Get 19% Stronger in one day!

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With summer now here, hydration is a great topic because every one of you thinks you drink enough water but most of you DONT! Before discussion how to hydrate properly lets talk about three great reasons why you should drink lots of water:

  1. Drinking lots of water is one of the easiest ways to lose fat and lose weight. If you drink lots of water it keeps your stomach feeling full and reduces your appetite.
  2. Drinking lots of water can keep you from dying or ending up in the hospital, this is really important in hot weather and during endurance events or in outdoor summer sports like football. If I had a dollar for every time I saw an athlete in the medical tent with an IV at triathlons, I’d be a very rich man.
  3. Drinking lots of water makes you stronger and helps you gain muscle. If you are at a dehydration level of 3%, which some of you are, you can increase your strength by 19% just by getting fully hydrated! By being fully hydrated, you have 100% of your strength so you can push new limits in your workouts.

Now, here’s what most of you do. You are dehydrated all day long and then you show up with your gallon jug of water at the gym and start sipping, this does no good at all. The problem is that after you are dehydrated it can take 4-5 hours for your strength to return after you are properly hydrated. The time to start hydrating is 6 hours before your workout, drinking water when you show up at the gym is not helpful!

Lets talk about how much water to drink. A lot of people are scared because they hear those freak news reports of people dying from people drinking too much water. Yes you CAN die from drinking too much water but its VERY difficult to do. In every case I know of, the water deaths were in situations where the person was FORCED to drink too much water – either as initiation pranks or financial desperation to win a stupid radio contest.

Here is my hydration strategy:

  1. Upon awakening, I drink at least 1 liter of water in the first hour. Really important because everyone gets dehydrated when sleeping.
  2. During the day I drink enough water so that my pee is light straw colored. Anything dark means means dehydration. If you don’t have to pee at least once every 1-2 hrs that means dehydration
  3. 6 hours before the workout I start my workout hydration. I start drinking on glass of water every half hour. When I have to pee every 30 minutes and its clear, I’m at optimal hydration and I back off on the water. Once hydrated, I drink one glass of water per hour till workout time.

This hydration strategy is not only for lifting weights but for sports as well. If you want to perform at your peak in hot summer weather, you gotta be fully hydrated before you set foot on the soccer field!

Now lets talk about sports beverages. The point of them is that that they help replenish salt and other electrolytes lost during sweating. Well, if you are eating food then you are getting enough salt anyway so water is fine. The only place the expense of these drinks justifies them in my opinion is during endurance events like triathlons or marathons because in these events, food is rarely consumed and athletes sweat profusely.

References:

ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2010)

Obesity (2010) 18 2, 300–307. doi:10.1038/oby.2009.235

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
March 2008 – Volume 22 – Issue 2 – pp 455-463

Rowing News
Sports Science p 64, 65

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/nutrition/sport/fluids.html

bodybuilder barbell hydration gain  strength

12 thoughts on “Get 19% Stronger in one day!”

  1. Wow. I visited your website some years ago and good a couple of times regarding cardio that helped me out. Over time though I forgot about the website. But now, wow! Great job, Scooby! You have a facebook page and a blog too where you're posting every few days. Thank you for all your work!

    Now, onto the post itself – what you call optimal hydration, I used to call over hydration! There was a time I used to drink as much water as you suggest here, but I thought I was drinking too much and backed off. Since I wasn't exercising those days either I was not able to discover the weight loss or fitness aspect. Now that you've brought it up again and in more specifics, I'll give it another shot. Thank you. (PS: you linked to the [i]old[/i] losing weight and 6 pack abs page I think)

  2. I drink much water myself, but aren't you worried about your kidneys overload? I am and I drink like 3-4 liters/day and from your video it seemed like you drink much more. So, I would like to know if it is matter or not. Does anyone know?
    Thanks.

    And, of course, thanks to Scooby for the video :)

  3. I learned it in biology class from a great biology text book, if I can find it I will let you know which. Just do your own research at the library, you cant trust much that you find on the web, but there is good info on it. Off the top of my head this is a good place to start

    http://tuberose.com/Hydrogen_and_Oxygen.html

    *sorry scooby I couldn't find a e-mail for sean murphy, and I felt obligated to answer.

  4. Ian: I've never heard of any of that before. Could you point me in the direction of some literature on how fat exits the body in urine or the hydrogen homeostasis item you mentioned? It sounds interesting, but I've never heard it explained like that before.

  5. Scooby, I am glad you are bringing up awareness to this matter. Just about 3 weeks ago the humidity was high in the east coast and 6 people were sent to the emergency room during a marathon, one of them died. It is sad to see someone dying from any type of sport. The doctors believe that all six of the subjects didn't drink enough water, and most likely didn't feel like they needed too due to the humidity. Now I knew this fact before but many don't, drinking water is a a very important way to keep the body's oxygen and of course hydrogen level at homeostasis, that's part of the reason that it makes you stronger, hydrogen is the most potent fuel the body uses and is burned by oxygen. Your body can rob hydrogen from other areas in the body(dehydration)i.e. the skin and organs, but that's like robing calories from you muscles. Peeing is also the second most efficient way that fat exits the body.

    Again, glad you are bringing awareness to hydration:)

  6. Ricy, tap water is perfect and its what I drink. Bottled water isnt any better for you, many times its not as good quality as tap water. The expensive sports waters (vitamin water, ultimate water, etc) are just a waste of money.

    Tap water is best!!!! Its FREE and its the BEST!

  7. riccardo: its not hard at all. I'm sure you have a water cooler, or a faucet in the bathroom. Get yourself a 1L reusable bottle and work on emptying it a couple times before lunch and another couple after lunch. I usually work through 3-5L during office hours, which might be a bit much, but I am 6'6" 280lb, and have uric acid metabolism problems to boot. I require more water than normal to stop joint swelling and pain.

  8. Hi scooby!

    firstlly, sorry for my english. But I want ask few questions. What kind of water I should drink? mineral or from tap, or is no difference between these? thanks for answering.

  9. By reading this article I started thinking about my daily hydration …. and guess what ?? It's really hard to fulfill completely this natural need, during my office time, but I'll try to be constant in drinking enough water. Thanks Scooby for remembering me.

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