Hydration is paramount with any form of exercise. Hydration is a necessary component of all metabolic processes. This includes building muscle. However, hydration is also a bit more than just drinking water. Proper hydration requires that you keep your electrolytes in balance. Electrolyte imbalance is more critical in endurance training than bodybuilding, but it is still important.
Some highlights from an article on electrolytes and hydration:
- Electrolytes are sodium, chloride, potassium, bicarbonate, calcium, and phosphate
- Electrolytes help your body absorb water more quickly
- Training for 45 minutes or less? Water is more than plenty for your needs
Read this article on why hydration is so important for muscle mass:
- A 2% drop in body water can cause a small but critical shrinkage of the brain, which can impair neuromuscular coordination, decrease concentration, and slow thinking.
- Dehydration can also reduce endurance, decrease strength, cause cramping and slow muscular response.
- Proper hydration improves your skin, teeth, bones, digestion, and reduces fatigue
- Water is needed to transport nutrients to your cells and transporting waste out of the body.
- Water helps form the structures of protein and glycogen.
- Dehydration can prevent muscles from properly contracting, reducing muscle tone.
- Dehydration can limit what you can do in the gym, which in turn limits the time and tension you can apply to your muscles.
Bottom line is you need hydration, and anyone who tells you otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about. It is true that competitive bodybuilders and figure contestants do use temporary dehydration to ensure that they make a certain weight class. After the weigh-in, they will drink sports drinks or some other hydration formula to safely rehydrate. This helps them regain strength, muscle plumpness, and a more healthy look.
If you use Creatine Monohydrate, which is very hydroscopic, you need to drink more water than you would otherwise. Creatine Monohydrate is a supplement that helps with recovery and work capacity, so it is very useful for any athlete.