H20 Does Lots For Your Body

We all know water is important.  Is it a base human understanding that we should be drinking water daily?  I think that it must be.  One of those rules-of-thumb passed down through the centuries.  Present day, water has some competition.  There are sodas, shakes, juices, water impostors, sports drinks, coffees, and the adult beverage.  Water was around long before any of these liquids were, and all of these contain water, in varying degrees.  Water will be around after some (or hopefully most) of these have faded.

So why is it important to stay hydrated?  What benefit does it have?  We’ve all heard that we’re something like 80% water (maybe it’s 70%……or 62%??), so that tells us something.  I asked myself that question, and didn’t have a good answer.  I decided I’d look into it to see what water (and adequate hydration) does for our bodies.

Help In Many Ways

So it turns out muscle is about 76% water, and I like muscle.  I’ve pointed out before that muscle is metabolically expensive to have (not a bad thing) and needs lots of resources to sustain.  Blood carries those resources, and adequate hydration happens to increase circulating blood volume.  So after a grueling workout (like tomorrow’s), being well hydrated maximizes the nutrients flowing to the recovering muscles via the bloodstream and withdraws waste products that accrue due to stressful muscular contractions.  Water helps our muscles recover.

Now lets remove water from the body.  Lack of hydration results in restricted blood circulation (blood volume), which means our tissues are no longer receiving the oxygen they need.  Those constricted tissues become acidotic, and our metabolism turns purely glycolytic therefore producing lactic acid.  Consequently, blood pressure plummets and we start feeling pretty sick.  Not a good situation.

Hydration makes a difference in blood flow.  Interesting, and good to know.  But that’s not the most interesting thing I learned.

Hormonal Benefits

We know that exercise (and nutrition, and sleep, and stress) all create a hormonal response within our bodies.  The effect of this hormonal response depends largely on the hormones being circulated to the appropriate receptors.  Check out the graphic below.  The bilayer is made up of fatty acids.  Each has a head and tail portion.  The head is water attracting, and the tail is water repelling.  The receptor sites for hormones are sandwiched inside the cell so that they protrude toward the interior and the exterior of the cell.

Phospholipid Bilayer

Phospholipid Bilayer

If we stay well hydrated, our hormones are circulated to the necessary receptor sites for optimal response.  Another benefit: the interior of the cell (the cytoplasm) is maximally hydrated which means that the receptors sitting on the surface of the cell become maximally convex into the extracellular and intracellular environment and this is where the hormones are circulating.  So they are maximally exposed to hormonal interaction with receptor sites.  If we’re dehydrated, the cells become concave and the receptors start to involute away from the external environment.  Thus, circulating hormones miss the interaction with them and we are deprived of all the hormonal responses necessary to produce the desired anabolic response to our exercise stimuli.  So we want hydrated.  Hydrated means that the hard work we’re performing in the gym that creates a hormonal response gets noticed by our body.  Being dehydrated means those hormones aren’t picked up, and the “signals” are lost.

Water is Best

We could argue that since all these other “drinks” have a water base, they can hydrate us just as water does.  Hydrate yes, but what else can they do?  Lets think about hormonal response, and lets use subtraction to figure out why water, plain old water, is likely our best hydration option.

Water is free of sugar, dye, natural and artificial flavors (whatever that means) and lots of other additives which play on the craving and pleasure centers of our brain.  Water therefore is likely to be free of hormonal responses other than those which we are well adapted to (since water has been around as long as we have and we’ve been drinking it for as long).  So, don’t easily buy into marketing that claims a product is a superior hydration tool to water.  It may keep you hydrated, but what other responses could it cause?

How much water do we need to maximally benefit our exercise and recovery?  Roughly 3 liters per day is a good place to start.  The body can only absorb about 1 liter per hour (and that’s if you’re pretty dehydrated), so spread it out over time.  I like to drink about 1/3 of a liter per hour, oftentimes a little more.  Stay hydrated friends.

Stet’s Strategy

Midweek Madness continues this week with another chipper.  These are more of an exercise in mental toughness than physical prowess.  This one has several 400m runs involved, and lots of DB movements.  Here’s my strategy:

Alternate between running and rowing for the 400’s.  I just get bored doing one or the other the whole time.  This adds a little variety which helps time go by a little quicker for me.

The DB movements aren’t horrible (clean and jerk / lunges) so I’ll select a nice heavy pair and take my time on these movements.  Compared to the rest of the stuff, I’ll use the DB stations to slow my heart rate and get my breathing back under control.

Medball movements (wallball and sit-to-stand) I’ll try to do as quickly and efficiently as possible.  I dislike picking that medball up more than I have to, so I’ll strive to do these both in 1 set.

Overall, this workout looks bigger on paper than last week’s midweek madness, but I’m thinking it’s going to run a little quicker than all those movements of 66.  I’m actually excited to do it, hope you are too!

The Oboard Says…

Mid Week Madness:
For time:
Run 400 meters
15 DB Clean and Jerks
Run 400 meters
30 Knee To Elbow (60 if scaled on ground)
Run 400 meters
45 Wall Ball Shots
Run 400 meters
45 Situp to Stand
Run 400 meters
30 Ring Dips / 60 Box Dips
Run 400 meters
15 Steps Each Leg DB Weighted Lunges
Run 400 meters

Posted by: Stets