I posted this in another thread, but it without question deserves it's own thread. Definately don't knock superhydration until you try it.
"Is there any evidence that the idea of increasing cell volume to create an anabolic response is based on reality? The answer is an emphatic yes. Cell volume increase is a common, meaning shared, event seen in cells that are exposed to hormones or nutrients that cause an anabolic response. In fact, the cell volume increase occurs prior to the biochemical events related to protein or glycogen synthesis. A German researcher by the name of Haussinger has published a large number of studies investigating the role cell volume changes play in cellular metabolism... I mention him only so readers who wish to do their own review will have a starting point.
If volume changes are actually responsible for the metabolism of a cell, why haven't others written about it in the many fine (and less-than-fine) strength magazines? Frankly, the material isn't easy to find. The easy stuff is already exploited to nearly unrecognizable states. Ephedrine, creatine, protein and caffeine have all been included in many products because the information base is easily accessed and widely distributed; however, there's a huge amount of scientific material that is not available on databases like Medline. Much of it is what's called basic research, meaning that it's been performed in a test tube, cell plate or tissue culture or on animal models. Basic science represents the frontier of science, as it challenges researchers to prove or disprove something that's as yet unknown. Once it's proven, then it can be applied, meaning that it's put to use. Studies in applied science validate questions that have been raised and investigated in basic science.
Cell volume increases signal anabolic functions. That was demonstrated when researchers exposed cells to anabolic hormones and measured the cellular response. In an identical set of cells they induced an increase in volume by changing the osmolarity, or salt content, of the solution surrounding the cell. The cells that were exposed to anabolic hormones swelled, much like a sponge when exposed to water. Surprisingly, the researchers noted the same cellular response in the second set of cells, even though no anabolic hormone was used. Later studies showed that shrinking the cells caused an opposite effect-the same effect that occurred when cells were exposed to catabolic hormones! So let's make this first and critical point clear:
Cell volume increase (swelling) creates an anabolic response.
Cell volume decrease (shrinking) creates a catabolic response.
Imagine living in a small one bedroom apartment. You fill it up with furniture, stopping when the rooms are full. Life is wonderful, and soon you're able to afford a two-bedroom house with a basement. What do you need or want as soon as you move? More stuff to fill the rooms. Soon you have an office set (instead of a card table), washer and dryer, coffee table and a serious entertainment center. Your space (volume) gets bigger, so you get more stuff. Later, life bites and you return to the one-bedroom apartment. Many of the things disappear-either to Dad's basement or to the repo man. Your space (volume) gets smaller, and you lose stuff. Think of your muscle cells as the living space and your possessions as muscle cell protein and cell contents. Bigger place, more stuff; bigger cell, anabolic growth.
The application to bodybuilding is obvious. Let's swell those muscle cells until they explode. Can they explode? That might be cool to watch, but it sounds painful and may affect your bench press. Actually, the cells can't explode and in fact can only have a moderate degree of swelling. There are regulatory mechanisms in place to prevent the occurrence of unlimited swelling. When a cell dies, however, the mechanisms are gone, and it may shrivel into a dead shell.
So, as exciting as unlimited growth would be, the best we can get is slow progressive growth after repeated exposure to agents that cause cellular swelling. That brings us to supplements.
There are a number of cellular solutes that can enter a cell and make it swell. They typically pull water into the cell, causing a volume increase. What's more, some of the agents will have hormonal responses in addition to the cell volume effect."