Importance of hydration on muscle recovery
It’s a well-known fact that an average adult human body is 60% water. Experts recommend drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water per day. However, when you’re involved in strenuous activities such as strength training, you might need more than 8-10 glasses of water per day. A good part of this increment can be attributed to muscle recovery. But, before knowing more about the importance of hydration on muscle recovery, it is imperative to understand the science behind it.
Muscle recovery is the rebuilding of muscle fibers that get damaged due to the exertion of stress on muscles. When these damaged fibers heal, they make the muscles stronger than before, packing them with more size and endurance.
Importance of hydration on muscle recovery
For anyone who wants to train hard consistently, muscle recovery is essential. And hydration plays a vital role in muscle recovery. Muscle contraction creates heat which triggers the body’s pituitary glands that produce sweat. Sweat deprives the body of essential fluids and minerals that can be only be restored through proper hydration and nutrition. Failure to restore these fluids and minerals can result in cramps and injuries. According to a study, just losing 2% of your body weight in fluid can decrease performance by up to 25%.
Staying hydrated is even more critical when you’re participating in a physical therapy program. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or surgery, you need to maintain your body’s water levels if you want to get back to your routine quickly.
How much water do I need to drink for a quick recovery?
The amount of water you need to drink depends on various factors, including your weight, training intensity and the amount of sweat you’ve broken. A good rule of thumb is to drink half an ounce of water per body weight in pounds. To put it into words, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water per day. Also, try rehydrating yourself at regular intervals rather than gulping litres of water in one go. A healthy routine is to not exceed 0.8-1 litres of water in one hour.
Apart from assisting in smooth muscle recovery, staying hydrated has many other benefits too. Water cleans toxins out of the body and helps the body maintain its temperature. Also, it makes your skin look better while also suppressing acne. In addition, it also improves your heart’s health. All in all, there are a ton of benefits you can derive from staying hydrated.
The easiest way to tell if you’re not drinking enough water is if you’re thirsty. And if you really want to optimize your results, you should avoid getting thirsty. Even a slight level of dehydration can adversely affect your performance in the gym. Decreased urination, sugar cravings and bad breath are some other signs that your body gives when it needs more water.
Tips to stay hydrated for rapid muscle recovery
With the fast-paced world that we live in today, it is easy to get carried away and compromise on the demands of our bodies. Here are some tips that might help you to stay hydrated throughout your day:
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times.
- Consume foods that have a high water content, for example, cucumber (95% water).
- Set a timer to drink water at regular intervals.
- Drink a glass of lukewarm water in the morning.
Ways other than hydration to accelerate muscle recovery
While explosive workouts are a source of great satisfaction, the muscle soreness that follows the next day can ruin your joy. These are some of the ways you can accelerate your muscle recovery and quickly return to the gym for another skull-crushing workout.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep and rest is probably the easiest way to cut down your recovery time. Your body performs most of the recovery while you’re sleeping. Try sticking to a regular sleeping schedule. Also, avoid using electronic devices at least thirty minutes before bed.
Foods for hydration and quick muscle recovery
For quick muscle recovery, you should consume foods that are rich in carbs and proteins. Carbs provide the body with instant energy, while proteins help in muscle protein synthesis. Try consuming 0.5 to 0.8 grams of proteins per pound of bodyweight to gain muscles and recover quickly. Here are some of the foods that you can consume to get the best of both worlds:
- Protein bars
- Seeds and nuts
Conclusively, if you want a rapid and smooth muscle recovery, then staying hydrated is not an option; it’s a condition. Replenishing your water levels will not only reduce muscle soreness but will also enhance muscle flexibility. Drinking plenty of water is also known to improve the overall quality of life. If you’re someone who has been putting hydration on the back burner, try setting timers till it becomes a habit.