How to Harness the Healing Power of Water for Muscle Health
Most people do not realize how powerful water is in the healing process.
No, this is not an article about spa therapy, holistic medicine, or anything like that. This is about using simple methods to build muscle and strength as well as maintaining your overall health.
Your body might be 60% water overall, but your muscles are actually 70-75% water. Each time you work these muscles as you lift weights, small tears and rips form in the fibrous muscle tissues. Your muscles grow when these small tears are repaired. Guess what happens if your muscles aren’t able to heal:
Nothing happens at all. That means no growth, no toning, no strength increases… nothing.
Here’s a quick breakdown of why you need water to heal and how to harness its power to help your muscles after a workout.
Not getting enough water has serious side effects. Even a 1 percent change in your body’s water levels can seriously impair your exercise performance. Even worse, your ability to recover goes down the toilet… and the toilet it goes down is one of those water-saving dry flush things that doesn’t quite get the job done.
Some other reasons you need extra water when you lift weights:
- Studies have shown that protein synthesis occurs at a higher rate in muscle cells that are well hydrated. What does that mean? It means that without water, your body has a really tough time converting the protein that you eat into muscle.
- Your blood is what carries the nutrients through your body to your muscles, and your blood is 80% water. What happens if that stream is drying up? What is the point of eating all those great foods if they never get to where they need to go?
- If you go weight lifting very often, you may have noticed that your muscles get a real “pump” during your workout and look inflated afterwards. Ever wondered what that pump is? It’s blood that fills the muscle tissue and keeps fuel and nutrients where they belong. Again, if your blood is 80% water and you don’t drink the water your body needs, how will this affect your recovery?
- Water clears waste products away from muscle sites so that the muscle building process can continue uninterrupted.
As if the above reasons weren’t already enough, not getting enough water can also lead to constant fatigue, headaches, and loss of focus. Do you know anybody like this? If so, you may have found their cure.
Now that I’ve told you why your muscles need water to grow bigger, I have a clear moral obligation to help you do something about it. Here are 7 quick tips that can help you to turn the tides for your water consumption.
- Keep it with you. Realize first and foremost that the more you keep water in front of you, the more you drink it. This is an immutable law of nature.
- Drink first thing in the morning. Your body goes through a drought each night and needs water right when you wake up. If your morning time is rushed, take some water with you and slowly rehydrate as you travel.
- Sip your water instead of gulping. Your body can only absorb so much at a time, so you’ll need to keep the flow constant throughout the day.
- Get a big cup or bottle and keep it with you throughout the day. You’ll drink much more if you don’t have to refill so often. Also, take that bottle with you while you’re strength training. I often finish a workout 3 pounds heavier than I began due to the water I drink.
- Watch your urine color. If it’s a darker yellow, it’s a sign that you need to drink more. It should be light yellow or almost clear.
- Keep drinking when you’re not thirsty. The feeling of thirst sets in when your body has already begun dehydrating. In fact, most people are walking around in a constant state of dehydration.
- Learn to love the taste of water.
This last tip is very important. I know that many people hate the taste of water and start to gag when they drink it… but you’ll never love something that you never use. Drink water all the time and get to the point where you love it. It’s what your body was designed to drink, and nothing beats it when it comes to building muscle.
I could go on with the list of reasons why you need water to support your system, but I’ll stop here. Let me end by presenting this question to you: If your muscles are 75% water, and you drink about 50% of the water you should be drinking in a day, what happens to your muscles?
I’ll leave that one up to you.