Hydration is as important as any other topic in bodybuilding, because it affects everything else. Your health, performance, body composition, sleep, recovery, mental focus, and even joint health are all affected by your state of hydration.

I’m not talking about being hydrated for your workout. In general, from the time you wake up to the moment you go to bed, sustaining a constant state of hydration is critical for us all.

Chances are you’re not drinking enough water throughout the day—between half an ounce to an ounce per pound of body weight. That’s 100-200 ounces per day for a 200-pound guy. But doing so has a host of benefits.

Here are a few of the ways that simply drinking enough water affects your overall fitness routine.