The myth of sports drinks

#2
Drinking water and eating something to rehydrate and replace electrolytes is fine as far as that goes. But on a tree job on a hot day when you’re taking a water break you’re not inclined to eat. In really hot weather just drinking water can lead to hyponatremia as the article states. I think sports drinks have their place for those days when the sweat is pouring out of you, you’re not eating and, in my case, the taste of a sports drink encourages me to drink more than I would otherwise. Poorly designed studies don’t mean that sports drinks have no benefit.
 

ghostice

Active Member
#3
Tom thanks for this.
Gotta say, anecdotally from years of coaching soccer and a variety of outdoors epics, this is probably borne out in my experience. Couple of other obervations are that cold water/ sports drinks aren't the greatest - just room temperature. No need for a buzz on after drinking. After most of our games/ epic trips everybody has either plain milk or chocolate milk. We have found that milk after the game or a gutbust backcountry ski mountaineering trip goes a long way to preventing foot or leg cramps later. And it's food too.
Cold vests and other hot weather remedies have been talked about in other threads but we've also just used simple spray bottles to spray head and back of neck/ arms periodically to keep a bit cooler. Works too.
Cheers
 

New2trees

Active Member
#4
I have a feeling some other poor comparisons to athletics will probably hit this thread (ghostices was IMO a very good one).

As a cyclist in my youth we used to consume a lot of gels which contained quick and medium carbs as well as consuming electrolytes and lots of water....IMO this is the most effective way to achieve maximum output for an extended period as the body does not have to do the work to maintain the caloric output.

That said we only raced a day or several days, with a lot of rest days in between and great nutrition on a daily basis. A;so most cyclists only race for 5-10yrs as a career.

My point being what is most effective for output short term, is not the most effective/safe for an endeavor that is a career. Many times studies of anything for sports are oriented entirely on the products short term results not on the long term consequences.

That said do they have a place...sure, but if you are relying on them heavily or particularly sweet or caffeine based drinks it would IMO be a good idea to try to change your approach.
 

JD3000

Well-Known Member
#5
Gatorade is terrible. Basically empty calories and Powerade is a bit better.

Vitamin Water has one called Revive that has a bunch of K in it and the Body Armor products do as well. I generally have one or the other at lunch and water all around.

Start the day hydrated. Coffee in the am after a few beers the night before doesn't help.
 

RBJtree

Active Member
#6
In my opinion and experience, sports drinks have don't have enough electrolytes to be helpful. The sugar, in the form of glucose or dextrose, can be quickly absorbed to replace spent muscle glycogen ( fast carbs) if consumed directly after intense exercise while the body is still flowing extra blood to muscles, which I have heard studies quoted saying can reduce muscle recovery times dramatically.
I personally take sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium (electrolytes) supplements in pill form when it's hot out and I will be sweating a lot. Before I did this, I got bad headaches on a regular basis and couldn't retain enough water in my body to stay hydrated. I sweat a lot when it's hot out. I can gauge my electrolyte levels by how bad my sweat burns when it gets in my eyes. Not enough burning equals eat a salt pill. During summer months I drink a least a gallon of water a day. Since I began heavy electrolyte supplementation, I have been able to withstand summer heat and sun much better and almost 0 headaches from heat and sun.
 

CanadianStan

Well-Known Member
#7
In my opinion and experience, sports drinks have don't have enough electrolytes to be helpful. The sugar, in the form of glucose or dextrose, can be quickly absorbed to replace spent muscle glycogen ( fast carbs) if consumed directly after intense exercise while the body is still flowing extra blood to muscles, which I have heard studies quoted saying can reduce muscle recovery times dramatically.
I personally take sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium (electrolytes) supplements in pill form when it's hot out and I will be sweating a lot. Before I did this, I got bad headaches on a regular basis and couldn't retain enough water in my body to stay hydrated. I sweat a lot when it's hot out. I can gauge my electrolyte levels by how bad my sweat burns when it gets in my eyes. Not enough burning equals eat a salt pill. During summer months I drink a least a gallon of water a day. Since I began heavy electrolyte supplementation, I have been able to withstand summer heat and sun much better and almost 0 headaches from heat and sun.
Saltsticks! I used these for hot summers, I don’t need to eat anything during the day with careful water intake and electrolytes

Recently I started making my own using Himalayan salt, NoSalt (potassium iodide) and magnesium. Using empty capsules
 

RBJtree

Active Member
#9
Saltsticks! I used these for hot summers, I don’t need to eat anything during the day with careful water intake and electrolytes

Recently I started making my own using Himalayan salt, NoSalt (potassium iodide) and magnesium. Using empty capsules
I like the idea of making your own custom blend. I know too much of any of the electrolytes can be bad and they are supposed to be kept at a certain balance, but for some reason I never see all 4 in a balanced supplement.
 
#10
Thanks, Tom, for pointing out the artical. I think for years I had been suffering from over hydration over the summer months. Last summer I finally upped the salt intake and moderated the water intake and was able to work in the heat so much better then I had been before.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
#11
YMMV...my own experience

I've never ever taken salt pills. In fact, I haven't used salt outside of what is already in what I eat for over 30 years.

There have been a few GOO-type jels I've tried. None seemed harmful but none seemed to help that much.

Never bought a sports drink. I'll buy a juice of some kind...and try to find ones with no sugar added.

Drink as much water as I can on 'those' days. Balance intake...respiration...urination. In weather extremes having too much water makes it hard to balance...especially winter.

Never worried about the issue of coffee, etc. being diuretics...I just have another cup if I'm that concerned. Never read anything about how any sort of diuretic measure is used.

Oh well..like a lot of answers...it depends..or...it's all about doseage...pizza is ready, so is my beer
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
#12
Gatorade is terrible. Basically empty calories and Powerade is a bit better.
.....
I like regular Gatorade, but think regular Powerade tastes terrible. But as I've gotten older, I've found that much sugar at once when I'm hot, hungry, and thirsty doesn't sit well. Low calorie Gatorade is terrible, but I really like Powerade Zero grape. One a really hot day, I'll have 1 qt of that, 1.5-2 gallons of water during the day and another quart of milk when I get home. On those days, I'll pee in the morning when I get up +/-6:30 and again when I get home 12-13 hours later...or maybe it will be after I eat dinner.

I do find the Powerade Zero helps...but I wouldn't want just that - certainly like having lots of water.
 

WaitakKauri

Well-Known Member
#15
Just some of my thoughts on this.

Drink sports drink and keep your dentist busy. (seriously, it's bad stuff for your oral health)

I didn't check this link, but am aware of studies on the topic for sport. I have been a non user of sports drinks now for years for cycling. I enjoyed electrolyte tablets with water for taste as I got off the sports drinks. For fluids, I'm on water now and an occasional flat coke at the end of a big race.

Using sports drinks or those with a similar effect (including many electrolytes and energy drinks) I'd try to neutralise the acidity quickly. I've used dual bladders in camelbacks/bottles with one with water for rinsing/drinking and brushing at lunch to help achieve this.

For working or doing sport in the heat I've found determing sweat rate to be really useful. It's quite easily to determine how much water to drink without causing over or under hydration. The old pee colour monitoring is good too.

Most of my experience with this is from a dentist (an immediate family member), and personal study for coaching and training and racing endurance sports.
 

Bob Bob

Well-Known Member
#17
I usually pound the H2O and have some salty snacks for the salt loss. This video shows a base formula for a homemade sports drink, I've never tried it but it looks interesting.
 
#18
I’m One of those guys who sweats more water than he can actually consume safely. I have the reputation of being the sweatiest guy in the company. And so because of that, I need to drink as much water as I can as well as replenish my electrolytes. You may aswell drink a soda if you’re drinking only Gatorade ( ok I’m exaggerating but you get the point)
I found a way that helps is by using this one particular Electrolyte pill that I get off of Amazon.com. I take it as needed but it helps me out a lot.
 

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#20
Unless you're making sure your diet includes enough magnesium, I'd suggest at least considering a magnesium supplement. Do a little research or talk to your doctor.
I have more energy, motivation, and better mood. Easier to fall asleep and easier to wake up.
I'm leary about suggesting the entire public take this pill lol but can't hurt to Google it and see if any symptoms sound familiar.
 
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