Water: The Most Profound & Underrated Nutrient

Water: The Most Profound & Underrated Nutrient

Why do most Supermodels walk around with a bottle of water? Do they know something that we don’t? Is that how they stay so thin? Are they doing it to be chic or do they really believe in the value of drinking it? I don’t know about all that, but I do know this: there is not one single nutrient more important than water.

You can operate without your protein powder. You may find enough energy to get through your next workout without a sports drink. You can even sustain heavy workouts for days and days without eating properly. But you can’t stay alive without water.

If there is one mistake that many, many beginning bodybuilders make it would be their lack of proper water intake. It’s only water–right? Wrong! In fact, I’d be willing to bet that most active fitness enthusiasts are walking around right now dehydrated to some degree. The reason for that is that most have a lack of respect for the importance of water and a lack of understanding as to how much it can truly affect your body’s ability to build muscle and burn fat.

You have probably already heard that an estimated 60-75{4b1fe63123713d31487550d3441c07e511f9c896d21719779d3ce493da6269bd} of total body weight is water. But did you know the following: water helps to maintain body temperature. Water allows for over 50{4b1fe63123713d31487550d3441c07e511f9c896d21719779d3ce493da6269bd} of all chemical reactions that take place in the body. It is also responsible for the movement of nutrients, digestion, absorption processes, circulation, and the excretion of wastes. Water plays a part in the transmission of light and sound in the eyes and ears. Water will also help to curb your appetite. If you’re a bodybuilder then you should know that muscle is made up of approximately 70{4b1fe63123713d31487550d3441c07e511f9c896d21719779d3ce493da6269bd} water.

Consider this: At 2{4b1fe63123713d31487550d3441c07e511f9c896d21719779d3ce493da6269bd} dehydration, the body’s work capacity decreases by 12 to 15{4b1fe63123713d31487550d3441c07e511f9c896d21719779d3ce493da6269bd}. Also, body temperature and heart rate increase during periods of dehydration. Dehydration can compromise muscle contractions, decrease strength levels, cause joint pain and much more. Dehydration will definitively stunt your body’s ability to build muscle. Water is truly the most important nutrient on earth!

Did you also know that recent studies have shown that drinking cold water can actually increase metabolism? The science isn’t completely as extensive as I would like, but it seems that cold water enters the small intestines at a faster rate which may affect digestion and so, hence, metabolism as well.

The next question is how much? The body’s average daily loss of fluids through excretion, respiration, chemical reactions, and perspiration varies from about 1 to 3 quarts. A high protein intake calls for an even greater amount of fluids.

I would start my recommendations at a minimum of at least 8-8oz. glasses a day. In my opinion that would be inadequate for the fitness enthusiast and especially the active bodybuilder. Keep in mind we must also consider someone’s metabolic rate as it relates to water loss. In other words, some of us sweat a lot more than others.

Someone very active and building muscle or seeking to lose weight, should consume a gallon of water a day. It sounds like a lot, but the benefits far outweigh the trips to the bathroom. Remember, however, that is an entire day. Drinking too much water all at once can be dangerous–especially during exercise. Be careful not to drink too much in one sitting.

However, water should be your preferred choice of beverage during workouts. Sports drinks contain simple sugar which slows the absorption rate of desperately needed fluids and should not be used until after exercise. Also, one should never take in sodium during exercise. The temporary hypertonic concentration of sodium in the blood will lead to an osmotic shift of fluids out of the working muscles. This causes severe cramping and increased susceptibility to heat injuries such as heat stroke, and heat exhaustion.

A good way to keep your water levels balanced is to weigh in prior to and after your workout, then ingest 16 ozs. of water per pound of weight lost, at the above prescribed rate (8 to 10 ounces every 20 minutes).

Water is life and nothing is more important if your goal is to remain healthy and strong. So, drink up!