With all the supplements, beverages, and powder mixes out there, we tend to forget the real reason for consuming liquids. Much like the planet we fight hard to save, our body is made up of mostly water. What happens when there is a drought? Plants (and sometimes people) die. We fight hard to keep plants hydrated and do what we can to keep the water clean, but why do we not give the same care to our own body? Our body needs water to stay hydrated, perform, and most importantly, survive! If your goal is to get bigger, stronger, faster, or even just leaner, drinking more water can help you achieve your goals. How can water help? In this article I explain why drinking more water will help you take your physique TO THE NEXT LEVEL!
Performance Sets The Pace
Whenever you have any sort of physical goal (appearance or performance), your performance is what maintains your pace of progress. Muscle is built by adapting and recovering from a greater stimulus. In order to provide that better stimulus, you must perform better. That might be from reducing rest time, increasing performed repetitions, increasing the loads lifted, or other variables that provide progressive overload (see progressive overload 101 for more). According to a study in the excerpt from Sport Nutrition, Second Edition, dehydration of as low as 2% of your body weight can impair your performance. Anything more than a 5% loss can result in a 30% decrease in work capacity. That's a HUGE amount of performance loss! If your goal is to get bigger or lose fat, dehydration can impair your ability to work off those calories or impair your ability to stimulate your muscles to grow. Also in the excerpt, dehydration reduces your ability to tolerate heat. This means an increase risk of over-heating. When your goal is to burn more fat, conditioning work (cardio) is a MUST. How is this conditioning work going to be pushed hard enough to make a difference in your physique if you keep getting easily overheated? By making sure to stay hydrated during your conditioning sessions, you optimize your ability to lose fat and attain the physique you most desire.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
The goal of water consumption is to keep your body in balance. Though for quite some time there was a huge myth going around saying to drink 8 glasses of water a day, water consumption has became a more and more individual basis. With some individuals sitting at a desk from sun rise to sunset, you have others working manual labor in the sun throughout the same duration. Water consumption between these two extreme cases is going to greatly differ. That is why a common recommendation is to drink at least 8 cups a day for people (sedentary or not), and closer to a gallon (if not a gallon) of water a day for those who are physically active, in a warm environment, or tend to sweat more than average.
Do Not Over-Hydrate!
Though most people do not have this issue, just like drink too little of water is not good for the body, drinking too much water is as well. Drinking too much water breaks the water concentration balance in the body and can be very harmful to the human body (extreme cases leading to death). Yes, you can drink water to death. A recommendation with increasing your water intake is to start just monitoring your water intake. Buy a gallon of water and mark off where you ended up for the end of the day. Focus on slowly increasing the amount each day until you find a sweet spot that hydrates your body, but does not over-hydrate the body.
Increasing your water intake can help take your physique to the next level. With allowing you to perform optimally and reduce your risk of overheating, staying hydrated is an component of anyone's everyday regime. Make sure to not over-hydrate by slowing increasing your water intake to find what works best for you. Who knew something as simple as drinking enough water could make all the difference?