Updated: Apr 13
When we are cutting we drink plenty of water to make sure we lose as much water weight as possible, so we look more leaner, drier and more shredded. While bulking however, a lot of people reduce too much their water intake; since they do not need to eliminate that water weight and they don’t need to get drier, they just start drinking less water. That precisely can be a huge mistake.
First of all, water is all about health. The fact that your body is over 60% water, your muscles are 75% water, your blood is 80% water and your bones are 20% water, should be a reason strong enough to make you drink water like if you had been 1 month in the lost in a desert. When it comes about bulking and building muscle, you want to drink plenty of water to make sure you stay hydrated.
Why is that so important? Because when we dehydrated, your levels of blood volume drop. Any bit of dehydration (like just a 3%) can have a huge impact in your energy, strength and ability to build muscle mass. Drinking enough water will not only optimize your performance, keep your energy at high levels and optimize your ability to build muscle, it will also prevent you from injury since it will keep your joints lubricated. Remember that one of the keys to muscle growth is progressive overload, which means that you’ll force your body to progressively handle heavier weights. If your joints are not healthy, the possibilities of getting injured will skyrocket.
Second of all, glycogen replenishment. The importance of consuming a good amount of carbohydrates after your workouts lies in the fact that your body turns those carbs into glucose and pushes it into your muscles to replenish your glycogen stores. While you work out, your body uses muscle glycogen as its main energy source (after consuming ATP) so replenishing your glycogen stores after your workouts is key to stimulate muscle growth and refuel your muscles to get them ready for the next session. However, with every 1 gram of carbs you consume your body needs to store 3 – 4 grams of water with it before it can drive it into your glycogen stores. If you’re not drinking enough water, your body will not be able to use all the carbs you’re eating and it will be more difficult for it to replenish glycogen. therefore, you will not optimize your muscle growth.
Third, water retention. Drinking less water than you normally should will lead to more water retention. That means that part of the weight you are gaining is water that you will have eliminate later during the process. In other words, it’s “fake weight”. What do I mean by that? Let’s say you have been bulking for 3 months, you jumped on the scale this morning and boom, congratulations, you have gained 12 lbs, you are becoming a beast!! Not so fast... besides the fact that part of that weight will be fat (it doesn’t matter how clean your diet is, a portion of the weight you gain during your bulking seasons will always be fat), if you have not been drinking enough water part of that weight will be also water. Yes, you have gained 12 lbs, but around half of that (if not more) will be fat and water. No bueno amigo!!!
Make sure you drink plenty of water while buking to reduce to the minimum your water retention.
And last but definitely not least, digestion and appearance. Starting with digestion, it’s no secret that water plays a huge rule in the digestion process.
Saliva, which is primarily water, breaks down food in your mouth.
As your body breaks down food into nutrients, these are transported throughout our body by our blood, which is 80% water. The more water you drink, the more easily for your body breaking down food will be.
Since nutrients, vitamins and minerals are transported in our blood, drinking plenty of water will helps with a better absorption.
In this phase we want to add size, grow, build muscle mass. As you probably already know, that means you’ll have to eat in a calorie surplus (consuming more calories than your body needs every day). That means that your body will need to digest more food than “normal”. The more you eat, the more water your body needs to digest all that food, so make sure you’re drinking enough water to provide your body with all the water it needs to digest better everything you eat.
Finally, appearance. Definitively during this phase, you won’t look your best, but it doesn’t mean that you need to be a walking globe. Drinking enough, as we said earlier, will make you retain less water weight, which aesthetically talking leads into a less bloated physique. You will look and feel just better.
These are only a few reasons not to decrease dramatically your water intake while you bulk. I personally make sure that I never go below 3,5liters of water a day.
If you have any doubt, question, suggestion or constructive critic, please do not hesitate to let it in the comments section or use my social media. And if you have any friend that needs to read this please share it with him/her.
See you in the next one! :)
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