Hydration is an important but often overlooked part of good nutrition. Drink between .5 to .6 oz of water daily per pound of bodyweight for optimal performance and recovery.
Studies have shown that insufficient hydration will lead to a lowered testosterone level, something you definitely don’t want as an athlete or someone looking for health and longevity. Subjects also produced more cortisol (stress hormone) as a result of their workouts when dehydrated.
It has also been shown that dehydration will decrease your strength and power output. One rep maxes and lifts for reps were both impaired.
You are also more likely to be constipated, which can lead to the re-absorption of toxins and promote the growth of unfriendly bacteria in the gut.
Here is a simple way to see if you are drinking enough. Fill a large bottle (an empty beer growler is perfect) with water and carry it with you thru the day. Any water you drink thru the day comes from your jug. If you weigh 200lbs and are shooting for 120oz of water, you’d need to drink 1.88 growlers of water. If you find that seems like way more than you normally drink, then it’s time to up your daily water. If it seems like it’s not enough, then you may be drinking too much. Of course, daily hydration needs will vary due to training and ambient weather conditions, but this test should give you a starting point. Test for a few days, then adjust if needed.
Jones, L. C., et al. Active dehydration impairs upper and lower body anaerobic muscular power. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Resarch, 2008 Mar;22(2):455-463.
Judelson DA,Effect of hydration state on resistance exercise-induced endocrine markers of anabolism, catabolism, and metabolism. J Appl Physiol. 2008 Sep;105(3):816-24.