Why is hydration important for maintaining muscle?

Lifting weights and getting enough protein are important for building and maintaining muscle mass, but there’s more to the equation. We also need to make sure we eat enough calories, consume enough protein All Eat your macronutrients and get enough sleep. In addition, there is one surprising habit that everyone, whether a top athlete or an active individual, can overlook when it comes to maintaining muscle mass. The good news is that once you know what it is, it is very easy to implement. Below, we cover the number 1 habit you should start to maintain your muscle mass.

The #1 Habit for Muscle Maintenance

The first habit you should adopt to maintain muscle is drinking enough water. Yes, that means drinking enough water every day. (Not just picking up a glass of water when you’re thirsty or before hitting the gym.)

Believe it or not, the majority of Americans – about 75% – are chronically dehydrated on a daily basis. And hydration is important for many bodily processes. To understand why hydration is important for maintaining muscle, we spoke to two sports dietitians, Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LDAnd Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSDThey explain how important proper hydration is for optimal physical function and muscle health.

How does staying hydrated help maintain muscle?

Water works in countless ways behind the scenes to keep our bodies functioning optimally. “Water is essential for cellular processes, including protein synthesis, which is essential for muscle repair and growth,” says Goodson. “When you’re dehydrated, these processes can be disrupted, hindering muscle recovery and growth,” she explains.

So, even if you haven’t hydrated properly after that intense workout you did yesterday, it won’t lead to any muscle growth. Goodson also highlights water’s role as a nutrient transporter that carries essential nutrients throughout the body, which also impacts our muscles. She says, ,Water facilitates the transport of nutrients, such as amino acids and glucose, to muscle cells. Without adequate hydration, the delivery of nutrients to muscles can be compromised, affecting their growth and repair.”

Dehydration not only affects muscle repair and rebuilding, but also hinders the supply of nutrients (such as protein and carbohydrates) reaching your muscles, thereby speeding up muscle recovery.

Water also affects the movement and contraction of your muscles. “Water plays a key role in maintaining electrolyte balance, which is necessary for proper muscle contraction during exercise,” says Goodson. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and decreased performance. And no athlete wants to experience muscle cramps or a drop in performance, especially during their big game or race.

“Just a 2% body fluid loss can reduce endurance capacity and energy metabolism,” explains Jones. For example, a 2% loss for someone weighing 150 pounds means about 3 pounds of fluid loss. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can affect how long you can run, swim or cycle. This is because dehydration impairs the supply of nutrients to muscles, which is vital for continued activity. Jones also says that a slightly greater reduction in fluids can affect your strength, intensity and even mental acuity. This means you may lift lighter weights, complete fewer repetitions or shorten workouts, which can impede your ability to build and maintain muscle.

Tips for Staying Properly Hydrated

Jones and Goodson recommend following these steps to help stay hydrated and maintain your muscle mass as you age:

  • Stay hydrated throughout the day: Start your day by drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning, so that you can re-hydrate after sleep.
  • Set water break reminders: “Having fluid goals or setting reminders with fluid-related apps can be helpful for some people who are easily distracted by work or their to-do list, and so by the time they realize they’re thirsty, they’re already low on fluids,” Jones says.
  • Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go: To meet your hydration goals, make it a habit to carry a water bottle with you wherever you go.
  • Find out how much water is there You need: Goodson suggests a quick and easy way to do this: take your body weight in pounds and divide it in half. “Then drink that many ounces of fluids for overall hydration.” On days you are physically active, make sure to replace the fluids you lost. For every pound lost during physical activity, replace 16 to 24 ounces of fluids.
  • Stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise: Goodson recommends drinking at least 16 to 20 ounces of fluids before your workout, 5 to 10 ounces every 20 minutes during activity, and at least 16 ounces of fluids after your workout for every pound lost during exercise.
  • Water is best, but don’t forget about other options: “Water is important, but flavored waters, milk, smoothies, sports drinks all contribute to overall hydration,” says Goodson. Water-rich foods like watermelon, oranges, cucumbers and celery can also add to your total fluid intake and help keep muscles well-hydrated.
  • Your urine can tell you how hydrated you are: “Clear to pale yellow urine usually indicates adequate hydration, while dark urine may indicate dehydration,” explains Goodson. Poor urine output or not urinating every 3 to 4 hours are two other signs that it’s time to rehydrate.


Staying adequately hydrated is a key component of maintaining muscle mass. Make it a habit to carry a water bottle with you, set reminders to drink water, and incorporate water-rich foods and other beverages like milk, electrolyte drinks, and juice into your diet. Additionally, focusing on eating enough calories, consuming all macronutrients, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly is key to maintaining and building muscle mass.


Disclaimer : The content in this article is for educational and informational purposes only.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *