Muscle Talk - By International Protein

How Important is Water?

June 30, 2021 International Protein Season 4 Episode 8
Muscle Talk - By International Protein
How Important is Water?
Chapters
Muscle Talk - By International Protein
How Important is Water?
Jun 30, 2021 Season 4 Episode 8
International Protein

In this episode, we discuss the top 10 reasons why you need water for muscle growth. 
How much you need each day and what you’re going to miss out on if you’re not hydrating adequately.

  • Water helps muscle growth, 10 reasons why
  • Salt intake
  • More muscle more water?


If you want your own questions answered on our podcast, then join our private Facebook group and share your ideas,  https://www.facebook.com/groups/muscletalk

If you'd like to learn more about International Protein, visit https://www.international-protein.com/






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A Thinkroom production - www.thinkroom.com

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we discuss the top 10 reasons why you need water for muscle growth. 
How much you need each day and what you’re going to miss out on if you’re not hydrating adequately.

  • Water helps muscle growth, 10 reasons why
  • Salt intake
  • More muscle more water?


If you want your own questions answered on our podcast, then join our private Facebook group and share your ideas,  https://www.facebook.com/groups/muscletalk

If you'd like to learn more about International Protein, visit https://www.international-protein.com/






------------------------------------------------------
A Thinkroom production - www.thinkroom.com

Ash Horton:
Welcome to Muscle Talk, where you'll get world champion advice about nutrition and stacking on muscle. Our host Christine Envall, she's a three time world champion bodybuilder and IFDB professional, a food scientist, and a founding co-owner of our podcast sponsor, International Protein.

Ash Horton:
In this episode, we discuss the top 10 reasons why you need water for muscle growth, how much do you need each day, and what you're going to miss out on if you're not hydrated adequately.

Ash Horton:
All right, Christine. So in previous episodes, I think it was the superfoods episode, we talked about water and how important that was to bodybuilding. So let's go deeper into water this time, let's talk-

Christine Envall:
Deeper into water, Ash. What's going on?

Ash Horton:
Yeah, a pun, completely unintentional. But how much do we need a day?

Christine Envall:
Well, that really... That's how long's a piece of string? Where do you live, [inaudible 00:01:05], how old are are you, what did you do for exercise, what are you eating, what are you drinking? We'll answer that at the end, because it's not a simple question.

Ash Horton:
All right, well, how would you like to start this podcast then?

Christine Envall:
I would like to start with my top 10 reasons, or top 10 ways in which water helps muscle growth.

Ash Horton:
Okay, fire away.

Christine Envall:
10 ways, I thought it was pretty awesome that I found so many. So number one, and this is in no particular order of importance, it was just how I put it together. So number one is you need water for your saliva, and saliva is obviously involved in the breakdown of food. If you can't break your food down, you can't eat it, you are not going to get any muscle growth. So obviously food and nutrition, the first thing, got to get in your mouth and got to get digested, it's got to get into your stomach. If you don't have saliva and you have a dry mouth and you can't eat all of that chicken and rice and everything, then you're not going to grow. So water, very important for saliva.

Christine Envall:
Number two, it regulates body temperature. So the body temperature is related to peak strength, power, and performance. So the hotter your body temperature goes, and that can be through obviously exercise it elevates, but if you're not having your own natural cooling system working, which is you're sweating, and you're dehydrated and you don't sweat properly, then your temperature will continue to elevate. And I think it's something like a 30% loss in peak strength, or can occur, if someone's dehydrated so their muscle's not able to function properly.

Ash Horton:
30%.

Christine Envall:
Think it's about 30%.

Ash Horton:
That's significant.

Christine Envall:
It is significant, and obviously that would be an absolute extreme, but even 5% when you're pushing to your maximum you're trying to grow muscle, you don't want to have that kind of a drop. So keeping hydrated allows you to contract the way that you should, have the power and have the strength.

Ash Horton:
Can I just cut on here with a couple of questions and ruin your routine a little bit?

Christine Envall:
Yes.

Ash Horton:
Yeah, okay. So to be hydrated, how early before you go and train, for example, should you be at a good hydration?

Christine Envall:
Hydration always. As in it's that thing, Ash, where remember that a day is a cyclic thing, it's not a linear thing. That there isn't like, "Okay, I can be hydrated now at this point." You kind of need to be hydrated at the whole point in time, and you may need to actually top it up as you go.

Ash Horton:
Okay. And if you're not? So let's say you've just had a busy day at work, you're just meeting after meeting, and you don't really get that hydration in properly?

Christine Envall:
You potentially are going to affect your workout. Like even if you start to drink during the workout, that's going to be beneficial, but you may not replace... It's not going to necessarily get into your blood system. It might sit in your stomach and not be getting it to where it needs to be, which is in your muscle, in your blood volume. So that's why it's good to be... It's not a stop-start thing, it's not a thing that you can be like, "Oh, okay, now I'm going to bang all this water in," because it flips the way that your system works, and you potentially just go straight through rather than being absorbed into where you need it to go.

Christine Envall:
So you got to be really, really careful that you're prepped throughout the day, and that you don't do stuff like that, where you get busy at work and just leave it till the last minute and then end up at your workout, because it's probably too late by that stage. So did that answer your question?

Ash Horton:
Did that give you an insight to my life?

Christine Envall:
Yes.

Ash Horton:
Yeah. And I work with you, so you're half the problem.

Christine Envall:
But you have a bottle of water right here, and I'm not stopping you from drinking it and that's all you've drunk. And I had my whole bottle already and onto my second glass.

Ash Horton:
So that's habits, but I am drinking a protein, so is there water in it?

Christine Envall:
There is water in that, so we'll talk about that, I guess, at the end.

Ash Horton:
All right.

Christine Envall:
Because there's pros and cons on that, but basically the message is it's better to stay in a hydrated state than to try to throw a whole lot of water into yourself at the last minute, because all you're going to end up probably is with a stomach cramp, and then your body recognizing that in a different way. Not getting an into your muscles, not getting it into your blood volume, but excreting it, so you ended up with just peeing and still being dehydrated, because you've started to work your muscle whilst you haven't gotten into a hydrated state. So be mindful of it.

Christine Envall:
Probably for you, okay, so an hour out from your workout, make sure you've had something good to drink, and make sure that it's running through you. If it's not flushing through you, you're not hydrated, so that's probably a good tip to look at there.

Ash Horton:
Okay.

Christine Envall:
So number three, it protects your tissues, spinal cord, and joints. So if you're doing impact work, obviously you don't want to have dry joints, as people say, because that's obviously going to impact how [inaudible 00:05:39] and things like that will come up. So being hydrated is part of that. Just walking around, just doing everything, you're going to get the cushioning out of that. So that's very, very important when you're going heavy, because you're going to obviously create a situation where you're maybe going to be putting yourself in a state where you're going to injure things or just break things sooner if you don't have that cushioning in place. That's, I guess, the weight training, but if you're also doing impact cardio work, which isn't necessarily to do with muscle growth, but it's still to do with activity. And so what else have I written about that? That you actually can lessen the discomfort of arthritis, being properly hydrated.

Ash Horton:
That makes sense.

Christine Envall:
So that was interesting, and I've put a little note saying that it allows you to train heavy. So hydration equals heavy, but it's also to do with the strength and power, but also the function of the joint. So that's another good reason to be mindful of your water.

Christine Envall:
This one, it's not directly related to growth, but it kind of is, and that is proper function of your waste system. So basically meaning that what all of that food that you're eating is getting probably excreted, the waste products, without any issues, problems.

Ash Horton:
Everybody's getting their visual right now.

Christine Envall:
Yes they are, yes they are. I was like, "How is it that I end up having to talk about these things with you, Ash?" And I just was like one of those conversations, but obviously when people are eating a larger amount of food to try to grow muscle, then there is obviously the associated waste with that, and you don't want that system to get jammed up. Because it can be, again, very uncomfortable in training, it's a sign of not being at your optimal performance, so hydration definitely is required for that.

Christine Envall:
Okay. Now this is one of my favorite ones, which is somewhat to do with growth, but also to do with I guess prepping for a competition, and that is that it's obviously digestion. So there's this one to do with fat burning and there's one to do with digestion. They're two separate ones, but this one, what I have put here is that it helps with nutrient absorption. So the first step obviously is breaking it down in the mouth, but then as it gets into the stomach, water is required.

Christine Envall:
I don't know if anyone has ever experienced this, but during competition prep time, I have known a few people in that dehydration phase that you go through to get it onto competition. So as you're dehydrating, then you're trying to push more food in because you have to carb up. So whilst the carbohydrate lets out water as it breaks down, there still is a limit to what that actually does, because your body needs that water, and people have ended up with what they call dry gut. Which is essentially not enough liquid for the food to basically break down and get moved around to where it's supposed to be, that's really not a good situation to be in. So that all comes in with the dehydration. Eating more food, you are going to need more water to help to liquefy and keep all of that moving there. So it definitely helps to dissolve vitamins and minerals and other nutrients, and get them to where they're supposed to be.

Christine Envall:
That is also why it's super important, and so I'm going to say this twice here and then in another point, it's super important not to dry scoop your pre-workout.

Ash Horton:
Right.

Christine Envall:
Yeah, because you need to solubilize all of those components to make them work properly. You do not want to take them in dry into your stomach. And there's another reason as well and I will say that at another point, because I believe it's that important.

Ash Horton:
So is that quite common, are people doing that?

Christine Envall:
I see it a lot on Instagram, whether people are actually doing it or whether they're just doing it for the Gram, as people say, I don't know. And no one that I know personally would do that because they know I would get angry at them. But yeah, I see it quite a bit, where people kind of think it's a hero thing to do, to throw the pre-workout down and then kind of swig it down with a shot of water. But no, they're designed to be made up as directed because you're supposed to solubilize all of those ingredients. And one, they get into your system better and work better, but number two, you don't want to be putting that in dry, and creating that sort of dry situation in your stomach.

Christine Envall:
But yeah, super important for digestion, and obviously a part of muscle growth is having the right nutrition, so you don't want to do anything that messes with that.

Christine Envall:
Number seven, and this is where I'm going to say it again, water improves your blood oxygen circulation. So a lot of the pre-workouts, what you're doing is you're taking them to dilate your blood vessels, by increasing your nitric oxide production, and getting more blood flow around the body. So to do that, you need to have a greater blood volume, which comes from having the proper hydration and the right amount of water. So again, if you go take that pre-workout as a dry thing, without the right amount of water, you're putting the ingredients in, you're trying to get those ingredients, which are supposed to force more blood around your body, but you're not giving it the water to support that. So that's why I wanted to say it twice, because it's that important.

Ash Horton:
So it doesn't have the water to support it, does that mean that it sort of just gets stuck in one area and be quite damaging?

Christine Envall:
Potentially. It really depends what you've eat with it. Like if you've eaten dry rice cakes and not had any water and then had a dry scoop of pre-workout, you've got that and then you maybe haven't drunk enough all day, then yeah, you could have a situation where you don't have the right amount of fluid to make everything break down and function properly. So potentially the pre-workout doesn't even make it to your system, which is probably one scenario where it's still sitting in an insoluble particle, or it's just passing straight through, and by the time it's dissolved, it's gone past where it's supposed to be absorbed so it's really had no function so you might as well not have taken it. Or it does work, but you haven't got the blood volume to support what you're trying to do, so therefore you're going to end up feeling headachy, fatigued, and you're pushing your body one way, but not giving it what it needs to support that. That's that.

Christine Envall:
Number eight, and again, oh my gosh, it's coming back to being the best cheapest pre-workout around, water has everything to do with your cognitive function and your mood. Again, you get dehydrated, you can get confusion, disorientation. If anyone has actually seen someone who's fully dehydrated, I may have told this story before, that someone I know, they tried to kill their friend's dog, because they were sort of confused and very disorientated and mixed up from being dehydrated. So dehydration at an extreme, yeah, it's really, really serious.

Ash Horton:
I've got a experience. We were pecanning back when I was 20 or so, and we got a little bit lost on the way back down, and it was just a long grueling walk, and I remember getting back and, yeah, I was totally disorientated. So that had really set in. There wasn't too many rivers around where I could drink out of it, and that was New Zealand, so you can drink out of the rivers there. No, it was just exhaustion, it was. But the thing is, it creeps up on you, you don't know. You don't know it's coming. And I've heard... I don't have any actual fact behind this, I've heard when you're just slightly dehydrated, you're sort of, even mentally, cognitively 30% deficient as well.

Christine Envall:
It wouldn't surprise me, because it has a lot to do with feeling lethargic, that tiredness. A lot of it is just that... They say by the time you feel thirsty, you're already too dehydrated.

Ash Horton:
And when you're hungry, half the time you're thirsty as well, right?

Christine Envall:
A lot of the... Well, it's a lot to do with it. And then the other thing when you're competing is too, a lot of the time... And I'm not exactly sure if I've got this technically right, but when you hit a point where you essentially kind of have run out a lot of the carbohydrate in your blood, again that could be with the dehydration. Because you find that having a drink of water actually refreshes you and brings you back as if you've eaten food, even though you wouldn't. Because you don't want to mess up your calories for the day, but you are feeling... You kind of get that situation, I guess, where your liver is pumping out adrenaline and saying, "Hey, we've got to keep on going here." And having a big drink of water actually seems to settle that down and stabilize everything. So I'm not entirely sure what it flicks into, or whether it is because part of that is dehydration, but it's definitely occurs a lot when you're dieting, your calories are low and you've kind of done a cardio session, and you know that your body's digging into the liver stores of energy. And that water seems to bring that back to a level, enough to get you through to your actual meal that you're supposed to eat.

Christine Envall:
Painting a wonderful picture of bodybuilding here, but I'm sure there's a lot of people who have competed, who can kind of relate to that situation where you feel like your blood sugar's dropped, and that drinking a glass of water seems to bring that back.

Ash Horton:
Yeah.

Christine Envall:
Yeah. But your brain is 73% water, so that makes absolute sense that you want to keep it well hydrated, and that's why it has so much to do with mood and cognitive function. So I guess we've talked about that with the disorientation and all of that, so again, I'm actually going to say it three times. With the pre-workouts, a lot of the ingredients that we put into pre-workouts are to improve cognitive function. So if you're not putting the water in, which also improves cognitive function, then, again, you're potentially reducing the effectiveness of that pre-workout. Or I would say what's the point if you're not going to support it? So fully hydrated pre-workouts, with the cognitive ingredients, and water, which is a free cognitive, and very powerful cognitive ingredient, are a great combination.

Ash Horton:
Have you noticed how much water I'm drinking during this one?

Christine Envall:
I know, I know. I've really made you conscious of it, which is good. That's good. Skin tone, which again, for bodybuilding growth, stretching, not wanting to get stretch marks, keeping everything clear so that you have good clear skin. Skin is 64% water, so you've all seen when you get too much water from the swimming pool and you look like a prune, that dehydration obviously dries your skin out as well. So that's not just moisturizing, but that's actually internal dehydration. And of course, muscle is about 80% water, so the number one reason there, of course, is that if you get around with a flat... Like when you're dehydrated, your muscle looks smaller and flatter, because you need the water to make up the muscle. Muscle is, obviously with 80% of it being water, and that's why you're taking things like creatine, help to hold that water in the muscle, make you look bigger and fuller.

Christine Envall:
So those are some of my top 10 reasons why water is associated with muscle growth and how it impacts it. Just to summarize up there what they're recommending about people drinking each day, so they say that we get about 20% of their daily water from food intake. So again, that's kind of a rough round average, and it would depend so much on what you're eating. Again, if you're having protein powder, making sure that you do make it up with enough water, if you are having tea and coffee, then you have to be mindful that if it's got caffeine in it, then potentially you're having water, but you're also forcing your body to lose more water.

Ash Horton:
So I think in one of our other podcasts, we touched on that. So if you're going to have a cup of coffee, what do you need to replace it with? The equivalent of water, or is it almost twice as much water?

Christine Envall:
I honestly don't know the science on that, and I don't know if there's been a research on that, because you would have to look at obviously how much caffeine, and there's potentially an individuality of how that interacts. I personally would judge it off your own behavior. If you drink a cup of coffee and you notice that you go to the toilet and you excrete more than your cup of coffee, then try to use that theory of replacing what you've put out. And also judge off... And again, I'm having this conversation with you, Ash, and I didn't think I would be, the color of your urine is obviously a very important way of judging, you want to go for as clear as possible. If you're having a lot of B-vitamins and things which have yellow in them, then obviously that's going to skew things off a little bit because it might not go clear when you are having yellow supplements. But in the normal situation, if it's coming out a little bit dark and concentrated, or even if you find that you're not... You should get to know your own body and kind of the rate that things happen and how often, and if you're dehydrated and you're having coffee and not that much is coming out, it maybe means you're already too dehydrated. And you're losing less than what you're putting in, so you need to flush.

Christine Envall:
So really judging off the color is a massive way to judge, and judge the output versus what you're putting in. And listen to your body, understand how you're feeling thirsty, because remember the flip side. And again, I'm not sure if we talked about this previously, of when you're having too low sodium. And the symptoms of that are you're incredibly thirsty, you're drinking an incredible amount of water and it's all coming straight through you. But you're so, so thirsty, and that's too low sodium, and that's too much water to be doing that. So when it comes down to how much you should be having each day, the very, very average numbers here are about three liters for a male and two liters, or 2.1 liters, for a female. But of course that's going to depend on your body weight, size, activity, climate, because if you sweat more, some people don't sweat as much.

Christine Envall:
So there's so many things that impact on that, but I think that's saying, okay, if you're a sedentary person and that's what you should be having, then if you're exercising and you lose a lot of fluid through sweat or you do drink a lot of coffee and stuff, then take that into account and increase how much you're having. But if you're having six, seven liters a day and you're not in a very hot climate, then maybe your sodium's a little bit too low. If you're down having only a liter a day, then you need to put some work in and get some more water into your system. So that's one of the best way to judge it, but yeah, the note at the bottom I already touched on, it was obviously that the best way to judge is the color of your urine, provided that you're not... Again, if you take your Baraka in the morning, there's a potential that the color doesn't come normal until the afternoon.

Ash Horton:
Yeah. I think that goes without saying.

Christine Envall:
Yes. Or if you're drunken a lot of alcohol, not that anyone listening to the podcast and being into health and fitness would do that.

Ash Horton:
Speaking of alcohol, if you are going to drink, should you load up on water beforehand?

Christine Envall:
I cannot answer this from experience, Ash. I believe that that would probably help, but I don't know because I don't drink. So I really don't know, but I have heard that that's a good thing to do, but I would-

Ash Horton:
It is International Protein's 20th birthday today, as we... Is it today, or we're celebrating? Just celebrating.

Christine Envall:
Well, it's somehow in June. I can't remember the exact date, but it's sometime in June.

Ash Horton:
So now is your opportunity to have one little drink with me this evening.

Christine Envall:
I don't drink.

Ash Horton:
You're not going to do it at all?

Christine Envall:
No.

Ash Horton:
Okay.

Christine Envall:
I might have cake, but I'm not going to drink.

Ash Horton:
All right.

Christine Envall:
But a better system would be to alternate water and alcohol.

Ash Horton:
So from what I've heard, and again, I don't have any fact to really back this up, but if you drink water first, it, I guess, dilutes the alcohol as it goes in. But once the alcohol is already in, you can't drink water afterwards and think that it's going to think it out.

Christine Envall:
But if you're dehydrated, then water is going to help at any point.

Ash Horton:
It will still probably help, but it doesn't stop you from getting drunk.

Christine Envall:
No, we're not talking about getting drunk, we're talking about stopping a hangover, which is dehydration. Because the feeling that you get after a competition when you've been dehydrated is very reminiscent of what I remember feeling hungover was like, from when I was a little bit younger.

Ash Horton:
The hangover, of course you can hire people to come and give you an IV overnight so you can be back on top of things by 8:00 AM the next morning.

Christine Envall:
How extreme do you have to go?

Ash Horton:
It happens, it happens. It's a big thing with a lot of corporates, especially over in the States.

Christine Envall:
That they have to?

Ash Horton:
Yeah. They'll pay a lot of money to get it done so they can go out and entertain and have big evenings, and then 8:00 AM, they're good to go on their first meeting.

Christine Envall:
I'd be very interested to know if that is our market.

Ash Horton:
It's not, but it's interesting.

Christine Envall:
Interesting that that thing, other people do extreme things, you're not just bodybuilding. But I don't about stopping you from getting drunk, because that's also got a lot to do with the enzyme in your body which breaks it down. Different people have different amounts of the enzyme, which breaks it down, and how quickly, I guess, match fitness, how used to it you are. But in terms of getting over that dehydration feeling, then the hydration throughout, and then obviously the next day. And your, again, electrolytes has a lot to do with it as well because of water. Water, most of the time, is all that you need, but again, it depends on how long you've exercised for, what conditions, or what else you've lost with it. And I guess what your overall diet is like, like what naturally comes in, in terms of sodium and potassium, your magnesium and stuff.

Christine Envall:
So nothing is ever simple, cut and dried, but the importance of water can't be understated. And not just trying to put that four liters in or three liters in in an hour's period, right before you train, but getting it in equally throughout the day and monitoring yourself.

Ash Horton:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Christine Envall:
Yeah.

Ash Horton:
Okay, something I need to improve on.

Christine Envall:
Yes. Well, you've got-

Ash Horton:
Quite often I'll go hours and hours, like just yesterday, I think, even. I just noticed I hadn't drank for, I don't know, four hours.

Christine Envall:
Gosh. So your mental performance during that period of time is going to have to be suffering, so you need to set a little timer.

Ash Horton:
I need a little reminder on my phone. I'm sure there's an app or something that I can use.

Christine Envall:
There would have to be, the water app or something, and just cool.

Ash Horton:
In fairness, I had the water bottle right next to me the whole time too, so it's just when you get into tunnel vision, I guess. But hey, I'm not necessarily bodybuilding myself, so it's not as important to me, but from a cognitive point of view and just staying healthy, I definitely want to do that.

Christine Envall:
Yeah. I think it's so important now again, away from the sporting performance, but just in people's understanding of any kind of performance and mental performance, cognitive performance, being able to concentrate. All of those things in our lives outside of the gym are probably even more important, and then obviously in the gym. One thing people do have a lot of is those big water jug things, which carry a couple of liters. And some of the big guys even have, in America particularly, have the gallon ones, which is four liters. And essentially, they drink that through training, so they are having a lot more. But again, if 80% of the body of the muscle is water, and they're carrying an extra 50 kilos of muscle over what the average person's carrying, then imagine how many... That's like 40 liters of water. It's massive when you think about it.

Ash Horton:
I'm going to ask a dumb question... Do you need more water after you have more muscle?

Christine Envall:
Yes.

Ash Horton:
And I know that pretty much just was the question that I asked, but-

Christine Envall:
Yeah, because your neck... So if anyone has had one of those DEXA scans done, which probably these days a lot of people have, and that will give you your body fluid, what your water level is, and tells you whether that's normal and stuff. So if you're naturally supposed to be carrying X amount of water because of your size, you're still... It's not like, "Oh, you've got extra water so you don't have to worry about it." You're not like a camel that's storing all of it's water in a hump, it has to be functionally at that same percentage that it's supposed to be, so you are running at a higher level of water and you need to have that to be normal. So if you drop down, you're going to have the same problem, even if you still have twice as much water in your body as the person who has half as much muscle. If that makes sense.

Ash Horton:
And if you are taking in a lot of water, you need to increase your salt levels as well.

Christine Envall:
Again, it depends on the diet, and that's something where I think you need to judge. If you are drinking what you believe is a, I guess, an abnormal amount of water, in terms of if you were up around like that 6, 7, 8 liters and you just felt incredibly thirsty. But you just feel like it's coming straight to you and it is very, very clear, then yeah, that would be an indication that your salt levels are low. It would be a good thing to maybe go get them checked or try to introduce some extra sodium, or even overall electrolytes, into your diet. If you're a big guy or a big girl, you're drinking like three, four liters a day, then that's probably not out of the norm, and it doesn't necessarily mean that your sodium's too low. But again, you'd have to look at your whole diet and recognize are you consciously not having sodium?

Christine Envall:
If you're eating chicken and rice, not putting seasoning on it and you're eating a very, very plain diet, then potentially yes, you're low in sodium. But if you know that you're adding seasoning to your food and you're eating a lot of salty stuff, then you would be aware that you're potentially not sodium deficient. But you, I guess, could be because your requirement might be higher, you could be sweating a lot more. So all of those things, you can't just kind of judge off of one thing, you need to be aware of your own diet and what you're doing.

Ash Horton:
So how long do your muscles hold water for?

Christine Envall:
What do you mean how long do they hold it for?

Ash Horton:
I don't know, it was a question off Google. I'm just trying to throw it into the conversation naturally and you just destroyed it. You just broke.

Christine Envall:
I know. Okay, so this is a little bit of a little bit of chemistry here. Inside of your muscle you have sodium and potassium mainly, and the potassium amount is higher than the sodium, and that ratio of more potassium, less sodium, holds the water in the muscle. Outside of the muscle cell, so in between the skin and the muscle, is more sodium, less potassium. That's the natural gradient, and that's what would pull the water out of the muscle into the subcutaneous. So it's that balance.

Christine Envall:
If your balance is correct, it won't come out of the muscle, as such. If you eat a really high salt diet and the sodium percentage outside creates an abnormal gradient, draws the water out of the muscle, and pushes it to between the skin, and gets that puffy look from eating. And we've all had that puffy look when we've eaten too much salt from pizza or something, it's changed that ratio. So with bodybuilding, essentially people... And this is where it can get a little bit dangerous, because if you send the gradient the wrong way... Like, say, if you have way too much potassium for your sodium, you can actually give yourself a heart attack, because your body's running off electrical impulses. But the idea when you are peaking is you do try to raise your potassium a little bit so that you have more potassium in the muscle cell, and that actually will draw the water into the muscle cell. So it kind of goes in and out of the muscle cell, depending on the gradient ratio, [crosstalk 00:28:06] the sodium and potassium inside and outside of the muscle.

Ash Horton:
That's very interesting stuff.

Christine Envall:
Cool. What did we do that in? First year in organic chemistry, I think, where we learned all about that, and then also the sodium potassium pump, and how that works to keep everything in balance.

Ash Horton:
That's super, super interesting. Okay, next up. What are you going to miss out on if you're not hydrated adequately? Just another Google question. We've probably already covered it, but let's use it as a summary.

Christine Envall:
Yeah, perfect workout. You're going to miss out on all of the things that we did talk about. Obviously the peak power, peak strength in your workout, breaking your food down properly. So the one thing that I thought I had put on the list that I didn't is water... and studies have actually proven this... that water, 500 mil before you eat at a half an hour before you eat, actually does raise your metabolism when you eat your meal.

Ash Horton:
Does it?

Christine Envall:
Believe it or not, yes.

Ash Horton:
Because I've heard the opposite. And I heard that it dilutes your stomach acids and therefore doesn't digest as well.

Christine Envall:
No. Unfortunately, you'd need a lot more than that to dilate your stomach acid. Stomach acid is incredibly concentrated, and it's designed to take in 500 mil of water. It's quite fine. But no, I've read that a couple of places and seen the study where they actually measured, obviously, the thermic result of eating the food. So obviously protein already increases the body's metabolic rate. When you eat protein, fat really has no impact, carb has a little bit of impact, but the glass of water actually increases the thermic burn from the meal. So in terms of cutting up for a competition, no harm in having that glass of water beforehand. So you're going to miss out on fat burning if you don't have your water, so I guess that's-

Ash Horton:
It's probably enough of an incentive for a lot of people start drinking a bit more water.

Christine Envall:
Yeah, and then potentially that you do fill your stomach a little bit and maybe don't eat as much, and all that type of thing, but that's probably the key thing. But I think peak performance is what you're going to miss out on. Cognitive function being so critical, because if you don't want to be lethargic and you want to be on your game and you want to be sharp, then that water is so important to that. And I was going to say and it's free, but no, when we were kids it was free. Not now.

Ash Horton:
Drinking out of puddles, yeah.

Christine Envall:
Yeah. But still, it's pretty cheap and worth going, but don't get me started on different brands of water.

Ash Horton:
Right. They call it liquid gold these days.

Christine Envall:
Because of the... Well, it is. It's probably cost more than what soft drink costs.

Ash Horton:
Yeah.

Christine Envall:
But yeah, actually I'm going to throw it in there. There's a thing going around on Instagram about the designer water in the States. It's the most gross water that you all ever purchase, don't ever purchase it.

Ash Horton:
Dasani.

Christine Envall:
Dasani. And I always used to just think that they're getting this out of some gross tap somewhere, but I never really looked at it that closely. And they were breaking down what's actually in it. Obviously, there's some salt in it, yeah, no big deal. But it was one of the sulfates, I think it was like magnesium sulfate or something, that it's something that gives it a really mouth drying feeling. So it is, it's like when you drink it and it just dries your whole mouth out.

Ash Horton:
Why the hell would you want to drink water to dry your mouth out?

Christine Envall:
But that's the point, I think it makes you drink more. So you buy it and you drink more. Whereas something like an Evian, Fiji, those kinds of waters have a higher pH and are softer, and they actually... Just they feel better in your mouth. And I'm very fussy on that kind of thing with my water. And in Australia, I don't like Mount Franklin, because that, to me, is too drying as well. And I would buy... What's the other one? We have Pump and there was another one we used to have, but yeah, I stay away from Mount Franklin plain water because I find that has that kind of a bit of a nasty effect as well.

Ash Horton:
Quite the connoisseur, aren't you?

Christine Envall:
I absolutely am, because I don't drink alcohol or wine so water's my thing. But yeah, but there was a thing going around on Instagram about the Dasani, and I'm like, "Yes, it's not just me who finds that water so gross."

Ash Horton:
Brilliant. Hey, this has been a fascinating podcast. Thank you very much, Christine.

Christine Envall:
Thank you, Ash. And good to see you drinking that water.

Ash Horton:
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