We all know the importance of water for our bodies. Staying hydrated is not only crucial for preserving our overall health and maintaining muscle size, but also plays a key role in muscle strength. Several studies point out that dehydration can reduce your muscle strength by 10%.
THE IMPACT OF DEHYDRATION ON MUSCLE STRENGTH
The effects that dehydration has on the strength of our muscles have been analysed in a number of studies. One of them was conducted at Virginia’s Old Dominion University, and it focused on testing bodybuilders’ strength when performing the bench press with one-rep max at normal level of hydration as opposed to when they were dehydrated. According to the finding of this study, dehydration reduced the strength of the subjects by 10% compared to their strength at normal levels of hydration. Another interesting finding of this study is that this effect was felt more harshly by those with leaner muscle mass.
A separate study performed at the University of Connecticut focused its research on the total reps that bodybuilders’ were able to execute during 6 sets of squats with 80% of their one-rep max. The results of the study revealed that each of the subjects performed fewer reps in each of the 6 sets when they were dehydrated compared to number of reps they were able to perform at normal levels of hydration.
The researchers at Chicago State University conducted a study in 2008 testing muscle power at normal levels of hydration vs. muscle power of the subjects when dehydrated.
Their results reveal a 20% drop in muscle power induced by dehydration.
DEHYDRATION AND MUSCLE GROWTH
Marathon runners are not the only athletes that have to worry about dehydration. This problem hits all athletes, bodybuilders included. Staying constantly hydrated is crucial if you want to build your muscle size and strength. Lack of water in your system greatly reduces your strength, power and stamina. This can damage your efforts, and will reflect in reduced muscle growth.
As we can see from the results of Old Dominion University study, dehydration can result in 10% decrease of muscle strength. The astonishing thing is that these results were recorded after the subjects lost mere 1.5% of their total bodyweight (2 pounds for a 180 pound guy). You might have noticed that you weight fluctuates by a couple of pounds in several days. And this small drop can have devastating effects on you muscle growth. So staying hydrated is absolutely crucial if you want to achieve normal muscle growth. If you are physically active, we recommend consuming at least 4 litters of water daily. That alone could increase your strength by 10%.