We all know that we should be drinking more water throughout the day. But what does that mean… and WHY!?
The benefits of drinking water are endless from maintaining healthy looking skin to building immunity to losing weight and building muscle. Since you are on my fitness blog I’m going to assume you are more interested to find out how water can help you lose weight/build muscle. And because both you and I are not all-knowing gods of science I will try to explain this to you in the simplest terms…
About 80% of the human body is made up of water. We need to supply our bodies with new and fresh water to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Think of your body as a filtered fish tank. The filter will only last for so long before you need to change the supply new and fresh water. The more you clean and maintain that fish tank, the cleaner and more sustainable it will be. However if you don’t maintain that fish tank it will get dirty and uninhabitable rather quickly.
Believe it or not the more water you drink, the less your body will retain water. This is because water helps your liver convert fat into usable energy. If you don’t drink enough, your kidneys are overwhelmed and they will make your liver do extra work. Therefore, since your liver is busy doing the kidneys’ “job”, your body has to hold onto the extra fat that would have been burned off if you simply had enough water. Instead of releasing water and waste products, your body retains existing water to reuse it. This is what causes water retention and bloating. When you don’t get enough water, your body panics and holds on to it!
As for Building muscle, water will hydrate those muscle cells for optimum performance in the gym. But outside of the gym, water is necessary for all individual metabolic processes, including protein synthesis. Water is especially important when you have a diet high in protein, as it helps remove excess nitrogen, urea (a toxic substance), and ketones. In addition, water allows you to digest food efficiently.
Typical bodybuilders and fitness models will aim for a gallon a day. I tried this (and succeeded) but I’m only 5’0″ and 116lbs. Do I really need as much water as a 6’0″ 230lb male? Probably not. What I like and personally works well for me is to drink AT LEAST half my body weight in fluid ounces. Anything past that is added bonus! So At 116lbs I aim for a minimum of 58 fl oz of water per day. (The easiest way to measure that is to carry a water bottle that has measurement scale on it)