We’re constantly reminded about the importance of consuming enough water and staying hydrated each day. After all, the human body is ~60% water.
Despite this fact (and the incessant reminders), many of us still struggle to consume enough fluids each day.
Well, if you need more reason to be mindful of your water intake, here are 10 ways staying hydrated helps with training, fat loss, muscle growth, and overall health.
Drinking enough fluids throughout the day helps take up space in your stomach, causing it to expand, which sends a signal to the brain that you have enough fuel for the time being. This can ultimately help you stay on track with your calorie and macronutrient targets.
Increased water intake is also associated with weight loss via two mechanisms, decreased feeding and increased lipolysis (the breakdown of stored fatty acids).
Decreases Calorie Intake
Liquid calories are one of the biggest sources of “hidden calories” (i.e. calories individuals forget to track) that contribute to weight loss plateaus and weight gain.
Water, however, is calorie-free, cheap, and readily accessible.
What’s more, replaced those bloated calorie-containing liquids (e.g. energy drinks, gourmet coffees, sports drinks, cold-pressed juices, etc.) with zero-calorie water is a great way to help reduce overall calorie intake (which supports weight loss) as well as enhance your hydration, which -- as we’ll get to in a moment -- offers a wide-range of appealing benefits.
“But, what if I don’t like plain water?”
One of the main reasons that individuals don’t drink enough water is that a significant majority of people don’t enjoy the taste of plain water.
Fortunately, there are a number of options to spice up the taste/texture of your water without adding tons of unnecessary calories and sugar.
For instance, you can drink sparkling or mineral water or zero-calorie flavored water. You can also try adding a few slices of fresh fruit to your water or a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. One of our favorite things to enhance the hydrating “punch” of water is to mix in a serving of amino acids (such as Her BCAA/EAA or His BCAA/EAA) which adds delicious, refreshing flavor as well as essential amino acids (and BCAAs) to support muscle recovery.
Aids Fat Burning
As mentioned above, being well hydrated supports weight loss and the body’s ability to burn fat for fuel.
Specifically, lipolysis (breaking down fat) requires water. The initial step in breaking down stored fatty acids is called hydrolysis, which basically adds water to fat to break it down.
Without enough water, our bodies ability to effectively mobilize fat for energy is limited.
Boosts Energy Expenditure
This may sound a bit strange, but drinking cold water (or cold fluids) in general can actually help to boost metabolism and increase how many calories you burn each day.
The reason for this is that your body has to use heat (energy) to raise the temperature of cold water.
Concomitantly, drinking cold water ever so slightly lowers your core body temperature, which means that your body has to expend energy (calories) to bring it back up to normal.
The end result is that more calories are burned, and even though these effects are small, over time they build on each other (especially when paired with a reduced-calorie diet and exercise program) and support weight loss.
Increased Cell Volumization
Proper hydration means consuming adequate amounts of both water and electrolytes. During exercise (particularly resistance training), our muscle cells swell and expand. This cellular swelling has been identified as a contributing factor to muscle growth and also leads to increased muscle volume and better pumps!
Greater Stamina & Endurance
Drinking enough water and electrolytes helps boost stamina and delay the onset of fatigue. This ultimately allows you to train harder (which supports muscle growth) and burn more calories during your workouts (which supports fat loss).
Accelerates Muscle Repair & Recovery
70% of our skeletal muscles are composed of water.
And, in order for our muscles to contract and relax, they need sufficient amounts of water and electrolytes (especially sodium, potassium and magnesium). Water is also involved in glycogen replenishment (the storage form of glucose in the body) as well as protein synthesis.
Without enough water, your body cannot effectively repair and recover from daily life, let alone intense workouts. This ultimately impairs your ability to progress in your training as well as build muscle & gain strength.
Supports Cardiovascular Health
Plasma is 90% water and makes up more than 50% of total blood volume.
If you’re dehydrated, then the volume of blood decreases, which makes your heart have to work harder to get the same amount of blood to organs and tissues that it needs.
Additionally, being dehydrated can cause blood vessels to constrict and become narrower, which impairs nutrient and oxygen delivery to your muscles and organs.
Promotes Vibrant, Youthful-Looking Skin
Unsurprisingly, water also plays a key role in the quality and appearance of your skin.
Specifically, being properly hydrated can help reduce the appearance and development of wrinkles and dry skin, making it a much more affordable option than the overpriced skin creams on the market.
If you’re interested in what else you can do to support the health of your skin, check out 1UP Hair Skin & Nails, which contains powerful peptides, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help your skin to appear more vibrant and retain moisture.
Water is extremely important to healthy, pain-free joints.
Synovial fluid (“joint fluid) contains water. It cushions the ends of bones and reduces friction when you move. Being dehydrated means less synovial fluid is available to protect your joints.
This is of particular concern to gym rats and fitness enthusiasts who sweat a lot during their intense workouts as excessive fluid loss can result in greater stresses on the joints.
How Much Water Do I Need to Drink Every Day?
Current recommendations for individuals are to consume a minimum of 8-12 cups of water per day.
However, this amount may not be enough for individuals who are very physically active (those training intensely as well as those working manual labor jobs). Essentially, the more “stuff” you do throughout the day, the more water your body will require (especially if you work/train/live in hot environments).
Depending on your size and sweat rate, you could lose up to 32 ounces of water per hour of exercise!
Consuming enough water each day is essential not only to your fitness and physique goals but also your overall physical, mental, and cardiometabolic health.
How much water you need to drink each day depends on a variety of factors, including age, sex, height, weight, and activity level. Luckily 1UP Fitness App feature "Water Intake Calculator and Tracker is now available.
Download Free App
Apple iOs - HERE
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Proper hydration just isn’t about drinking enough water though, you also need to consume enough electrolytes, which help your body regulate fluid balance inside and outside of the cells.
In addition to drinking water, you can also support your hydration needs by consuming fruits and vegetables, calorie-free beverages, and supplements such as whey protein, greens & reds formulas and other wellness products that are mixed into water.