If you flick through muscle magazines on a regular basis – no doubt you've seen recommendations to drink water regularly throughout the day to support muscle growth and burn fat effectively. Usually, the advice is based on the fact that water is involved in every cellular process – and that includes fat metabolism and protein synthesis. However, what does the science say about drinking water to get ripped? Check it out – and definitely keep your water bottle at the ready.....
THE SCIENCE – DRINK WATER AND GET RIPPED?
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that water is both anabolic and lipogenic <1>. In other words, it may well help to promote the muscle building benefits of a high protein diet and weight training, while boosting the burning of stored body fat!
To assess the impact of cell hydration, the scientists manipulated cellular hydration using either a salt mixture to elicit dehydration, or an anti-diuretic drug to boost fluid levels. They then measured the impact on fat burning and muscle breakdown:
1. Glycerol concentration to measure the concentration of fatty acids being released from body fat. 2. Leucine oxidation to measure muscle protein catabolism.
The study found that optimal cell hydration increased fatty acid metabolism and reduced muscle burning. Serious reason for physique trainers to stay well hydrated!
OPTIMISING HYDRATION TO GET RIPPED EFFECTIVELY
Every trainer has different fluid requirements based on muscle mass, training and personal differences. The strategy below will get you on-track:
- 500ml water with your main meals
- 1-2L of water during workouts
- 500ml of water with snacks/protein shakes
TIP > Squeeze lemon juice into your water for flavour and to aid cell hydration.
If you drink protein shakes such as ULTRA WHEY™ PROTEIN and drink pre/intra workout drinks such as X-PLODE HARDCORE™ and BCAA INTRA HARDCORE™ then you'll be supporting hydration while also boosting protein intake. Nutrients such as creatine and glutamine are also known to draw fluid into muscle cells.
Therefore, it is necessary for physique trainers to take their water intake seriously – for both muscle growth and maintenance as well as burning fat effectively.
Reference <1> J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Jun 30. Bench press and push-up at comparable levels of muscle activity results in similar strength gains. Calatayud J1, Borreani S, Colado JC, Martin F, Tella V, Andersen LL.