“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” — Mahatma Gandhi
There are three things you need to nail down in order to reach your ideal body in the shortest amount of time: Water intake, stress, and sleep.
Each of these plays an important part in how quickly you get to the ideal. If you need and/or want to get there as quickly as possible, get all three of these nailed down.
Water is the most essential nutrient for this program. Some of its benefits include—but are not limited to—the bulleted points below:
- Improved muscle growth
- Reduced fatigue
- Faster weight loss
- Healthier tissue, bones, and joints
- Improved digestion
- Regulating body temperature
- Maintaining blood pressure
To prevent this decrease in strength, just drink more water! Unfortunately, how much you need to drink depends on your diet. For example, if you drink lots of soups you’ll need less water overall.
A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water until your pee is light yellowish , as seen in numbers 1 through 3. You can use the chart provided to get a general sense of where you are.
The general recommendation of daily water intake for men is 3000ml under normal circumstances of diet, exercise, and climate . For reference, that’s about four 16oz water bottles (13 cups) per day.
As an aside, if your pee at any point is any color besides shades of yellow, consult your doctor immediately! This is not a joke, your pee color is important.
Sleep is vital for keeping your body primed for growing muscle. In fact, poor sleep can lead to a 60% decrease in muscle mass over those that sleep the normal 8 hours [1, 2]! Additionally, in study #1, participants that slept an average of 8.5 hours a night saw an additional 40% increase in muscle mass over the control group that slept 6 hours.
Many people suffer from a lack of sleep  and if you are one of those people, here's a condensed review of how to get a good night's sleep:
- Perform your workouts at least 2-3 hours before bed, preferable midday
- Stick to a sleep schedule
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine 6 hours before bedtime
- If you want to have coffee/tea at night, go decaf
Besides sleep and hydration, stress has been highly correlated to muscle growth [1, 2]. In the aforementioned research above, two groups were given the same nutrition and workout routine but were separated by perceived stress levels.
After 12 weeks, the low-stress group recovered from their workouts twice as fast when compared to the high-stress group! Additionally, when the study came to an end the low-stress group had much higher muscle mass and endurance. Ergo make sure that you are, as people say nowadays, "chill".
If you suffer from a lot of stress, here are a few things you can do to reduce it:
- Meditate daily. Studies have shown that just 5 to 10 minutes of daily meditation reduces stress levels dramatically .
- Breathe deeply. If you’re feeling stressed at any time, multiple studies have come to the forefront signifying that a breathing practice can immediately reduce stress levels and increase cognitive abilities [1, 2, 3].
- Move more. Just by moving more, you can reduce overall stress [1, 2]. If you find that you are getting stressed out take a walk and see how you feel afterward.
- Reduce your time watching videos. Recent research indicates that watching too much TV, YouTube, or other forms of entertainment correlate with higher rates of depression and stress . If you find yourself in this spot, pick up a book that you would enjoy reading.
If you’re getting tired of reading at this point, take a moment to admire these puppies:
Nice, now get back to work—you're almost halfway through the guide.