How Much Water Should I Drink to Gain Muscle?

Man with buff muscles holding a water bottle

Aside from exercising, are you thinking about how much water you should drink to gain muscle? Water helps transport nutrients to various body parts, improving the strength of the musculoskeletal system. For this article, we're discussing how much water you need to consume to support muscle growth, including intake considerations.

How Much Water Should I Drink to Gain Muscle?

To gain muscle, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water for about 2-3 hours before exercising, then add another 8 ounces of water during warm-up. Continue taking 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes. Drink 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound lost post-workout.

Woman lifting weights beside her Hydro Cell bottle

When paired with a 60-minute exercise, this means you may need to drink at least 124 ounces of water to gain muscle. When you convert ounces to gallons, you need almost 1 gallon just for an hour of exercise and more for longer and strenuous workout routines.

However, note that your water intake should also depend on body mass fluctuations and the intensity of activities.

How to Calculate Water Intake for Muscle Growth

There's a rule of thumb to drink around 124 ounces of water while working out. However, you can also consider calculating how much water you need to drink every day based on your weight.

Hydrating the muscle cells fully can make the physique look more defined. However, the ideal water intake should be about 2/3 of your body weight in ounces per day to maximize potential.

  • If you weigh 145 pounds, multiplying that by 2/3 gives you 97 ounces as the base.
  • If you consider adding 10 ounces of water every 20 minutes, that means you need to drink 127 ounces of water during a 60-minute workout.

You don't have to stress about the precision. If anything, start with 1 gallon per day, then adjust it according to your hydration factors. Additionally, it's best to drink at a relatively consistent pace instead of gulping large quantities at once.

How Can Water Help You Gain Muscle?

Drinking 124 to 152 ounces of water helps deliver nutrients, protein, and glycogen structures necessary to build blocks of muscles in the body. You may need to drink more water when sweating heavily and exercising outdoors in extremely hot climates. Moreover, you must consider your weight, gender, and health conditions.

Maintain Muscle Pump

According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, 1.5% dehydration decreases muscle strength after 1 rep. As rep count goes down, it affects muscle growth in terms of strength and size. 

  • Even moderate dehydration can compromise muscle power and endurance, preventing you from pushing through a workout routine. Thus, you need to drink at least 124 ounces of water to remain hydrated and ensure muscle development.
  • Bodybuilders or athletes will need more water than non-lifters. A good starting point is to drink at least 33.8 ounces of water for every 1,000 calories burned to push nutrients through the bloodstream and the muscles. In this way, the water can help support higher levels of muscle mass.
  • An adequate amount of water is necessary to ensure normal blood pressure and proper blood circulation. When muscles face external resistance, they will contract and swell to drive water from the blood.
  • It's vital to remain hydrated to improve muscle endurance and prevent slow muscular response, especially when doing movements that target certain muscle groups.Man with buff muscles holding a water bottle

Ensure Enough Energy for Workout

Water creates the necessary conditions for stable muscle growth by providing supplements. If the body doesn't find enough energy to use when exercising, you might experience exhaustion or post-workout fatigue. In effect, the body will consume glycogen stored in the muscles, hampering muscle growth. 

When you need to exercise for more than an hour, you must maintain fluid balance to avoid muscle loss. Thus, it's important that you consume ounces of water to prevent glycogen in the muscles from depleting quickly.

Prevent Muscle Breakdown or Cramps

Dehydration will deprive the muscles of electrolytes. Without water and electrolytes, the nerves can impair muscle control and strength. In contrast, well-hydrated muscle cells have less muscle breakdown.

Cramps can stop you from finishing exercises. Thus, you need to drink water and good protein synthesis to ensure muscle growth. When you consume about 124 to 152 ounces of water during the course of your workout routine, you can minimize muscle breakdown and avoid the draining of muscle cells.

More than that, drinking almost a gallon of water during workouts may increase the body's endurance and tolerance to pain. When your water intake is lower than the recommended dose, the body's sensitivity and perception of pain increase.

Better Exercise Performance and Recovery

Dehydration can also impair the ability to think, and consequently, your concentration when building muscles. When the central nervous system can't work efficiently, there is a decrease in body coordination as well.

  • When you drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes of your workout, you can make the body more alert and perform at a higher level to energize and build the muscles.
  • Dehydration is the leading cause of fatigue when working out, both for athletes and non-athletes. This is why even the American College of Sports Medicine recommends consuming 2-3 cups of water after exercising for muscles to recover and not lose buildup.
  • Losing 2% of body weight in fluid can decrease your performance by approximately 25%. With high-intensity routines, you can even experience exhaustion in a matter of minutes. If you suffer from dehydration, the muscles may have a reduced endurance from 121 to 55 minutes.

What Are the Benefits of Hydration?

Hydration is crucial for the body to function well and survive, not just for muscle gain. The body loses about 51-68 fluid ounces of water by sweating, urinating, or breathing. When exercising or during hot weather, you'll lose more.Couple exercising with a spare tire with their Hydro Cell water bottles beside them
By being adequately hydrated, you can maximize workout sessions and gain more health benefits for the muscles.

  • Boost blood circulation: Water helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to the bloodstream, enhancing oxygen exchange in the muscle fibers. As a result, you can prolong aerobic respiration and gain more muscle output.
  • Reduce food cravings: Water can fill up empty space in the stomach, stopping hunger sensation and keeping your mind away from food. Minimizing fats due to cravings is also essential when trying to gain muscles. Water can keep hunger at bay, especially if you're on a low-calorie diet.
  • Improve mood: Not drinking enough water while gaining muscles can throw off dopamine and serotonin balances. Without these natural chemicals, you may feel more restless or tense while exercising. This is why it's helpful to drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during a workout routine.
  • Regulate body temperature: The muscles produce 20 times more heat when exercising, and without enough water, the body may become too hot and feel adverse effects. The optimum human body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and sweating can maintain this number. However, you need to drink water to replace the fluid loss.
  • Protect bones and the skin: Aside from muscle growth and strengthening, water supports the skin and bones. As you exercise, your joints and skin may also experience fatigue. This is why it would be beneficial to drink enough water to prevent the skin and bones from becoming vulnerable to injuries.
  • Improve digestive system: Water can balance metabolism and maintain a healthy urinary tract. When exercising, you're also burning fats and excreting waste through sweating. When there's not enough water, the liver will help the kidneys filter out toxins, preventing the liver from burning fat at full capacity.

How to Know If You're Drinking Enough Water for Muscle Gain

If you're feeling thirsty, there's a chance you're not drinking enough water. It's not ideal to let yourself reach that point when working out, especially since this may cause you to tire out quickly or feel a bit dizzy.

It's quick for the body to lose 100 fluid ounces of water in just 1 hour of strenuous exercise. However, it can only absorb up to 30 fluid ounces of water within the same period because you're continuously burning energy.

What Are Ways to Ensure You Drink Water for Muscle Growth?

The average adult female body consists of 55% water, while the average male body has around 60% water, so it's no wonder how water can help jack up muscles. After learning the value of sufficient hydration to gain muscle, here are simple ways to achieve optimal muscle performance and growth.

  • Invest in a high-quality water bottle: It's essential that you use a stainless steel water bottle to ensure you drink fresh water anywhere you go. With a 64 oz Hydro Cell bottle, you only have to refill your bottle 2 to 3 times throughout a workout session to help you gain muscle.
  • Pre-hydrate and rehydrate: It's also important that you drink enough water before and after exercising. While it depends on the workout's intensity, it's ideal to drink 17 to 20 ounces of water before exercising, then add 8 more ounces after a session. This helps replace electrolytes lost to energize and support the muscles.
  • Keep drinking throughout the day: Aside from drinking during workouts and meals, make it a habit to consume water throughout the day. Find a water bottle with a wide mouth or straw so it will be more convenient for you to drink.


Find the best water bottle so you can drink at least 124 ounces of water during workouts and boost muscle gain. When you combine plenty of hydration, healthy meals, enough rest, and an appropriate fitness routine for your body mass, you'll eventually achieve your fitness goals.

You may also like