Everyone knows drinking water is important in general, but when on a muscle gain diet it is even more so. It doesn't matter what your fitness goals are, whether you're trying to gain weight and build muscle, or burn fat and get leaner, you must drink a lot of water.
Your body weight is made up of approximately 60-70 percent water (your muscles are made up of 70-75 percent water). Water is used by the body to help extract the goodness from nutrients and minerals, as well as many other important functions. It is vital to general health and well-being, but it also plays a vital role in gaining muscle.
Drinking enough water before, during, and after your workouts is very important too. If you're not properly hydrated it can lead to quicker lactic acid build-up, and can also increase the chances of cramping and suffering an injury. It may also increase production of cortisol in your body, which is not good because this hormone can eat up your muscle tissue.
So how much water should you be drinking? In short, a lot!
In general it is recommended you drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. These guidelines are for your average, everyday person. For those of us who train hard at the gym and consume a muscle gain diet, we need more water.
I would suggest drinking at least one 8 ounce glass of water (roughly 235ml) per 10-12 pounds of your own body weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds you should drink at least 16-20 glasses of water everyday. These guidelines are not set in stone at all, and everyone is different so some people may need more or less.
A good indicator of whether you're drinking enough water is to check your urine. Don't worry about checking it when you first wake up in the morning because it is natural that your body is dehydrated at this time. Instead, check the color of your urine later on in the day. It should be mostly clear if you are properly hydrated and drinking enough water. If there is a yellow color to it, and especially if it is dark, then you aren't drinking enough water!
Keep in mind that being thirsty is definitely not a good indicator of being dehydrated. You could be dehydrated and you won't get any symptoms whatsoever, so drink water even when you're not thirsty!
So in conclusion, make sure when you are on a muscle gain diet that you increase your water intake. There's nothing worse than being dehydrated when trying to gain muscle mass. And stick to plain mineral or tap water, not flavored water.
At first you may have to force yourself to drink more water to break out of old habits, but eventually it will become second nature to occasionally take sips of water throughout the day and you will be reaching your water intake goals without even thinking about it.