The Importance of Water for the Bodybuilder

PillarofBalance

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We know already that 70% of the Earth is covered in water. Even a significant portion of land on this planet is covered in ice which is water that is frozen. We’ve been told that drinking X amount of 8oz. glasses a day for optimum health is important. Even the success of humankind as a species has been attributed to our ability to carry and transport water over land. But what makes water so much more important in an athlete’s diet? What’s the proper amount of water per day for someone engaging in resistance training and/or using Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids? What more do we need to know?
Water makes up more than two thirds of human body weight, and without water, we would die in a few days. The human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is 82%, lungs 90% and 75% OF MUSCLE! A mere 2% drop in our body's water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen. Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. An estimated seventy-five percent of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. Pretty scary statistic for a developed country where water is readily available through the tap or bottle water.
Water is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body cannot work without it, just as a car cannot run without gas and oil. In fact, all the cell and organ functions that make up our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning.

• Water serves as a lubricant
• Water forms the base for saliva
• Water forms the fluids that surround the joints.
• Water regulates the body temperature, as the cooling and heating is distributed through perspiration.
• Water helps to alleviate constipation by moving food through the intestinal tract and thereby eliminating waste - the best detox agent.
• Water helps to regulate metabolism

In addition to the daily maintenance of our bodies, water also plays a key role in the prevention of disease. Drinking eight glasses of water daily can decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50% and it can potentially even reduce the risk of breast cancer. And those are just a few examples!

Since water is such an important component to our physiology, it would make sense that the quality of the water should be just as important as the quantity. Drinking water should always be clean and free of contaminants to ensure proper health and wellness.

The number one killer in America is heart disease. And, two huge health risks that can lead to serious heart conditions are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But, these can be prevented.

Let's start with high cholesterol. The American Heart Association says that one in five American's have too high a cholesterol level. But first, just what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance called a lipid that is found inside cells and blood. It is produced naturally in the liver, but some of the "bad" cholesterol comes from the food we eat, mainly in animal fats. While too much cholesterol can be harmful, a certain amount is necessary for bodily functions, such as making cell walls and acting as a building block to produce various hormones, bile acids, and Vitamin D.

Having too much cholesterol can block blood flow, resulting in a thickening and hardening of artery walls, a disorder called arteriosclerosis. Since this also narrows the arteries, blood flow can be slowed down, or even blocked. With less blood, the heart therefore gets less oxygen. That can result in chest pain, heart attack, or something called death. Lowering your blood cholesterol level is one of the best ways you can decrease your risk of heart disease. And, even if your cholesterol is close to the desirable range, 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood, you can lower it and reduce your risk of heart disease.

With all this thickening going on, water can play a very important role. Drinking water can actually thin the blood which will help the blood pump more smoothly. Since exercise, along with a healthy diet, is an important contribution to the lowering of cholesterol, once again, water needs to be drank in order to replenish what was lost. In fact, consumption of water so you are fully hydrated can increase your metabolic rate!

Let's move on to high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against artery walls as it makes its way through the body. Just like air in a tire, blood fills arteries to a certain capacity, and anything over that capacity can have damaging effects. Just like high cholesterol, high blood pressure can threaten healthy arteries and lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. And what's scary is that there are not any real symptoms until then, which is why high blood pressure is known as a silent killer.

Hypertension can be combated in many ways. Water can help lower the pressure, as blood is mainly comprised of water. If water levels drop, that can affect your blood pressure. So, consistently drinking water each day can help maintain a healthy heart. Also, the kidneys clean the blood. If blood flow is limited to the kidneys because of lack of water or high blood pressure, it will think the body is low on water, and react by telling the brain to constrict veins and arteries, which will make pressure even higher.

Heart disease is a serious issue in America today, with two of the top causes being high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Drinking enough water can combat both of these. This is especially important if you are one of those who commonly experience high blood pressure while on a cycle of AAS.

Now those things apply to everyone, but what about the bodybuilder? Why is it more important for us? Read on!
Maintaining peak strength - Significant hydration will actually make you stronger. Even slight dehydration (3-4%) can decrease your strength by upwards of 15%. In order to maximize the intensity of your weight training workouts and break down as many muscle fibers as you can, it is important to be at your strongest each and every workout.

Protecting the joints - Synovial fluid is the only form"lubrication" of the joints in your body. And guess what? It is comprised of mostly water. It is important that you are well hydrated so your body can produce all of the fluid it needs. If the body cannot produce enough synovial fluid due to chronic dehydration, you could be compromising your joints each time you workout.

Aiding in digestion - Eating a well balanced muscle building diet will not help if your body can't properly digest the food you consume. Water helps the digestive system function, allowing your body to absorb the nutrients it needs to help your body recover from your workouts, and build muscle.
But how much water should you be drinking??? Well that depends on a few things.

Climate - The hotter the climate, the more you will perspire. This one of the fastest ways the body loses water. During the summer months, and in areas that are hot all year round, a higher water intake is necessary.

Your initial hydration level - If you currently suffer from chronic dehydration like many people do, you will have to drink much more water from the get go to help your body catch up to the hydration level it should be at.

Your level of physical activity - The more physically active you are, the more water you need to consume daily - that's a given. It's important that you consume more water on your training days since you will perspire much more than on a non training day. If you participate in any other activities or sports, it is also important to up your water intake on those days as well.

There are a few ways to determine how much water you should consume on a daily basis. None are completely accurate; however, they do give you a general idea of how much water you need. Determining what your actual intake needs to be will involve some experimentation with your own body. As a general rule you are adequately hydrated if:
You are urinating every one and a half to two hour.
Your urine is clear and odorless.
If you are only urinating a few times a day and your urine is a dark yellow color, you are probably not drinking enough water and should increase your intake.

Here is a simple formula to estimate your daily water consumption. That formula is:

Body weight X 0.6 = Daily water intake (Ounces)

Here is an example of how that formula works, using a 180 pound man as an example:

180 LBS X 0.6 = 108 Ounces

So a 180 pound man that is weight trains at a high intensity three to four times a week should try to consume about eleven 8oz cups of water each day. That may sound like a lot, and although you might be taking more trips to the bathroom each day then you are used to, it's a small price to pay for the huge benefits of staying hydrated.

----PoB----
 

Lulu66

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Yupp is the small details like water that are often overlooked. I got this kid that works out with me every now and then, and he always complaining why he feels like crapp all day, but hell be drinking monsters all day long.
 

PillarofBalance

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I actually slipped up and didn't drink enough water the last few days... Been cramping like a bastard... On gallon two so far today
 

LeanHerm

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Good read pob. Thank god for people like me who clean water for a living. Lol.
 

JOMO

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Good read pob. Thank god for people like me who clean water for a living. Lol.

Or like Pauley Shore in "In the Army Now"..I couldn't have done it without the help from my brother..the pool man! Haha
 

Hurt

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good stuff me likey water
 

Mrs P

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Good read, I drink a gallon and a half at least.... love water
 

beasto

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I'm @ 1.5 gallons a day and will raise it .5 gallons week 8-12 of my current cycle. Excellent read tho bro!!!
 

biggerben692000

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Water is the main base for life. It serves body in many ways. It reduces fat and builds healthy & strong muscles. Modern search show that everyone need to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water. It will be protecting body form many hidden diseases. A single body contains water 80% to 85%. Water is a source of transfer protein and nutrition with body from one place to other place.

SPAM will make ur testicles stay full like my tummy after breakfast. I'm going to find you and kill you.
 

Viduus

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Bumping this. I’ve recently started taking meds for BP that have dropped me down to normal.

A few days ago, I had another unrelated test that showed I’m still retaining a fairly large amount of water. I know so don’t drink enough do to never really feeling thirsty somI started drinking more to help flush the retainer water.

I also started taking potassium after hearing someone have electrolyte issues on one of the podcasts I regularly listen to.

My blood pressure has been consistent at 98/65 the last few days. I might be ready to drop the meds if it holds up. Water and/or the potassium might have been the key to my blood pressure issue. Yet another helpful post from POB - drink up!
 

Elivo

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Damn Vid, that pressure starting to dip into the low area. You’re right though the extra water would have played a part in your bp being up. May not be a bad idea if you got rid of it to see what the bp is like without the end for a few days, just keep a close eye on it though. I’m sure you’re very aware that it can creep up on you and you never feel a thing from it!
 

Gadawg

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I quit reading at the cholesterol part because that is pure BS.....
 

Chillinlow

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Bumping this. I’ve recently started taking meds for BP that have dropped me down to normal.

A few days ago, I had another unrelated test that showed I’m still retaining a fairly large amount of water. I know so don’t drink enough do to never really feeling thirsty somI started drinking more to help flush the retainer water.

I also started taking potassium after hearing someone have electrolyte issues on one of the podcasts I regularly listen to.

My blood pressure has been consistent at 98/65 the last few days. I might be ready to drop the meds if it holds up. Water and/or the potassium might have been the key to my blood pressure issue. Yet another helpful post from POB - drink up!

What you taking for potassium
 

Viduus

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Elivo

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Potassium shouldnt really effect your BP as far as high or low. I cant for the life of me remember taking care of someone with high blood pressure and having potassium being any kind of issue unless it was caused by some other issue. People on lasix will be on potassium a lot of times because when lasix removes the water it also gets rid of potassium and leaves them low.

You want to be careful taking potassium supplements, too high potassium is just as dangerous as too low. I wouldnt expect an otc potassium pill to jack your levels up that much but the medical brain in me always jumps there LOL.
But now you got me curious so im going to look into potassium and blood pressure to find out if there is any correlation. And by look into it i mean im going to ask the doctor working tonight what he thinks LOL.
 

Elivo

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So i spoke to the ER doc working tonight, asked him about low or high potassium causing low or high blood pressure. His response was he can think of things that would cause both, but as far as potassium being low or high it would not effect your blood pressure.

Just an FYI for ya lol
 

Viduus

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So i spoke to the ER doc working tonight, asked him about low or high potassium causing low or high blood pressure. His response was he can think of things that would cause both, but as far as potassium being low or high it would not effect your blood pressure.

Just an FYI for ya lol

Good to know. I suspected it was the extra water doing it. My wife mentioned my father-in-law taking potassium with his BP meds after I noticed the difference. Your explanation with Lasix makes a lot of sense.
 
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