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Author Topic: If I run for hours in sea water will I absorb minerals or just water (osmosis)  (Read 3408 times)

Offline sea runner

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I am training for the Olympics and stand a good chance of gaining a medal place - someone may guess who i am Σ! I have been told that race horses now train like atheletes by running in cold sea water to absorb both water and minerals into their blood stream by osmosis ( see newbielink: [nonactive])I cant see how any physiological benefit could accrue other than helping repair micro tissue riping in muscle building ? would it be better to run in cold sea water before or after exercise ? what could be the chemicial and cellular processes taking place or is it mythology?


Offline imatfaal

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English racehorses do not tend to train in the sea - they might do some exercise in pools, especially after an injury.  the majority of training is done on gallops - long stretching expanses of grass land.  Gallops are meticulously maintained to avoid rabbit holes/mole hills etc - I cannot imagine owners and trainers being happy running horses through seawater with no idea what is under the surface.  If I were training for London 2012 (good luck by the way) I would avoid any situation in which I might tread on a broken piece of glass or other sharp object - and running in the sea (other than in the most shallow areas of wave) would always pose this problem unless you were in the back of beyond

One of the medics might be able to help on the amount of absorption that would occur.  I would have thought that the osmotic gradient tends to make water leave the body even in salty sea water but I really don't know the figures.  You can dehydrate quite badly whilst swimming in the sea if it is warm.  Personally I would say that the benefits of running in water are the increased resistance to all movement whilst not putting an excessive strain on the body.  there are some great sports physiologists out there - but like most walks (or runs) of life there are some real charlatans.  Good Luck Again.


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Our dry outer skin (stratified squamous keratinizing epithelium) is evolutionarily designed to be the most impermeable epithelia of the body. The primary outer layer (epidermis) consists of many layers of skin cells (keratinocytes) that are tightly sealed together. Absorptive or secretive epithelia almost always consists of a single layer of cells. The outermost sublayer of the epidermis (stratum corneum) consists of many layers of the massive cytoskeletons of dead skin cells that are tightly bound together and sealed with a waxy/oily substance. Some fat soluble substances can diffuse through the waxy seal and living cellular membranes to enter the body, but water and water soluble minerals are largely excluded.

Running in the surf will help keep you cool and help strengthen your ankles (running on sand), but you will not absorb much from the ocean and it might be hard on your skin. Attached is an illustration of the cellular arrangement of our epidermal surface seal. Steve


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