I had a terrible workout yesterday!
Afterwards I could pinpoint the reason straight away – I was dehydrated.
I’ve already blogged about the fact that a 2008 study concluded that muscular power DECREASED by up to 19% at a dehydration level of 3%!
So what happened to me yesterday?
Well I hardly drank any water at all. I didn’t sleep well and felt like I absolutely needed caffeine to function (I know you’ve been there too). So I had 2 x strong cups in the morning.
Later when it was time to workout, I took 1 x 200mg caffeine tablet (prolab caffeine supplement) [Europe Link]. All this caffeine actually compounded the dehydration because caffeine is a diuretic.
Even though I was sipping water during the workout, the damage was already done – my insides were bone dry.
I’m back on track today and I’m sure I’ll have a better workout later on.
Now, what about water intake and FAT LOSS?
You should be drinking even MORE water when cutting. Why?
Here’s 5 Reasons…
(1) Appetite Control. Water is an appetite suppressant. Drinking enough water ensures that you get hungry when you REALLY need something to eat.
When cutting to very low body fat percentages, you can’t eliminate hunger, but you can minimize it. Drinking an abundance of water keeps hunger at bay for as long as possible.
(2) Kidney Function. Your kidneys need plenty of water to carry out their duties efficiently – processing waste products. If they don’t get this water, the liver comes into play to help.
Since the liver is responsible for taking your stored fat and turning it into energy you can use, you will slow this process down by relying on your liver. You can therefore OPTIMIZE fat loss by drinking adequate water and letting your liver get on with the job of turning that unwanted blubber into energy!
(3) Hormonal Signals. When you start leaning out, the body senses the lack of food. It will fight back to a degree by trying to hold onto its fat stores. Your energy levels will drop and your body temperature will fall – ever get cold hands when dieting down? Drinking an abundance of water will help counteract this.
From an evolutionary perspective, whenever there was a lack of food there was also a lack of water. By giving the body a steady and abundant supply of water you limit this unwanted effect by telling the body that there is no emergency, there’s plenty of water around and it’s safe to let go of that fat.
(4) Wasting Heat. Thermogenesis is the process of heat production by the body. Most weight loss pills are thermogenic aids i.e. they increase thermogenesis, which is a fancy way of saying they help you burn more Calories at rest.
Increasing the production of warm fluid (urine) will also burn more Calories. More frequent trips to the loo when cutting is a good thing.
(5) Hydrated Muscles. Hydrated muscles are strong muscles. This leads to better workouts and more growth stimulation. Holding on to (if not building) muscle while cutting keeps your metabolism revved up since muscle is METABOLICALLY ACTIVE tissue.
In layman’s terms this means that muscle burns Calories just by its mere existence. 🙂
I know what you’re thinking:
How much water should I drink a day to lose fat at optimal levels?
In Total Six Pack Abs I recommend that you take in 3-4 liters of water when you weight train alone. When you are performing weight training AND cardio, shoot for 4-6 liters. In gallons that’s 0.8 – 1 gallon, and 1 – 1.6 gallons respectively.
This is all you need for MAXIMUM fat burning without overburdening yourself with an excessive (and annoying) level of water consumption.
Have you been drinking your water today? Your strength and fat loss depends on it!
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Anotehr wicked article about the simplest thing you can do to keep yourself healthy – and to make yourself healthier!
Agreed. Great article. Didn’t know about the kidney thing at all. Thanks for the heads up on the caffeine pills, very cheap.
Thanks Adam & Max
One of the easiest indicators to check if you are getting enough water, is to watch the colour of your urine. If it is as clear as the water you’re drinking, well done. The darker the colour, the more water you might need to consume.
Hey Mark this is mike in wisconsin.ive been lifting for about 10 years steady and never really see much. i think its because overtraining. im doing your five day 1 bodypart workout now hope it helps me.imn 6 feet and 170 pounds.cant seem to put mass on no mater what i try.can a 33 yearold gain mass ithout getting fat love to hear from you.
I have heard the color method isn’t reliable. Making sure you are pissing at least 1 quart of urine per day then you are good. That would be the minimum.
i am reading ur stuff regularly and surely they are useful….i am doing weights/cardio for almost 5 yers now ….but who ever see me after long gap…says i have become so thin…its because i have lost fat…i get nervous when somebody says ..r u ill…why r u so thin…eat well man….
I get confused…am i on the right path
Thanks man. Simple and straight to the point. I think its something that a lot of people don’t do, especially measuring how many liters of water they drink.
thanks…. mark 🙂
for this useful information.
Here’s an interesting article discussing water consumption … that flushing the kidneys doesn’t help kidney function … and that that most of the fluid people need is found in food, especially fruits and vegetables. Remember, fluid means “all fluids,” including coffee, tea and juice. Enjoy the read … and keep hydrated while working hard … https://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=378f85de-27de-4046-815e-293b772666e5
I don’t know if my body just doesn’t need that much water but the last time I tried to drink 4L per day for about 2 weeks I just ended up pissing a huge amount of it away (yes I measured…eeeww!!) It’s very annoying to need to use the toilet 20 times a day.lol.
Great timing Mark. Always wanted to ask you this. Firstly, can you clear this confusion about drinking water during and immediately after meals against waiting for about 30minutes after a meal before drinking water.
Secondly, i’m a natural builder but i want to go into supplementing and have gotten a few already, My problem is how to take them. I have Creatine Monohydrate capsules, Glucosamine sulphate tabs, I-Iysmine caps, Iron and Multivitamins tabs, and Cod Liver Oil. I’d really appreciate any advice. And i must commend you for the good work you are doing. Thank You.
@JT. I recommend 4 liters when cutting. 3 liters is probably enough at other times. In addition, I take a lot of my water first thing in the morning. You’re definitely more ready to be re-hydrated in the first hour after rising. You could quite easily get a liter in that first hour.
@Andy. I would just recommend a multivitamin, creatine, omega 3. Whey protein is good for convenience in hitting your protein targets, but strictly speaking, not necessary. And take creatine monohydrate. Despite the hype, it’s the best kind.