Bodybuilding Water Intake Calculator

Find Your Daily Water Intake for Resistance Training

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTPublished: March 7, 2024

Proper hydration is essential for maintaining good health and achieving fitness goals. But how much water should you drink each day? This calculator determines your water needs based on body weight and activity level.

  • Somewhat Active: <1 hour of exercise at a comfortable temperature
  • Very Active: >1 hour of exercise or a hot environment

Note: This is an estimate based only on weight and activity level. Individual requirements may vary.

About the Bodybuilder Water Intake Calculator

As a former competitive bodybuilder, I was that guy lugging around a gallon jug of water everywhere I went. But mindlessly chugging down a gallon of water on a daily basis didn’t seem like a personalized approach to hydration.

It’s true water consumption is essential for active individuals training hard in the gym. However, everyone is different, and our needs can vary depending on activity level and environmental factors.

Now that I’m a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, I created this calculator to help you figure out the right amount of water based on your workout duration and body size.

In this article, I’ll also discuss the benefits of staying properly hydrated and provide some tips to help you drink more water. So, grab a glass of water, and let’s dive in!

How Much Water Should Bodybuilders Drink

Benefits of Drinking Water

Water is the most important nutrient for bodybuilders. It’s even more important than protein because it’s vital for every function your body performs.

Without water, you would die in a few days. Seems like a good reason to get more, right?

Certainly, getting enough water is critical for your general health. But water intake also has benefits related to your physical fitness.

  • Weight loss: Drinking water can help you lose weight by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing calorie intake.
  • Muscle growth: Water is essential for muscle growth and repair. Dehydration can lead to muscle fatigue and weakness.
  • Performance: Water helps regulate body temperature, transport nutrients, and remove waste from the body.
  • Preventing muscle cramps: Dehydration can cause muscle cramps during exercise. Drinking enough water can prevent this.
  • Mitigater water loss: Drinking water can help prevent excessive water loss through sweating.
  • Reduce water retention: Dehydration causes your body to hoard water, which can cause bloating. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to naturally reduce water retention.
How Much Water Should Bodybuilders Drink

How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?

The general guideline for the average person is to drink 64 ounces or eight 8-ounce glasses of water. However, this is just a general recommendation, and your water intake needs may vary based on your activity, weight, and climate.

When you exercise, your body loses water through sweat and respiration at approximately one liter per hour. However, water losses can be much greater with more intense activity or when exercising in a hot environment.

For athletes and bodybuilders, replacing water lost during exercise is essential to maintaining hydration levels. A good starting point is targeting 1/2 ounce of water for every pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 180 lbs, you would aim for 90 ounces of water daily.

For longer workouts or more intense training in hot weather, it can be beneficial to bump that up to 3/4 ounces of water per pound. At 180 pounds, you would target 135 ounces of water, or just over a gallon daily.

Here’s a table showing general water intake guidelines based on body weight and activity level.

Table 1. Bodybuilding Water Intake in Ounces

Body Weight (lbs) Somewhat Active Very Active
120 60 90
130 65 98
140 70 105
150 75 113
160 80 120
170 75 128
180 90 135
190 95 143
200 100 150
210 105 158
220 110 165
230 115 173
240 120 180
250 125 188

Factors That Affect Hydration Needs

Remember that the bodybuilding water intake calculator is still an estimation based on weight and activity only, and your personal water needs could be different.

Another thing to consider is your body fat and lean body mass. For example, the more muscle mass you have, the more water you need to maintain bodily functions. On the other hand, if you have a higher body fat percentage, you may need less water to stay hydrated.

It’s also important to consider your actual water losses during exercise. If you’re a heavy sweater, you may need lots of water to replace what you lose.

The best way to determine water loss from exercise is to weigh yourself immediately before and after a workout. Remember to account for fluid intake during your workout and any sweat trapped in your clothing.

Water Needs for Bodybuilders

Tips to Help You Drink More Water

As a bodybuilder, you’re probably health-conscious and aware of the benefits of staying hydrated. But it can still be challenging to remember to drink enough throughout the day.

Here are ten tips to help you drink plenty of water:

  1. Drink a glass upon waking: When you wake up, you’re already dehydrated from hours of sleep. Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning helps to rehydrate your body and set you up for a day of healthy hydration.
  2. Keep water nearby: Having water within reach throughout the day is an easy way to drink more. Fill up a bottle of water at the start of the day and keep it near you all day. Refill it as soon as it’s empty, and you’ll drink more water just because it’s accessible.
  3. Get a bigger bottle: A larger water bottle can help you drink more water without thinking about it. When you have a bigger bottle, you’ll feel the need to finish it, and you won’t have to refill it as often.
  4. Use a straw: A straw might help you drink water faster and is a simple way to increase your intake. A bottle with a larger opening also makes it easier to drink more because the water comes out faster.
  5. Make drinking water a game: Try to make drinking water more fun by turning it into a game. For example, mark lines on the side of your bottle to serve as targets throughout the day. Or make it a rule to finish a certain amount of water before you can eat lunch, and so on. This can help you stay motivated and make drinking water more enjoyable.
  6. Set reminders: Use an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to drink water more frequently throughout the day.
  7. Add a little flavor: If you struggle to drink plain water because it tastes bland, try adding some flavor. Zero-sugar flavoring can boost your water, or you can infuse it with pieces of fruit or a few drops of lemon juice. This can make drinking water more enjoyable and help you stay hydrated.
  8. Eat water-rich foods: Fruits and vegetables naturally contain water and can help you stay hydrated. While it may be harder to track your exact intake, the health benefits outweigh the lack of precision.
  9. Drink before you’re thirsty: When you feel thirsty, your body could already be dehydrated. So be proactive and drink water continuously throughout the day, even if you’re not thirsty. This can help you stay hydrated and avoid the adverse effects of dehydration.
  10. Swap out other drinks: Ditching sugary drinks like soda and cutting back on coffee, juices, and shakes can help you make room for more water in your diet. If you need to drink other beverages, balance them with plenty of water throughout the day.

Following these tips makes it easier to drink more water and stay hydrated throughout the day.

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Bodybuilding Water Intake Questions

Now, I’ll answer other common questions about bodybuilders’ water intake.

What is the recommended daily water intake for bodybuilders?

The recommended daily water intake for bodybuilders is at least 3.7 liters (125 ounces) for men and 2.7 liters (91 ounces) for women. This amount may vary depending on body weight, activity level, and climate.

How does water consumption affect muscle building?

Water consumption plays a crucial role in muscle building. It helps to transport nutrients to the muscles and removes waste products. Inadequate water intake can lead to dehydration, negatively impacting muscle performance and recovery.

What factors influence water requirements for athletes engaged in bodybuilding?

Factors influencing bodybuilders’ water requirements include body weight, activity level, climate, and overall health. Athletes should also consider the type of workout they are doing and the duration of their training sessions.

How should bodybuilders adjust their water intake when using creatine?

Bodybuilders who use creatine supplements should increase their water intake to avoid dehydration and saturate muscle cells. When taking creatine monohydrate, it is recommended that you consume an additional 16 to 32 ounces of water per day.

Does Creatine Make You Gain Water Weight?

Is there a difference in water intake needs between male and female bodybuilders?

Yes, there is a difference in water intake needs between male and female bodybuilders. Men generally require more water than women due to their larger body size and higher muscle mass.

How does water intake before competitions impact bodybuilding performance?

Bodybuilders often use diuretics and reduce water intake before a competition to look as lean and muscular as possible. However, this can lead to dangerous dehydration and severe muscle cramps on stage.

Adequate water intake helps to maintain muscle fullness, which can enhance the overall appearance of the physique. To ensure proper hydration, it is recommended that you consume at least 16 ounces of water two hours before the competition.

Water Needs for Bodybuilders

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