Last month Chris Lieto stayed with me while he was visiting Seattle. He just released the first two products from his new company, Base Performance, and after hearing about it I wanted to try it for myself. The benefits of the Base Amino were fairly easy to grasp – by adding amino acids to your sport drink you are able to utilize the aminos without first digesting a complete protein. I used Base Amino for a couple of days and could immediately fell the difference. The other product, Base Performance water, was a harder sell. Apparently water molecules will naturally clump together in large groups, which must be broken apart before they can travel through the aquaporins that transport water across the cell membrane. Chris boasted that Base Performance Water had been treated through a proprietary filtration method that would cause those molecular clumps to break apart, thus making the water more readily able to travel into your cells. Even harder to believe, it takes just an ounce of Base Performance Water is enough to "declump" an entire gallon of filtered water.
Needless to say, I was skeptical. water clumps were not mentioned in my freshman biology class (though I do remember a cool animation of a single water molecule doing a tango through the channel of an aquaporin), and – while I haven’t taken the course yet – I haven’t seen it on the Biochemistry syllabus. Thus, I decided to commission my mom to help me conduct a test. Sure, a larger study with definitive metrics would be ideal, but my goal was to see if I could feel a difference between filtered water and filtered water with Base Performance water added.
The Test: Over the course of three weeks I kept a jug of water on the kitchen counter. My mom refilled it, so I never knew if it was treated with Base Water or not. The first and second week were different, then the third week could be a switch back to the first week or the same as the second week. So the options by week were A B A, or A B B.
Observations: I noticed that I drank a lot more water from the jug during the second week than during the first and third weeks. My training was fairly consistent, though the third week was certainly harder than the previous two. I felt best in the third week, but I was a bit broken down in week #1, and was trying to recover while continuing to train at a high level. Week #2 I had a track workout of 8×800 on 2 minutes rest, and I felt terrible. It was the first speed work I’ve done this season, but it didn’t go well at all. In week #3 I repeated the workout with only 1 minute rest, and I hit all my target splits.
Considerations: I’ve had training variations like this before, just based on outside factors. I have been studying hard for the MCATs and have been less consistent with my sleep than normal. The one observation that really struck me as independent of my study and sleep irregularities was the difference in volume of water I drank between weeks 1 and 3 and week 2.
Conclusion: Based on my final consideration, I guessed that my mom had supplied me A, B, A, by week, and that A was Base water. I was right.
Looking back I realize that in week number two I awoke to use the bathroom most nights, but in weeks one and three I did not. I drink water continuously throughout the day, but the amount I take in has to do with how hydrated I am. Much like I naturally drink more in a warm climate, I naturally drank less when I was using Base Water. This translated to fewer bathroom trips at night, faster rehydration, and better recovery.
Comments: My verdict is that Base Water works. $30 for 8 gallons worth of solvent will last most people about a month if you use it for all your workouts, and in the evenings. If you’re training full-time (over 20 hours), or live in a hot climate, it will go by more quickly (My guess is that the benefits are proportional to how much water you drink, so in Honolulu it would make a bigger difference than I observed in Seattle). The weeks I was using Base Water I drank less, recovered faster, and rehydrated more quickly. If you’re the type of person who works all day, then trains in the evening, I would highly recommend Base Performance Water. When you train late it’s hard to get enough fluids in before bedtime, and if you do, you end up getting up to urinate during the night. Since the Base Water absorbs more quickly, I noticed on the Base Water weeks I could sleep the entire night without getting up (I sleep about 9 to 10 hours a night, so that’s a long time between trips to the bathroom for someone who drinks constantly). The extra rest alone is worth the price to me (and yes, I am buying the product; my endorsement is completely voluntary.).