Whether you’re working out at the gym or going on a big hike, the single most important factor for muscle factor is hydration.

Before, during, and after work outs, ensure you are suitably hydrated. Depending on your body size you will lose 1 and up to 5 litres of water during a strenuous workout. Hydration is important to keep your body functioning properly!

If you’re working out for muscle gain then you focus on adding more protein to help muscle repair after training. But those muscles are thirsty too.

Consider time spent on a long hike, it’s important to start hydrating hours before your event. The best option for hydration is old fashion water water, although replenishing your electrolytes also helps your body in recovery. You can make your own electrolyte drink without the sugar found in Gatorades and Powerades, by taking some water and adding small amounts of salt, minerals (calcium and magnesium powder is a good start, and only a pinch), and a touch of flavour like lemon or lime.

Often, people may underestimate their need for continuous hydration and run out of water. On that big hike it may not seem like a loss, but your muscles will be screaming for attention, needing water to help in the recovery process. Without adequate hydration you face a significantly higher recovery time of up to a week as your muscles get over the shock of a workout without the necessary lubricants for repair. Depending on how strenuous of a workout, and how fit your muscles are, will impact recovery. You greatly decrease recovery time with focussed planning on proper hydration.

So that’s drink well before, during, and after, as part of your regular workout routine.

Here’s another article about muscle recovery and the need for adequate hydration.