The importance of drinking plenty of water is often overlooked when it comes to building muscle and losing fat. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you see results from all the hard work that you put into your training and nutrition plan

There’s no point eating the perfect diet and hitting your macros perfectly if your body has no way of transporting all those nutrients to your cells and your cells aren’t hydrated enough to function properly anyway!

Here’s 5 essential reasons to drink more water if you want to build a strong, lean, muscular physique:

1. Drink More Water to Increase Protein Synthesis

60% of your body and 80% of your muscle tissue is made up of water. The level of hydration in your muscle cells is directly related to the rate at which protein synthesis occurs. When the water content in your muscle cells is high, anabolic or protein synthesis reactions are stimulated. When your muscle cells become dehydrated, protein synthesis decreases and catabolism increases [1]. Drinking enough water is therefore beneficial to anyone wanting to build new muscle tissue.

2. Drink More Water to Improve athletic performance

Your ability to perform high intensity exercise is reduced by as much as 45% with dehydration corresponding to a 2.5% reduction of overall body mass [2]. This will affect both your ability to lift weights and to perform high intensity cardio workouts. Drink more water to ensure that you are fully hydrated before working out so that you can push yourself harder!

3. Drink More Water to Improve your Joint Health

The synovial fluid which lubricates your joints is made up of 80% water. This fluid reduces the friction between your connective tissues and cushions them during movement. Having healthy joints is especially important if you regularly lift weights. If your joints are in poor health, eventually you might end up with an injury which can put a hold on you making any further progress. Staying hydrated keeps your joints in good health so that you can concentrate on lifting heavy things!

4. Drink More Water to Help your Body Cleanse Itself

Water helps your body to flush out toxins and waste products. It is essential for proper functioning or our kidneys and bowels which helps them to remove waste products more easily. A body free from toxins can work more efficiently, leaving more energy available for more important tasks such as exercising and building muscle. Drinking more water helps your body to flush out toxins more effectively and work more efficiently.

5. Drink More Water to Increase Fat Loss

The liver is responsible for converting your stored body fat into energy. When you are dehydrated, the functioning of your liver is impaired which makes this fat burning process more difficult. Staying well hydrated ensures that your liver can convert body fat as effectively as possible which not only helps you get lean but also means your body is supplied with more energy.

How Much Water Should you Drink?

Here’s some basic guidelines for water consumption:

  • Males: 3-4 litres per day (12-16 small glasses).
  • Females: 2-3 litres per day (8-12 small glasses).

Key times to drink water:

  • Morning: Drink a large glass of water when you wake up to clear your system of toxins.
  • Before and after exercise: Ensure you stay properly hydrated to aid both performance and recovery.

References:

[1] Mauro G. Di Pasquale. 2007. Amino Acids and Proteins for the Athlete: The Anabolic Edge, Second Edition

[2] Jeukendrup A. Gleeson M. 2010. Sport Nutrition-2nd Edition: An Introduction to Energy Production and Performance