You must have noticed it yourself, big, bulky gym guys walking around with their gallon jug of water.
In fact, this isn’t just a gym thing, as I’ve often seen a hulking bodybuilder carrying around their gallon of water everywhere they go.
Obviously, I know, and you know, that consuming water is essential in everyday life.
And even more so if you’re extremely active, training and sweating regularly.
But still, why the gallon jug of water?
Here’s what you need to know.
The Main Reason Gym Guys Carry Gallons of Water
It is said that bodybuilders should aim to consume a minimum of a gallon of water a day, so carrying a gallon jug around with you will make this easier. Furthermore, a hardcore bodybuilder can easily burn 1,000-1,500 calories per workout. So, drinking lots of water while they train will replace fluids lost through sweat, as well as helping to keep focus and energy high.
Water & the Body Infographic
You Have to Stay Hydrated
Okay, so we all know that proper hydration is key, especially if you are physically active.
However, in truth, most people, whether they hit the gym or not, probably don’t drink enough water.
The “8×8” method of drinking 8oz of water eight times a day will not suffice for the vast majority of people.
This is approximately 2 litres of water, and realistically this would only be enough for an extremely inactive individual.
Therefore, the more active you are, the more water you should drink.
Obviously, the size of an individual should also be taken into consideration.
However, a “bodybuilding staple” has always been to aim to drink a gallon of water per day.
As I’ve said, this does come down to activity levels and size, but most active guys should remain well-hydrated by consuming a gallon of water per day.
“Gym-Bros” & BodyBuilders Workout For Long Periods
I would hazard a guess that most guys you see with a gallon jug in hand are pretty big, swole, and muscular.
And in order to get that way they train a lot, a hell of a lot.
Personally, I am at the time of life, age and responsibilities you understand, where 45-60 minutes training a day will suffice.
This allows me to maintain muscle, as well as gain muscle too.
And I’m sure most recreational lifters will workout for around the same amount of time.
However, when you’re looking to get really big, perhaps even take part in bodybuilding competitions, your training almost becomes a full-time job.
Well, when I say training, I also mean everything involved in producing a fantastic physique, e.g. nutrition, sleep, supplements, etc.
So, it’s not unheard-of for these “big guys” to be training for 2-3 hours per session.
And some may even repeat this again later in the day.
So, as an example, a 200lb muscular male would typically burn around 500 calories per hour from high-intense weightlifting.
Therefore, a “regular” training session could easily burn 1,000-1,500 calories.
Additionally, these guys are probably consuming creatine, which in itself requires you to drink more water.
Oh, by the way, you can check out what I had to say about not consuming enough water when supplementing with creatine.
Plus, let’s not forget that they are likely to be taking additional supplements, and perhaps they are also “juiced-up” or on “roids”.
All these factors require much more hydration.
In fact, it’s probably not unheard-of for a pro bodybuilder to consume a gallon of water just during a single training session.
And obviously having a gallon jug there at their disposal makes this so much easier.
It’s Easier to Carry a Gallon Jug Around All Day
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, if you have to drink a certain amount of water every day, just drink it, you don’t need a gallon jug or container.
However, there is a psychological effect at play here too.
Granted, you could just top up a 500ml bottle 9 times a day.
Then again, you could drink a litre bottle 4.5 times a day.
That said, if your entire day’s water consumption is right there in front of your eyes you’re more likely to drink it.
This is also why you’ll see guys walking around with their gallon water jugs throughout the day, and not just while they’re in the gym.
They know exactly how much they’ve drank, and how much left they have to drink for the remainder of the day.
Plus, it’s easier to just keep sipping without worrying about topping up your bottle.
This may sound a little stupid, but in reality the mind works in mysterious ways.
So, if your daily water consumption is kept alongside you at all times, it’s far easier to ensure you hit the perfect hydration levels each and every single day.
How to Drink a Gallon of Water a Day
It Looks Cool (Apparently)
Firstly, I’m not saying this about every big guy or bodybuilder in the gym.
In fact, the vast majority of serious trainees I’ve ever met in the gym environment are fantastic people.
However, this is not to say that some individuals simply do things just for show.
I guess this is just the way life is, some people are great, others not so much.
That said, I’ve often seen a huge bodybuilder walking around with a swagger.
They try to look mean, and their size simply adds to the intimidation levels.
And swinging a gallon bottle of water around can often be viewed as, “Hey, look at me, aren’t I cool?”
As I say, this is few and far between, and most people in the gym are good and wholesome people.
But, there will always be a few who feel as though they have to “show off”, especially when they have size on their side.
Actually, I’m probably being a little unfair there, as most “big guys” will require this amount of water.
However, if you ever see a much smaller guy walking around with a gallon of water, then this is likely to be for show.
And before anyone decides to berate me, I am one of these “smaller guys”, and I find that between 3 and 3.5 litres per day is enough for my requirements.
Sure, I could put all my water at once into a gallon jug, but then again, I’d be throwing at least a litre away per day.
Pure and simple, the main reason that guys at the gym carry gallons of water is that they’re going to drink it.
In fact, it is said that most bodybuilders should aim to drink a gallon of water per day.
And what easier way to achieve this than actually having the water measured out beforehand.
This allows you to easily determine how much you’ve already drank, and how much more you have to drink that day.
Staying on the subject of “slightly out of the ordinary” things that big guys do, you’ll want to see what I had to say about bodybuilders drinking red wine.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.