible. Why electrolytes are so important is that they help distribute water throughout the body, making sure your muscles and other body parts have enough water to function properly, and of course, stay clear of dehydration (5).
Daily Hydration Chart
It should be said that depending on your exercise and activity level, you should drink more water than if you do not workout. Using things like how you feel and urine color are easy ways to gauge whether or not you are getting to a hydrated or dehydrated state.
Let’s take a look at an average daily H20 intake requirement chart from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health so you get a better sense of what we mean (6).
|Age (years)||Amount in Ounces||Amount in Cups|
|Men, 19 and older||104||13|
|Women, 19 and older||72||9|
Best Supplement To Maximize Hydration
With so many supplements on the market, it can be challenging to decide which one will maximize your gains the most. While it may be obvious to drink water and stay hydrated, the right supplement can optimize hydration so you never suffer from negative side effects. A product loaded with BCAAs and electrolytes is a sure fire way to ensure dehydration never occurs.
Enhanced Labs EAA+
EAA+ pairs branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) with essential amino acids (EAAs), nootropics, trace electrolytes and minerals to make it a complete mass gainer, strength builder, and ultimate hydration option. With high quality ingredients in an advanced formula, you get a seriously effective supplement able to help tackle any and all of your needs. With 10g of clinically dosed essential amino acids, great blends will maximize muscle growth and hydration with just 2-3 servings per day.
Hydration is absolutely key in terms of working out and with our daily life. Staying hydrated and taking in the right amount of water will greatly affect all your gains and give you the best in terms of seeing that growth you want most. This daily intake graph will hopefully help as a starting point and always remember to keep a water bottle with you so you never have an excuse.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Popkin, B.; et al. (2010). “Water, Hydration and Health”. (source)
- Grandjean, A.; et al. (2007). “Dehydration and cognitive performance”. (source)
- UCI Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute (2020). “Hydration for Immune System”. (source)
- Shaheen, N.; et al. (2018). “Public knowledge of dehydration and fluid intake practices: variation by participants’ characteristics”. (source)
- James, L.; et al. (2015). “Effect of Electrolyte Addition to Rehydration Drinks Consumed After Severe Fluid and Energy Restriction”. (source)
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Water”. (source)