Dehydration and Muscle Recovery: Why Our Muscles Need Proper Hydration
Feeling thirsty after an intense workout is pretty typical. It's a natural sign of dehydration and a signal that we need to replenish fluids into our body and bloodstream.
But what many of us don't know is that our muscles need water and electrolytes too. Yes, that's right- our muscles also need proper hydration.
More than 70% of our skeletal muscles are composed of water. For our muscles to contract and perform protein synthesis, they need a proper balance of water and electrolytes, including minerals such as sodium and potassium.
When our muscles contract during strength and resistance training, water and electrolytes travel from our blood into the interstitial spaces around our muscle cells. This movement is what enables our muscles to work harder, carry heavy loads, and perform intense workouts.
But when our body becomes dehydrated due to sweating, water and electrolytes are drawn out of our muscles and back into the bloodstream to maintain our blood pressure and circulation- starving our muscles of the required minerals and water they need to complete tasks.
This is why we are likely to feel more tired and workout less intensely when dehydrated. It's also one of the reasons why the world's most elite athletes focus on staying well hydrated.
Muscle Recovery Essential for Muscular Growth
Dehydration not only lowers our athletic performance, but can also impair our muscles in other ways. Just as our cells need water and electrolytes during a workout, they also need water and electrolytes after workouts (especially intense exercises) to perform a process called muscle protein synthesis.
Muscle protein synthesis is a naturally occurring process in our body that helps to produce protein required to repair our muscles after intense exercise.
It's the reason why trainers tell us it's essential to give our muscles 1 to 2 days of rest after intense workouts. Our muscles need time to recover, repair, and rebuild. Post-workout muscle recovery is even more critical after heavy weight training sessions. Simply put, without proper hydration, your muscles are likely to break down faster and grow at a much slower rate.
The truth is that by the time our thirst sensation kicks in, it's already too late. When we feel thirsty our body is asking for an external source of hydration. That means that it has already drawn the electrolytes from our muscles that we need to be able to perform intense exercise- and that our muscles won't be able to perform as well.
That’s why elite athletes like Dave Hoff, a world champion powerlifter, uses Hydrus as part of his daily training regimen.
"Even low levels of dehydration can have a serious impact on peak muscle contraction, or power. So I drink Hydrus before, during and after training to make sure my muscles are fully hydrated. It lets me train harder and recover faster” Dave Hoff.
Hydrus' exclusive Nanosome(TM) technology
encapsulates electrolytes in phospholipid nano-particles to deliver electrolytes faster and more effectively (about 50% greater water and electrolyte absorption) than conventional sugary- and sugar-free electrolyte drinks or water alone. There is no sugar in Hydrus, sweetened with stevia, Hydrus is ideal for anyone, from elite athletes to those with chronic medical conditions or on medications that cause chronic dehydration where they need to establish more effective daily hydration.