Water is so easily forgotten about, but it’s something that we need to survive.
It’s no secret that most of us probably don’t drink enough water as we’d like to admit, but the reality is that our bodies need water to function.
Not only that – some people need water to perform well. Take bodybuilders, for example.
Bodybuilders are notorious for drinking endless amounts of water while training, but why do bodybuilders drink so much water?
Surely it’s not just to combat dehydration, right? Here’s everything you need to know about why bodybuilders drink so much water.
So, Why Do Bodybuilders Drink So Much Water?
Interestingly, there are several reasons why bodybuilders consume so much water during training.
Sure, they might genuinely just be thirsty from all the over-exhaustion, but there is some science to drinking a lot of water that improves the performance of bodybuilders.
They’re Actually Dehydrated
First and foremost, one of the reasons why bodybuilders drink a lot of water is because they’re actually dehydrated.
A lot of bodybuilders rely on caffeine-based drinks, such as coffee and energy drinks, which actually contribute to fluid loss.
While these drinks might boost energy levels short-term, they don’t work to hydrate our bodies.
It’s no secret that sweating is the body’s way of exerting fluids, which contributes to dehydration.
As bodybuilders spend most of their training sweating, they need to make up for it in fluid consumption.
It is generally recommended to drink around 6-8 glasses of water a day for a non-bodybuilder, but bodybuilders will need to drink around 1 to 3 gallons of water a day.
Water Helps Regulation
Let’s cut right to it – nobody likes to be constipated. It’s uncomfortable and can seriously affect your performance as a bodybuilder.
One of the best ways to aid regulation is by consuming a lot of water, because this stops your body from stealing bodies of water stored in essential organs such as the colon, which leads to constipation.
As bodybuilders will eat anywhere from 4,000 to even 10,000 calories a day, drinking a lot of water is essential for helping the food move through the system.
Water Helps To Flush Out Toxins
It’s also no secret that water makes you pee.
While it might seem like an annoying side effect of drinking a lot (especially when you’re exercising), peeing is your body’s way of flushing out toxins.
Bodybuilders rely on a high-protein diet to maintain their muscular hypertrophy and strength.
The problem with such a diet is that the high amount of protein comes with toxins, such as ketones, excess nitrogen, and a toxin called urea.
So, bodybuilders will drink more water than usual to support their kidneys and flush these toxins out.
Water Improves Use Of Supplements
Bodybuilders take dietary supplements to improve their performance, balance their diet, and increase their strength and energy.
Water actually helps the use of these supplements.
Take creatine, for example, which relies on the water stored in muscle cells to create an anabolic environment for muscular growth.
Most multi-vitamins are also water-soluble, and therefore need water to work properly.
So, bodybuilders need to consume lots of water to improve and support the use of these supplements.
Water Sheds Water Weight
While it might sound nonsensical, water actually helps to shed water weight, also known as fluid retention.
Fluid retention occurs when the body is lacking in water, because it will then turn to hoarding any water it can find as a result of the supposed water shortage.
The water is then hoarded into extracellular spaces, resulting in the puffiness of skin.
So, while bodybuilders don’t exercise to slim down or lose weight, they will drink lots of water to reduce the chances of fluid retention, which will ultimately affect their physique and performance.
Water Improves Metabolism
Did you know that if you find yourself feeling hungry during the day, it might be your body telling you that you’re actually thirsty?
This is because the kidneys aren’t functioning properly without the right amount of water, so some of the load is transferred to the liver to metabolize and store fat for energy.
While this is the body’s way of storing and using up fat, the liver actually doesn’t burn up as much fat as the kidneys, which might be the reason you’re constantly feeling hungry.
It’s also the reason you might be struggling to lose weight.
So, bodybuilders will drink lots of water to improve their metabolism and support their kidneys to metabolize stored fat, which helps to boost their energy.
They’re Consuming Too Much Salt
You know when you’ve eaten a really salty meal and you wake up at 2am with your mouth drier than the desert?
That’s because your body is trying to retain the water stored in your body (usually the muscle cells when there’s a water shortage) to dilute the sodium levels.
As bodybuilders consume such a high-protein and high-calorie diet, which often includes a lot of salt, they will drink more water to combat the feeling of dehydration after a salty meal.
So, unless they’re going to reduce their salt intake, they will drink more water to make up for it.
Water Reduces Fatigue
Water is one of nature’s best energy drinks.
Sure, it doesn’t provide as much energy as proteins and carbohydrates, but water is the basis for energy reactions to take place.
Without enough water, you will become lethargic, prone to cramping and headaches, and your performance will ultimately be worse when strength training.
Water Builds Muscle
Water helps to form and transports protein and glycogen around the body, which are nutrients essential for building muscle.
Without proper water and electrolytes, the muscles aren’t supported by the necessary nutrients to support optimal performance when working out.
So, not only does water provide energy, but it also helps to build muscle as a result of the increased energy.
So, there you have it! Turns out, water is far more important for a bodybuilder than you might think.