Confused about the hype and advertising on electrolytes and Sports Drinks? What do we really need during and after strenuous or athletic activity?
THE SPORTS DRINK HYPE AND MYTH
(excerpt from The Washington Post)
In an attempt to limit the sale of high-calorie sodas, candy bars and other snacks in schools, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has introduced a bill that would have the government set new nutritional standards for the foods and drinks that schools sell to students outside cafeterias. But just what those standards should be is the issue.
Public health advocates want the standards to ban the sale of Gatorade and Powerade, which typically contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas and more sodium, as well as sweetened waters such as VitaminWater and SoBe Life Water. Excessive sodium intake by young people could fuel a surge in high blood pressure, which until recently was considered a health threat only in later life, they said.
Nutritionists also warn of excessive salt consumption among more sedentary students. A 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade contains approximately 275 milligrams of sodium, almost 12 percent of the recommended daily allowance for people ages 14 to 18. Already, more than 75 percent of children consume more than the recommended 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day, according to the Institute of Medicine.
“Most kids you see carrying around sports drinks are not athletes,” said Mary Story, a professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and one of the authors of the institute’s report. “When you look at the ingredients, it’s water, high-fructose corn syrup and salt. The question is, who is really benefiting? Is it the kids or the companies that make [the drinks]?”
“For years we’ve been programmed to believe that sports drinks are healthy and you need to replenish those electrolytes after you go out and walk the dog,” said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “They don’t want any official sanctioning of the idea that sports drinks are associated with obesity.”
WHAT ABOUT THOSE ELECTROLYTES
(excerpt from Wikipedia)
Electrolyte solutions are normally formed when a salt is placed into a solvent such as water and the individual components dissociate due to the thermodynamic interactions between solvent and solute molecules, in a process called solvation. For example, when table salt, NaCl, is placed in water, the following occurs:
NaCl(s) → Na+ + Cl−
In simple terms, the electrolyte is a material that dissolves in water to give a solution that conducts an electric current.
An electrolyte in a solution may be described as concentrated if it has a high concentration of ions, or dilute if it has a low concentration. If a high proportion of the solute dissociates to form free ions, the electrolyte is strong; if most of the solute does not dissociate, the electrolyte is weak. The properties of electrolytes may be exploited using electrolysis to extract constituent elements and compounds contained within the solution. [this makes me wonder IF those energy drinks even have much, if any, electrolyte activity at all]
It is unnecessary to replace losses of sodium, potassium and other electrolytes during exercise since it is unlikely that a significant depletion the body’s stores of these minerals will occur during normal training. However, in extreme exercising conditions over 5 or 6 hours (an Ironman or ultramarathon, for example) the consumption of a complex sports drink with electrolytes is recommended. Athletes who do not consume electrolytes under these conditions risk overhydration (or hyponatremia).
Because sports drinks typically contain very high levels of sugar, they are not recommended for regular use by children. Rather, specially-formulated pediatric electrolyte solutions are recommended.
Sports drinks are also not appropriate for replacing the fluid lost during diarrhea.
The role of sports drinks is to inhibit electrolyte loss but are insufficient to restore balance once it occurs.
Medicinal rehydration sachets and drinks are available to replace the key electrolyte ions lost. Dentists recommend that regular consumers of sports drinks observe precautions against tooth decay.
Electrolyte and sports drinks can be home-made by using the correct proportions of sugar, salt and water. [it seems to me that using Blue Agave, a low-glycemic sweetener, would adequately take care of the essential sugar part and not reek havoc on our insulin levels]
TABLE SALT vs NATURAL SALT
Common table salt has nothing in common with natural salt. Table salt is 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals such as moisture absorbents, and iodine. Dried at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, the excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt.
If you haven’t used regular table salt for as many years as I have, just the smell of it is repulsive. It doesn’t even taste like real salt. See my link below for real salt.
SUGAR, INSULIN AND CHRONIC DISEASE
(excerpt from Dr. Mercola)
Just like other sugars high fructose corn sugar (HFCS) disrupts your insulin levels, and elevated insulin levels are going to increase your risk of nearly every chronic disease known to man, including:
• Heart disease
• Premature aging
• Arthritis and osteoporosis
You name it, and you will find elevated insulin levels as a primary factor.
Maybe you, or someone you know, experiences this…
There’s also new evidence that HFCS increases your triglyceride levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Part of what makes HFCS such an unhealthy product is that it will tend to raise your blood sugar levels and cause sugar to attach to many of your body’s proteins, thus causing permanent damage to them. Because most fructose is consumed in liquid form, these negative metabolic effects are significantly magnified.
Although these drinks are often referred to as “energy” drinks, in the long run, sugar does just the opposite. It acts like an H-bomb – a quick explosion of energy followed by a plummeting disaster, as your pancreas and other glands do all they can to balance out the toxic stimulation to blood sugar. Any kinesiologist or chiropractor will show you how sugar dramatically reduces strength!
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Your Best Alternatives to Sports Drinks
It is, however, important to replace the water you’ve lost during exercise. But the question is: are sports drinks really as “essential” to young school athletes for this purpose as the manufacturers would like you to believe? Are they the best alternative for your children?
Well, no. They’re not. (After all, these trade group representatives are paid to say whatever their clients want them to say. They’re not nutritional experts.) Neither are “energy” drinks like Red Bull and many others, which are high in caffeine – a natural diuretic – which will actually dehydrate your body further.
Your best bet for your primary fluid replacement is pure, fresh water.
If your child is going to be involved in a long game or match, drinking simple carbs (sugar, corn syrup, and so on), will give him or her a quick spike in blood sugar followed by a fall, causing sluggishness and hampering overall performance. Pure water is a far better alternative to rehydrate.
ENERGY JUICE ALTERNATIVE
LOW GLYCEMIC SUGAR REPLACEMENT OPTION
GET REAL SALT HERE
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