Staying hydrated is one of the most overlooked components in fitness, but not paying close attention to your hydration status can have a significant impact on your performance in the gym. That's because the body is roughly two-thirds water!
Even being dehydrated as little as 2 percent can affect your athletic performance, whether it be weight lifting or high-intensity interval training. In more extreme situations, poor hydration status can disrupt your body's hormonal response to a workout, making gains harder to come by.1
Simply put, your workouts will suffer if you're not properly hydrated!
Law 9: Hydrate! 10 Laws Of Muscle-Building
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Get Serious About Your Hydration
It's important that you stay hydrated throughout the day and go into your workout session in an optimal hydration state. It's simple: When people are dehydrated, they don't train as hard. The workout feels more difficult, and strength levels rapidly decline. Even being slightly dehydrated can impact the quality of your workout and ultimately hamper your results.
If you train first thing in the morning, drinking 8-12 ounces of water as soon as you get up is extremely important. While it may be tempting to just sip on some coffee and skip good ol' H2O, limiting your fluid consumption in the early hours could result in a less than desirable workout session.
As a general rule, if you are drinking fluids throughout the day and not losing water as sweat, you're probably hydrated enough. For most people, 2-3 liters (or 8-12 cups) of water daily is recommended. Keep in mind that water is found in both food and fluids, so foods with a high water content and watery beverages like milk can help you reach your water-intake goals.
I always recommend that people drink 8-12 ounces of water or low-to-non-caffeinated fluid as soon as they get up. Every 3-4 hours afterward, you should be doing the same thing. (Feel free to include a amino beverage as an option!) This will help ensure you're drinking at least 1.0-1.5 liters of water during the day.
If you're a heavy sweater, consider taking in more fluid while you work out and immediately afterward. How much you drink will depend on how much water you lose via sweat. An easy way to track this is to weigh yourself before and immediately after your workout. For every pound of body weight lost, drink an additional 2-3 cups.
Don't make hydration complicated. Stick to these guidelines for optimal performance in the gym!
- Judelson, D. A., Maresh, C. M., Yamamoto, L. M., Farrell, M. J., Armstrong, L. E., Kraemer, W. J., ... & Anderson, J. M. (2008). Effect of hydration state on resistance exercise-induced endocrine markers of anabolism, catabolism, and metabolism. Journal of Applied Physiology, 105(3), 816-824.