Water is one of life’s and our body’s most vital elements – our brain is made up of 85 per cent water, our bodies are made up of 80 per cent water, and 70 per cent of lean muscle mass in our bodies is water. Our bodies can survive days without food, but only few days without water.
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If you’re trying to gain muscle mass in your body, drinking adequate water can be an extremely important part of your routine. This aspect is often ignored, resulting in dehydration, injury, cramps, and a host of other conditions. What’s more, if you don’t drink enough water, your entire weight gain or ‘fat loss’ effort may go in vain, since you’re not replenishing the water that’s lost from your body during workouts.
Whether you’re trying to rapidly build muscle or burn fat from your body, here are some essential water facts that you need to keep in mind: Our bodies lose about 16 ounces of water everyday through involuntary actions like sweating and exhaling; the regular functioning of the intestines and kidneys result in the loss of about 48 ounces of water each day. So on an average; the body needs about 10 cups of water just to keep it functioning normally.
During intensive workouts, your body’s need for water increases, especially during muscle building which involves lifting/moving weights for certain of repetitions. Not only are you sweating more during these workouts, but you’re most likely following a high protein diet, the absorption of which requires plenty of water. According to studies, a drop of only three to four percent of the body’s water levels leads to a 10 to 20 percent reduction in muscle contractions.
Fast muscle gain can be aided by drinking plenty of water – as you’ll be ensuring that the 70 per cent water content of your muscle is maintained. Apart from that, drinking water can help prevent injuries, since training at a high intensity over long periods of time can put extra stress on your connective tissue and joints. The water will help prevent injury by lubricating your joints and allow you to continue your workout without a break.
Muscle building also requires the increased intake of protein by the body. By drinking adequate water, you will help your body break down protein into amino acids, which is easily digested by the body. Protein, as we know cannot be directly absorbed by the body’s cells. It needs to be broken down into its component amino acids before the body converts it into muscle mass.
Apart from these essential functions, water has a key role in regulating the body’s temperature by keeping the skin moist through perspiration. If your workouts are intense, be sure you’re hydrating your body and allowing it to carry out this function normally. Another crucial process that’s regulated by water is excretion. Water helps cleanse your body of toxins and wastes through elimination of feces, urine, sweat and exhalation of air.
A simple way of making sure you’re getting enough water is be in tune with your body. Listen to what it’s telling you – do you feel weak and extremely thirsty after your workouts? Do you feel tired and listless? Are you suffering from digestive problems? All these are indications that you need to tank up on more water!