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Large Volume Water Intake
Many years ago I posted justifications for a large water intake. Although I still believe in significant water intake (2-4L/day), it may only really be necessary for those who are really pushing themselves physically. Nonetheless, I have included my original post below:
It seems that there is a lot of folklore about the daily water consumption guidelines. Recently I discovered a great article that looks into this topic further and debunks some of the generally-accepted truths on the subject.
I would recommend that readers have a look at the following article:
The following were some of the perceived justifications of drinking 4 or more litres a day. I am keeping it posted here for interest sake.
Tom Bennett (email@example.com) wrote: : Has anyone who advises 8 litres of water per day actually gave this a try? : I tried it 1 day and by the 5th litre I had to run to the bathroom every : 5-10 minutes for 2 hours, not an exciting way to spend the day. Were not : camels here. This may be a little overkill. I think this advise is out of : line unless you can store the stuff in a hump on your back.
I don't know many others who have been suggesting a rather large daily water intake, but I have posted several times some of the believed benefits of exceeding this. Recommendations by the average health board, etc. often say 8-10 glasses of water. This is about 2l. I suggested attempting to substantially more than this guideline because:
- in normal weather conditions, and low activity, your body typically loses about 2.5l/d to skin, lungs, sweat, and excretion. When water intake is lower than required, the kidneys must make up for this by reducing urine production (and changes in osmolality).
- warmer weather significantly increases sweat output (~1.4l/d), resulting in a need of approx. 3.4l/d to maintain balance.
- in "prolonged heavy exercise" as would be typical from the average serious bodybuilder or fitness individual, one can expect far higher sweat volumes (in the order of about 5l), leading to a need of almost 7l/d.
- we know that one's current state of hydration is a significant factor in your "strength". In the gym, being completely hydrated is especially important, and will ensure that you are not being limited in your training productivity.
- often, dehydration is masked as hunger, and a somewhat-dehydrated individual will eat in an attempt to satiate this feeling. Drinking water frequently will help keep caloric maintenance a simpler task.
- a somewhat insignificant factor, but water-retention is increased substantially with low water intake due to aldosterone. A high rate of water consumption often will limit water retention to some extent.
Don't attempt to start immediately drinking many litres a day as you will spend a while in the bathroom! Gradually work up an extra 0.5l/d or so, and you will probably find it easier to accommodate the extra volume. In the end, you should not need more than a couple trips to the bathroom a day even after consuming many litres.
Good luck, and don't forget to keep that 4l jug with you at all times!