About water balance in your body

The competition season is upon us, and a lot of athletes struggle to get dry on stage. Here are the basics of how your body works when it comes to water balance:

The majority of fluid output occurs from urination. Some fluid is lost through perspiration (part of the body’s temperature control mechanism) and as water vapor in expired air.

The body’s homeostatic control mechanisms ensure that a balance between fluid gain and fluid loss is maintained. The hormones ADH (antidiuretic hormone, also known as vasopressin ) and aldosterone are responsible for this.

What does this mean: your body is smart, it will always try and restore the water balance.

If you drink too little water, it will retain fluid by the kidneys and reduces the urine output.

When you drink too much water, your body will try and push it out by increasing your urine output. Drinking too much water also increases the amount of water in your blood and your sodium and electrolyte levels drop. Sodium helps balance fluids between the inside and outside of cells.

When sodium levels drop due to excess water consumption, fluids shift from the outside to the inside of the cells, causing them to swell. When brain cells swell, pressure inside the skull increases. This pressure causes the first symptoms of water intoxication: headache, nausea, vomiting.

Aldosterone  increases water reabsorption through sodium cotransport.

ADH increases water reabsorption by increasing the nephron’s permeability to water, while aldosterone works by increasing the reabsorption of both sodium and water.

Over hydration happens when you drink more water than your kidneys can get rid of via urine.

But the amount of water is not the only factor. How long you take to drink the water also counts.Your kidneys can only get rid of about 0.8 – 1 liter of water per hour. Therefore to avoid water intoxication you should not drink more than 1 l of water per hour on average.

Extra care should be taken when you ‘load’ the water before a competition, and also when you rehydrate following a dehydration after a competition – don’t drink too much water at once.

About Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, especially type 1 collagen. It’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. It’s what helps give our skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells. When it comes to our joints and tendons, in simplest terms, it’s the “glue” that helps hold the body together.

As we age, collagen production declines. You’ll notice it physically: looser skin, more wrinkles and less elasticity. Increasing collagen levels can help your skin look firmer, increase smoothness, and help your skin cells keep renewing and repairing normally.

Collagen also reduces cellulite and stretchmarks.

When we lose collagen, our tendons and ligaments start moving with less ease, leading to stiffness, swollen joints and more. With its gel-like, smooth structure that covers and holds our bones together, collagen allows us to glide and move without pain.

A boost in collagen may help increase your metabolism by adding lean muscle mass to your frame and helping with the conversion of essential nutrients. One of glycine’s most important roles is helping form muscle tissue by converting glucose into energy that feeds muscle cells.

Collagen protein is the building block of your fingernails, hair and teeth. Adding collagen into your diet regimen can help keep your nails strong and possibly reverse signs of hair loss.

If you’d like to detox your body of harmful substances, improve blood flow and keep your heart young, collagen is extremely helpful. That’s because glycine helps minimize damage your liver experiences when it absorbs foreign substances, toxins or alcohol that shouldn’t be passing through it.

About diabetes – part 1

There are 3 main types of diabetes mellitus:

  • Type 1 Diabetes: results from the pancreas failing to produce enough insulin
  • Type 2 Diabetes: a condition of defective insulin signalling
  • Gestational Diabetes: a condition where women without previously diagnose diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy.

When insulin isn’t produced or acts ineffectively, glucose remains circulating in the blood, leading to a condition known as hyperglycemia. Long term hyperglycemia can result in the dysfunction and failure of various organs and systems, including the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels.

The key players in diabetes are the pancreas and the liver.

The pancreas is both an endocrine and exocrine gland.

Exocrine means that it’s a gland that release its contents through a tube from inside to outside the body. It helps with digestion by producing important enzymes that break down food, which allows the body to absorb the nutrients.

The endocrine function primarily involves the secretion of the 2 primary hormones relevant to diabetes management: insulin and glucagon.

Insulin increases the storage of glucose, fatty acids and amino acids in cells and tissues and is considered an anabolic hormone. Insulin is a key player in the storage and use of fuels within the body.

Disorders in insulin production and signalling have widespread and devastating effects on the body’s organs and tissues. Glucagon is a peptide hormone produced by alpha cells in the pancreas. The pancreas releases glucagon when blood sugar levels fall too low. It opposes the action of insulin by raising the concentration of glucose in the blood.

Dietary carbs are not essential, however, the body needs glucose. The brain typically needs about 130 gr of glucose every day. Not all glucose has to come from the diet because the liver has the ability to synthesise it.

The liver serves as a warehouse for glucose storage and production. It can also produce fatty acids under certain conditions.

As blood glucose and insulin levels increase, the liver increases its absorption of glucose. Glucose is stored as glycogen. The amount of glycogen stored depends on circulating insulin and glucose levels. When blood glucose levels drop, insulin production falls. The shortage of insulin signals the liver to release its assets by sending glucose back into the blood to keep the body nourished.

When carb intake is restricted, it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. As insulin levels fall and energy is needed, fatty acids leave their respected fat cells and enter the bloodstream. From here they’re taken up by specific cells and metabolised. Ketone bodies are molecules created in the liver, that are pushed into the blood stream where they’re utilised by skeletal and heart muscles cells as fuel. Also, the brain begins to use ketones as an alternate fuel source when blood levels are high enough to cross the blood-brain barrier. When this happens a person is said to be in nutritional ketosis.

Ketogenic diets are very popular because they suppress insulin and that seems to be very effective in the treatment and management of obesity and T2D. However the severe restriction of carbs (often below 30 gr) may increase the potential for hypoglycaemia of people with T1D.

Lipogenesis is creating fat within the body from glucose or other substrates. It takes place mostly in the liver. Lipogenesis occurs in the liver during times of calorific excess and overfeeding. The liver converts excess glucose to fatty acids. These fatty acids can be stored in the liver or transported via lipoproteins (carriers) to muscle and fat tissue for future fuel use or storage. The ratio that is stored or used is highly dependent on energy intake vs. energy expenditure.

In a healthy liver, insulin halts the production of glucose and instead promotes glycogen storage or generates fatty acids during times of energy excess.

The liver of a person with T1D has no internal break system. Insulin deficiency allows glucose production in the liver to go uncontrolled leading to hyperglycaemia and ketoacidosis if unmanaged. When there’s not enough insulin available, glucose cannot enter the cells for use as energy. Therefore the liver produces even more glucose in an attempt to provide energy for the starved cells, but because insulin is not available, none of this glucose can enter the cells. It builds up and starves the cells even further. Consequently, administration of insulin medication is needed to facilitate the entry of glucose into cells.

Insulin increases glucose uptake in the liver by facilitating the creation of glycogen and decreases glucose output.

Prolonged elevations in insulin that result from an energy surplus increase the body’s ability to produce fat via the process of lipogenesis.

Source:

Phil Graham: Diabetic Muscle

Different fuel sources of the body

Our food choices supply the energy for our bodies to continue to function properly. These energy sources are: carbohydrate, protein and fats. The body can store these fuels in a form that allows immediate source of energy. Carbohydrates are readily broken down to glucose, the body’s main energy source. Glucose can be used immediately as fuel, or can be sent to the muscles and liver to be stored as glycogen. During exercise muscle glycogen is converted back into glucose. The liver converts its glycogen back into glucose, too, however it is released into the bloodstream to maintain your blood sugar levels. Blood glucose is also the main fuel for the brain when you rest as well as when you exercise. The body constantly uses and replenishes its glycogen stores.
The amount of energy the body can store is limited however. The body can store approximately 1800 – 2000 kcal worth of energy, enough to fuel about 90-120 min high intensity exercise. As we exercise, we gradually deplete our muscle glycogen stores, and blood glucose plays an increasingly important role in meeting the body’s energy demands. When the liver is also depleted of glycogen, you experience hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) when your performance drops. You can avoid that by consuming carbohydrates during prolonged and high intensity exercise.
 Fat is the body’s most concentrated energy source. During exercise stored fat in the body is broken down into fatty acids. These fatty acids are transported through blood into the muscles for fuel. This process is slower than the mobilization of carbohydrates for fuel. Fat is also stored within the muscles where it can be accessed easier during exercise. In order for fat to fuel exercise, sufficient oxygen must be simultaneously consumed.

 As for protein, our bodies use protein to build, maintain and repair body tissues as well as synthesize important enzymes and hormones. Protein meets only 5 % of the body’s energy needs. In some situations, however, such as when we eat too few calories daily or not enough carbohydrate, as well as during latter stages of endurance exercise, when glycogen reserves are depleted, skeletal muscle is broken down and used as fuel to access certain amino acids that can be converted into glucose.

For bespoke training and nutrition plan contact me on hello@tamaramakar.me