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How Does Drinking Water Affect Muscle Growth?

kitchen tap turned on running drinking water

How Does Drinking Water Affect Muscle Growth?

The health benefits of drinking water are monumental and the effects drinking water has on muscle growth are important to be aware of if you want to optimise your progress.

Ensuring you are fully hydrated is not just important for staying alive but also for optimising muscle growth and your performance in the gym. The importance of training, nutrition and recovery are all well documented but water is equally, if not more important. Without adequate consumption of water all other aspects of muscle building are somewhat redundant.

The majority of your body is made up from protein and water, with 65% being water someone who weighs 85kg would consist of around 55kg of water weight. Therefore in order to maintain your body weight it is vital that you drink the correct amount of fluid each day to support your body type.

Muscle size and strength

Studies have shown that just a small 4% loss in water weight can cause a loss of both strength and endurance. The more dehydrated you are the worse this becomes.

It is common knowledge that gaining strength is directly linked to increasing muscle growth. By training dehydrated you are restricting your potential to perform at your best. If you train dehydrated regularly then your progress is really going to suffer and eventually both your strength and muscle size will decrease. This has been backed up by scientific research, which found that decreased levels of water in the body resulted in cell shrinkage and muscle protein breakdown. To maintain 100% of your muscle size and strength take a large bottle of water with you when you work out and sip regularly in-between sets.

Energy reduction

Being dehydrated causes your blood volume levels to drop which leads to light headedness and fatigue. As well as the previously discussed negative impact on your training performance and muscle size, the risk of injury is also increased.

Body temperature

Just like a car needs a radiator to keep the engine running at optimal temperature so does the body naturally regulate its temperature to ensure it is functioning properly. The body does this by transferring heat from our muscles into water; this water is then excreted through our skin as sweat. Much like a car when the body is not receiving enough water to regulate a functioning temperature it overheats and our performance suffers.


Dehydration is a nightmare for your body, it slows down both bodily functions and your metabolism. As a matter of fact, your metabolism will slow down to conserve energy even when you are not completely hydrated. This is counter productive when trying to build lean muscle as drinking water has been scientifically proven to promote to your body’s capability to burn calories and fat. Therefore ensuring that your metabolism is functioning at a healthy speed will help minimise any fat gains while bulking.


In order to facilitate muscle growth the body requires optimal digestion and absorption of all macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats). By drinking enough water especially during and after meals helps the body to digest and make use of these macronutrients as efficiently as possible. This in turn helps your body maintain a healthy digestive system and aids in the production of saliva and gastric fluids, which are both crucial when it comes to digestion of food.

Joint health

It is well known that lifting heavy weights on a regular basis can cause stress on your joints. Experiencing pain or issues around joints on certain exercises is a common problem for strength athletes and bodybuilders. Along with store bought supplements to improve your joint health one of the most effective methods, which can help eradicate any issues, is to maintain proper hydration.

So how much water do you need to drink to build muscle?

This is one of the most controversial and debated topics within the health and fitness industry and in mine and a number of other fitness and nutritional experts opinion, the conventional one size fits all 8 glasses of water per day does not suffice. If you are reading this post then I can assume that you are either currently exercising frequently or are about to start. Therefore the demands and stresses we are subjecting our bodies to our much higher then the average person. If you are conducting intense resistance (weight training) workouts regularly with the goal of building muscle 8 glasses of water per day will not cut it.

One of the main issues with the 8 glasses of water per day advice is that it does not give any consideration to body weight.

A good rule of thumb, which I have always tried to stick to in the past:

Body weight (lbs) X 0.6 = Water Intake in ounces

So a 160 lb man needs 96 ounces or 2.72 litres of water per day

 1 litre = 35.1951 ounces

Quick Tip If You Are Struggling To Drink Enough Water

If you are struggling to drink enough water each day or find that the water you can drink e.g. tap water is not to the best of quality. Then investing in something like a reusable water bottle with a filter, will not only insure that you’ve got a incredibly clean water source close at hand to keep your body toped up and hydrated. But also reduce the negative affects, which are sometimes associated with large consumption of poor quality tap water.

To help improve the taste and quality of standard tap water I have been using a Bobble filter water bottle for the past year. I keep it on my desk at work and as its reusable and BPA, PVC and Pthalates free, it allows me to have a quality clean water source close at hand to keep me hydrated throughout the day. I have provided a link directly to the Bobble Filter Water Bottle Shown in the image below if you fancy picking one up.

My Bobble Water Filter Bottle

Bobble Filter Water bottle Clean Health Benifits

Bobble Water Filter Bottle


Free Ebook!

If you interested in learning more about potential methods of increasing your muscle growth I have a Ebook available to Download for FREE Titled:

“The Top 5 Worst Mistakes To Make When Trying To Gain Lean Muscle”

This Mini Ebook focuses on the fatal errors people make when beginning a training program to gain lean muscle and how you can avoid them to maximise results.

To grab yourself a copy






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