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Pure Water Case Study

Essay by   •  November 27, 2011  •  Case Study  •  724 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,581 Views

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In the case of 22-year-old 102-pound woman, running a prolonged marathon race, took a big toll on her body. In such instances, an athlete has to train properly and know what should be done in order to avoid damages done to a body. Although she has performed various short races earlier, she did not know how to sustain her body on a longer marathon race.

Since most of the long marathon races start in the morning, typical experienced marathon runner consumes a rich breakfast prior to the event filled with an equal mix of carbohydrates, proteins and even fat. Some eat a meal consisting of a bagel, banana, jello and pretzels in similar manner to provide sustainable energy for the event. Marathon runner does not over eat, but huge amounts of energy are needed to fulfill a desired event and avoid any unwanted injuries while at it. Stations are setup throughout the race track to aid runners in more energy, but are not allowed to drink or eat in larger quantities. This is done in order to avoid relative weight gain and have the body digest all of the food while the race is performed.

While pure water is present at the stations, it's not there for the sole purpose of giving energy to a runner. Water replenishes body fluids that are lost during sweating and increases blood volume, as a result aiding in faster delivery of nutrients containing energy to muscle tissue. As this woman ran an enormous race on a cool day in April, she should've kept in mind that her body would not be losing substantial amounts of water due to cool conditions and thus tried to avoid consuming large quantities of water closer to the end of the race. During sweating, she should've also expected the loss of salts containing Na+ (sodium), which are normally present in the extracellular fluid. Sodium is an important in electrochemical gradient which takes place in muscles, heart and brain necessary for the function and exchange between the cell's intracellular and extracellular fluid. Sodium, along with other electrolytes such as K+ (Potassium) and Ca2+ (Calcium) serve important function in transport of molecules, such as glucose in Secondary Active Transport process. They may act as cotransporters (symporters) moving molecule in the same direction or countertransporters (antiporters) moving molecule in opposite directions. These electrolytes are also important when they're pumped through the ion channels, primary active transport or secondary active transport because they maintain membrane potential of the cell.

Due to a loss in sodium concentration caused by sweating, water consumed built up in her extracellular fluid resulting in dilution of salts there. Meanwhile, concentration of salts inside the cell remained the same as before causing water to move into the cell due to osmosis and cell's cytosol being hypertonic as opposed to the extracellular fluid. As a result, cells swelled up in the muscles causing patient to feel cramps

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