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Urine, Supplements and Light-Sabers(6 posts)

Urine, Supplements and Light-SabersJava
Apr 24, 2001 6:31 AM
No, this post is not about some warped fetish (though I'd bet there's a website out there that could cast this topic in a whole different light). What I'm wondering is people's thoughts on whether the colour of your urine is a means by which you could reasonably determine if your body is absorbing whatever supplements you might be taking. That is, if your pee is light-saber yellow, does that mean that you're just pissing away your money on supplements? Whereas if you take supplements and your pee is on the clearer side does that mean that you're actually absorbing (and assumedly benefitting) from those supplements?

This is sort of a continuation of a thread below on supplementation in which some people steadfastly maintain that proper diet is sufficient. My lingering suspicion is that that may be true, but I guess it depends on what is meant by "proper". I know I eat healthy and plenty but, like many of you I suspect, I also take some extra vitamins/minerals in high training/racing season because I don't think my diet covers all those vits/mins. Soooo, if I'm not peeing in light-saber yellow, can I reasonably conclude that the supplements are being utilized by my body?

My apologies if in anyone's eyes I've "stepped over the line of decency" here, but it's an honest question.
re: Urine, Supplements and Light-SabersTJeanloz
Apr 24, 2001 6:40 AM
The color of your urine doesn't have much to do with supplement absorption. What color will tell you is how good a job you've done of staying hydrated. You should always strive to have almost clear or just barely yellow urine- that will indicate that you are well hydrated; bright yellow urine does indicate that the concentration of minerals in your urine is higher, but it has more to do with how much water you're mixing in than with how many minerals you started with. Your body will, for the most part, only take the supplements it needs (or can handle) and discharge the rest in urine. The mineral volume coming out is going to be fairly constant. You could make the argument that with water-soluable minerals (of which there are quite a few), a clear stream indicates that your body has done a better job accepting them- but only because you were more hydrated and thus more able to take on the mineral.
This has my vote for most interesting thread title! nmrollo tommassi
Apr 24, 2001 8:30 AM
re: Urine, Supplements and Light-Sabersj-batman
Apr 30, 2001 5:28 PM
You are correct about the color of your urine indicating your hydration state when you are a normal, healthy individual.

On the issue of supplement absorption, your body needs many things and has transport mechanisms to absorb them from your gut. Your kidney is simply involved in the filtering of the blood to remove substances from your blood. So if anything, your urine is a measure of the removal of supplemental material.

The supplements that are not absorbed by your gut pass through your body and are expelled as feces. There are many mechanisms by which your intestines uptake food stuffs, vitamins and minerals. Most of these mechanisms have a certain capacity after which they cannot absorb any faster, a state called saturation. On a normal physiological diet, these mechanisms are rarely challenged. Supplements allow you to maximize the absorption of nutrients by saturating these mechanisms. But, beyond a certain point, these supplements are not useful. Even some preparations (such as Centrum Vitamins), are not easily digested, so they are lost in feces.

I would recommend eating medium sized balanced meals more often during the day, say 4-6 meals a day. Cramming down a large meal saturates your digestive capacities, and you lose a considerable amount of the nutrients you eat. Find supplements with lots of essential amino acids, vitamins, anti-oxidants, etc. to saturate those non-energy source essential nutrients. Then carb-load for races.

p.s. rambling post, I know. Sorry.
re: Urine, Supplements and Light-SabersSkip
Apr 24, 2001 2:09 PM
There are many causes for variation in urine color and turbidity (cloudiness). The major one, is urine specific gravity, or concentration. There is a wide margin between species of ability to concentrate urine, from 1.000 (same as water - VERY dilute) to over 1.060 (very concentrated). Man can get up to around 1.045. A specific gravity of 1.010 +/- .002 means that the kidneys are neither concentrating nor diluting the urine to conserve or remove excess fluid from the body. Some other things that can "color" the urine are: blood, drugs, cells, infection, porphyins, casts, crystals, sperm, parasites, debris, etc.
you learn something new everyday....jayz
Apr 26, 2001 5:43 AM
never would i have thought someone on this board would actually know the specific gravity of thier pee!!!

maybe i should add that to my training goals:
*get bodyfat to 7%
*raise lactate threshold
*lower urine specific gravity to 1.05

:) maybe its just me...but, man, i gotta pee