How Dehydration Hinders Muscle Growth
Water does a body good! Don’t ever let anyone tell you different, or tell you that you need to supplement your water with something else. First and foremost, your body wants and needs water to prevent dehydration. You know what else is thirsty for some water? Your muscles!
Our muscles are composed of 75 percent water. Just that number alone should cause you to pause and think for a bit. With so much of that prized muscle made up of water, you would think that we would be drinking the stuff like there’s no tomorrow. But did you know that most of us walk around dehydrated? That’s right. We do not drink enough water.
How dehydration affects the body
Let me tell you a bit of what happens when we are dehydrated. You might be surprised. First off, our mental faculties become impaired. Now, that’s not to say that we are impaired as if we had been drinking alcohol. But rather, we feel sluggish, tired and may even have headaches throughout the day. Yes. That’s correct. That headache you get regularly may be your body telling you that you need to drink some water because you’re dehydrated.
Sounds bad. But if you are a fitness enthusiast, well…it can get a bit worse. When we don’t drink enough water to support our workouts we are literally starving our muscles. All of those coveted gains we work so hard for…nope, nada, not gonna happen. Think of that water you drink as a way to water your muscles and make them grow, almost as if you’re watering a tree. You want to grow and get big? Water those muscles. You must ensure you are properly hydrated before you walk into your gym, box or boot camp.
Another impact proper hydration makes on your gains directly pertains to your metabolism. When we’re dehydrated our metabolism actually slows. Our bodies know that something is wrong, and thus they go into conservation/emergency mode and try to hold onto anything and everything to survive. This means that our bodies will actually store that fat we are working so hard at shedding. Did you know that according to some studies, a regular intake of water on a daily basis would result in the body easing up on fat reserves? So instead of gaining weight, you’ll actually shed weight if you drink water on a regular basis.
How can we prevent dehydration?
So, what can we do? Is the simple answer to reach for a cup of water every time we feel thirsty? Unfortunately, no it’s not. If we wait to reach for that cup only when we feel thirsty, well the sad truth is that we’re already dehydrated. Our body’s mechanism to alert us to the dangers of dehydration is our very thirst for water.
Instead, we need to drink water on a regular basis throughout the day. Does it have to be the 8 cups of water that has regularly been touted in articles? Well, that’s a myth. But we should be drinking water regularly, and not waiting until that all-too familiar feeling of thirst. Instead, one way to check if you have enough water in your system is by checking the color of your urine. By doing this you’ll learn what your body needs and how to ensure you are properly hydrated.
So, what can you do next? Well, the most important thing of course…drink a glass of water.