Did you know that 80% of your water is muscle? I didn’t, I always assumed it was just all protein!
You’re always told to drink a ton of water when you’re working out. Obviously, you don’t want to become dehydrated, as it can cause things like muscle pain and other symptoms. But, people have heard some talk about water helping build muscle.
- Did you know you lose up to 2 bottles of water a day in hydration just by breathing?
So, does water help build muscle?
Yes! Water is critical in building muscle. It boosts circulation bringing protein to your muscles, makes your workouts better making you push yourself harder, activates your parasympathetic nervous system to grow more muscle, and even makes your joints feel better.
Water Keeps Excellent Blood Circulation, Bringing Protein to Your Muscles!
The biggest problem when you’re dehydrated is the lack of circulation of blood to your muscles.
Now, most people would just say, ‘who cares’.
But you need to remember that all the protein you eat doesn’t randomly float to your muscles. Your blood carries it there!
That’s right, water helps build muscle by increasing your blood circulation and allowing more protein to get to your muscles.
When you’re dehydrated, your blood circulation can seriously slow down, this results in a reduction of protein reaching your muscles.
Now, over one night- this probably won’t cause a big difference. But if you’re consistently dehydrated and skipping your water, that’s going to seriously add up as the years go on.
Also, if you work out at night, sleep, then work out in the morning- a lack of water will be nothing but your downfall as your muscles will NOT be able to recover in time.
So, if you want your muscles to grow more, just drink the water!
Being Hydrated Makes You Stronger at The Gym, Which Means a Better Workout
Did you know that even if you’re dehydrated by a little bit you can lose up to 30% of your strength in the gym?
Don’t believe me? Try it. I used to work out at night and in the mornings and I would frequently be dehydrated. I learned the hard way why I was plateauing so hard.
If you keep hydrated, you’ll be able to lift heavier and keep your energy through the workout. This will mean your muscles are broken down harder and your muscles grow back even bigger.
So- if you don’t want to be embarrassed at the gym failing your squat on the first rep at your usual warm up weight, just drink some water!
Saves Kidneys, and Removes Waste From Muscle Breakdown
If you know who flex wheeler is, you may know he suffers from a horrible condition which forced his leg amputation.
Basically, when you work out, your muscles break down. This releases protein into the bloodstream and your kidneys need to filter it out.
Flex wheeler’s kidneys can no longer filter that protein out, which forced his retirement from bodybuilding because he could no longer build muscle.
For Mr.Wheeler- his condition was uncontrollable, there wasn’t anything he could do to stop it.
But, I’m seeing a lot of bodybuilders today abusing their kidneys by being dehydrated, drinking tons of energy drinks, taking too much creatine and supplements, etcetera. And this IS something controllable.
As a bodybuilder, your kidneys work extra hard constantly filtering out the proteins in your bloodstream that your body breaks down. Furthermore, it’s constantly filtering out all the extra food/liquid/supplements we bodybuilders are known to put in. (Especially pre-workout, make sure you drink an adequate amount of water with it!)
So, keep that water up, you’ll thank me later for it!
If You’re Dehydrated, Your Muscle Will Wither
If you’ve read, ‘can dehydration cause muscle pain’, you’d know that if you don’t have enough water, your muscle will wither.
If you’re dehydrated, your muscles will break down and in a bad way. If you’re working out your muscles, pushing them to the limit, and you start getting really dehydrated- a lot of that muscle cell can die.
And this is NOT what you want. You don’t want your muscle cells to die, this is the OPPOSITE of what you want to happen.
The common understanding is that ‘muscle cells break down and need to be repaired to grow muscle’- Yes, that’s true. But muscle cells actually dying is NOT what you want.
Realistically, you probably won’t have to worry about this. But, let’s say you had a sports competition the night before, you didn’t hydrate well, then you’re at the gym, went to work, now you’re getting into dangerous territory.
And besides, if you’re hydrated, that just means fewer muscle cells are dying in general.
So does water help build muscle here? Yes, by stopping it from being destroyed in the first place!
Water Takes Away The Pain, Literally!
Psychology has always been something that’s interested me. But, a lot of bodybuilders really aren’t interested in it for some reason.
People typically forget the mental aspect of bodybuilding. It doesn’t matter how much muscle you have, if your mind doubts you can lift it, you won’t be able to lift it.
In early 2016 (recent!) a study titled A preliminary study on how hypohydration affects pain perception examined how hydration affected pain in people.
They found that when you were dehydrated, your pain receptors became more active and you felt more pain.
Now, how does this relate to bodybuilding? Well, ever work out and hear ‘you need to feel the burn’? That’s right, you should be feeling some sort of burn or pain during your exercise.
Now, I’m not saying you should be feeling any excruciating pain or whatever, but if you’re able to workout without feeling pain or difficulty at all, the weight isn’t heavy enough.
So most of us feel that burn when we work out, and that’s what makes bodybuilding so hard. (Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder! But nobody wants to lift heavy *** weights!)
Being hydrated can be a game-changer in the gym. Suddenly that overhead press max is a lot easier with your pain receptors being less active. The more active your pain receptors are, the heavier that weight will feel for you mentally.
So, keep it hydrated, and help that pain perception go away so you can keep that workout going longer, and stay mentally ready to tackle whatever weight comes your way!
Regulates The Body’s Rest and Digest System (Your growth phase)
Ever hear the quote, “You don’t build muscle in the gym. You build muscle out of the gym”?- It’s basically saying that you build muscle by recovering well, like getting good sleep and eating well.
Well, drinking water helps regulate your body’s rest and digest system. This is your primary growth phase for your muscles in your body. (Your parasympathetic system)
Basically, your body is constantly trying to do this thing called ‘homeostasis’. It’s the regulation of your internal body.
Working out does a number on your body, it forces your recovery system to go in overdrive, and that’s not to mention the energy you exerted earlier.
Drinking water helps bring this system back into balance. First of all, the water will help regulate your nervous system, allowing your nerves to communicate to the rest of your body where repairs are needed.
Second of all, it will keep your blood circulation up (as mentioned earlier).
But third and most important, it will signal your rest and digest phase. Without enough water, your body will severely hesitate to go into the rest and digest phase.
In your rest and digest phase, you’ll get really tired. But, this is a good thing, as your sleep will massively boost your muscle and body recovery. This is what you want!
But, if you don’t drink a lot of water after, your body will wait and wait to reach this phase. So, drink up, it will boost your muscle recovery.
So does water help grow muscle? Yes, by literally using the systems evolution has gave you.
Water Lubricates The Joints Allowing You to Workout More
Joint pain- we alllll hate it. So much so you might cut your work out early just because of it.
Did you know that being hydrated lubricates your joints better? When you’re dehydrated, one of the places that loses water is the area in your joints called your synovial fluid.
Imagine your joints grinding against each other bone to bone, ouch! And if you have some joint pain in the gym, you might just leave your workout early, leaving valuable progress on the table.
I can’t blame you for leaving, that joint pain can really mess with your mind during a workout.
Drinking water can ensure that your joints are lubricated, giving you a better workout, therefore working your muscles to the max and ultimately getting you more muscle.
So, does water help build muscle? In this indirect instance, yes!
Conclusion of Does Water Help Build Muscle?
So yes, water does help build muscle. From improving circulation of protein to your muscles to helping your workouts, water does help build muscle!
Tell me in the comments below- do you drink water in the gym? Or do you avoid it. Personally, if I drink too much water in the gym I get almost tired, what do you guys think?