Proper Hydration for Optimal Bodybuilding Results

Water is the largest single component of the human body, accounting for about 50–60% of total body mass. The heart is composed of 73% while the muscles are about 79% water. These two components alone should peak the interests of any fitness enthusiast in their quest for physical improvement.

For a fit male weighing about 200 pounds, his body is made up of close to 13 gallons of water. Of this 13 gallons, 5-10% of it is excreted and renewed daily. This is the turnover rate of bodily water. This rate is dependent on many variables, including climate, water consumption, activity and others. With a turn over rate of 5-10% it is easy to become slightly dehydrated. (Armstrong et al. 1985; Craig and Cummings 1966; Maughan 1991; Sawka and Pandolf 1990) have all proven with studies that exercise performance is impaired when an individual is dehydrated by as little as 2% of body weight. Losses in excess of 5% of body weight can decrease the capacity for work by about 30%. This could result if an individual only consumed ½ of his water turnover for the day.

Performance output is very important to achieving our goals of physique attainment. Dehydration hampers exercise performance by reducing blood volume and nutrient delivery to the muscle. These 2 key factors will also impede recovery. When dehydrated your body will also increase the rate of muscle glycogen use as fuel, again leading to decreased recovery.

How Much Water Should We Drink?

To start with there is definitely and difference between need and optimal. We also have to identify that all individuals are not the same, nor do we all partake in the same amount of physical activity. A blanketed statement such as the recommendation of 8 glasses of water per day cannot work optimally for all of us. If you are reading this I am assuming you not only want to know what is needed, but want to know what is optimal. The difference between needed and optimal is usually significant.

Optimal Water Intake:

For my clients I suggest a water intake of your bodyweight x.8 in ounces. For a 200 pound male this is 160oz. This is a far cry from the normal suggestion of 8x8oz glasses per day, or 64oz.

We normally eat 5-6 meals/snacks per day. In between and through each of those meals drink 1 16oz (~.5L) bottle of water. (6×16=96oz), if you have more meals, just add a bottle between.

Below Is The Other 40%

For the rest of the water intake of the day (160-96=64) Take the remaining 64oz and divide it by 2. (64/2=32) We now have 2 32oz servings we need to disperse throughout the day.

Upon waking drink 32ounces (1L) room temp water with real lemon juice in it. Get it down before breakfast. The warm water will aid in digestion, and the lemon will help alkalinize the body and help detoxify the liver.

The Other 32 oz

I suggest all my clients use an intra workout drink, specifically something with at least BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) in it. The BCAA will help aid in recovery during the workout. Drink the remaining 32oz (1L) water mixed with your BCAA during your workout. If you are not using flavored BCAA, drink another non-calorie based sports drink. The flavor will help get down this amount of fluid.

The above protocol specifically places hydration during specific times of the day. It front loads water around workout time, and rehydrates you from sleep to start optimal fat burning. A program similar to above will keep you optimally hydrated throughout the day. All individuals and conditions are different, so adjust your water intake to a level that provides optimally for you.

About the Author

DSC_9331Marc Snyder is an active NPC Bodybuilder and current 2013 Mr Ohio. Marc has created a balance in his life with the sport he loves and the family of 2 kids and a wife that he lives for. Marc has been involved in many avenues of the fitness industry. He is a certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach. He also has experience in clinical exercise physiology working in the field for nearly 2 years.

It is now Marc’s goal to educate and guide individuals through yèt-their health and fitness journey by utilizing the knowledge he has gained over the years. He operates an online nutrition and training website to help people. achieve their goals.

Please follow Marc on his journey of continued progress by following him on his website at , facebook at and twitter at He post his daily lifestyle tips on these feeds for you to access and utilize in your health and fitness journey.