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Sports drinks are liquid candy

April 26, 2010

Ben had his wisdom teeth extracted last Friday. He thought that Gatorade would help him recover quicker…. I set out to tell him why not because he didn’t believe me when I said Gatorade has no effect on recovery and reducing the risk of infection after a dental procedure. I am not a clinically trained professional, doctor, or nutritionist. All of my ideas are  based on my own research and my own opinions.

This is what I’ve concluded: If you like the taste of sports drinks better than regular water, then it’s OK to drink them. But it’s important to know that a sports drink is really no better for you than water unless you are exercising for more than 60 to 90 minutes or in really hot weather. The additional carbohydrates and electrolytes may improve performance in these conditions, but otherwise your body will do just as well with water.Many isotonic fluids (fluid, electrolytes and 6 to 8% carbohydrate) such as Gatorade claim to re-hydrate and boost energy, but any product containing calories will increase your energy levels. However, the best way to obtain calories is from the complex carbohydrates found in bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and cereals. In fact, the least nutritionally satisfactory way is by eating simple carbohydrates – that is, sugar. Many sports drinks contain large quantities of sugar. This statement bothers me: “In fact, scientific research shows that physically active children will drink more Gatorade than water and therefore stay better hydrated. (Adults also benefit in a similar fashion.)” Of course they are going to be more hydrated. They like the flavor, and will therefore drink more. But, children, and adults alike, do not need the supplements added in when playing in a basketball game for an hour. They need knowledge of pre-grame and post-game diet and nutrition.

Sports drinks are for Professional Athletes

Gatorade said it themselves. This drink, though suitable for daily ingestion, is helpful to athletes who are exercising at a high intensity for 60 minutes or more. The football players were working out in extreme temperatures for hours on end. Fluids supplying 60 to 100 calories per 8 ounces helps to supply the needed calories required for continuous performance. It’s really not necessary to replace losses of sodium, potassium and other electrolytes during exercise since you’re unlikely to deplete your body’s stores of these minerals during normal training. If, however, you find yourself exercising in extreme conditions over 3 or 5 hours (a marathon, Ironman or ultramarathon, for example) you may likely want to add a complex sports drink with electrolytes.

What is in your Sports Drink?

I know everything in moderation, yes yes yes. But…ingest some of this stuff in the first place? I’m starting to think all this chemically processed, genetically modified stuff is not doing us any favors.

Filtered Water
Filtered water is simply water that has been passed through a filtering system to remove impurities.

Brominated Vegetable Oil
BMV or brominated vegetable oil is added to certain beverages that contain citrus oils. BMV helps prevent the oils from rising to the surface. It also ensures the stability of the flavor mixture. It is derived from soybean.

Some sugar free varieties of Gatorade contain sucralose, a non-calorie artificial sweetener. Sucralose is added simply to enhance flavor and provide sweetness. Sucralose is sold as Splenda.

High Fructose Corn Syrup
The high fructose corn syrup in Gatorade is a combination of two to three carbohydrates. The high fructose corn syrup contributes glucose, sucrose and fructose to the sports drink. Each is added according to results of scientific data to ensure fluid absorption, energy delivery and desirable taste. Instantly addictive, made from genetically modified corn, riddled with pesticides, major cause of obesity and diabetes, feeds cancer, etc. Some call it the “crack” of sweeteners.

Citric Acid
Citric acid is added for flavor and to act as a preservative.

Natural flavors
Natural and artificial flavors are added to enhance the flavor that cannot be supplied if fruit juice or certain spices were to be used.

Salt, also known as potassium chloride, is used to enhance taste. It is present in Gatorade to help regulate fluid balance in the body.

Sodium Citrate
Sodium citrate is added to Gatorade to enhance flavor and maintain the stability of active ingredients.

Monopotassium Phosphate
Monopotassium phosphate is added as a source of phosphate and has been approved by the FDA as a heart healthy food. It’s a flavor additive.

Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin
Glycerol ester of wood rosin is used in products that contain citric oils. It prevents the oils from floating to the surface of beverages. It is harvested from the stumps of pine and purified to beverage grade gum. The National Institute of Public Health has declared glycerol ester of wood rosin safe for human consumption.

Modified food starch
Hmmmm. Did you know modified food starch is another name for MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)? The “g” in MSG, glutamate, is another instantly addictive product. Gatorade says they put certain ingredients in there products to make them more drinkable or to encourage you to drink more. By addicting us? Thanks, but no thanks! Glutamate may produce many different reactions in people. Some inclusde, cardiac problems, facial tightening, headache, blurred vision, asthmatic reactions, drowsiness, numbness, burning sensations, weakness, and many more.

Artificial Colors
Artificial colors are listed in the ingredients as various dyes or a color with a number. According to, the colors in Gatorade are present to help consumers differentiate the different flavors. Colors and dyes used in Gatorade are suitable for human consumption as directed by the FDA. The least amount of dye is used to achieve the desired color. Yellow 5. Yellow 5, also known as Tartrazine is derived from coal tar. It appears to cause the most allergic and intolerance reactions of all food coloring classified as azo dyes. Reactions can include anxiety, migraine, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, rhinitis, urticaria, general weakness, heatwaves, palpitations, feeling of suffocation, pruritus, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance. In rare cases, the symptoms of tartrazine sensitivity can be felt even at extremely small doses and can last up to 72 hours after exposure. Tartrazine has also been linked to childhood developmental problems like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) and obsessive compulsive behavior. It is banned in Norway and previously banned in Germany and Austria as well, but the European Parliament has lifted the ban.,+What%E2%80%99s+Right+for+You,+Carbohydrate+or+Electrolyte+Replacement%3F&source=bl&ots=uR996AcTkH&sig=iRyPO6eOmQFx-Ih4pmWllFR80ho&hl=en&ei=s7vVS_neGYLKMunFwYoE&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Drink milk!

It has the water, sugars, sodium, vitamins and protein your body needs! Want some sweetness? Add a little chocolate.

Too much sodium is a bad thing.

Most people ingest too much sodium and you do not lose enough Gatorade has a lot of sodium.

But a pinch and a dash can quickly add up to unhealthy levels of sodium, especially when many foods already contain more than enough sodium. About 11 percent of the sodium in the average U.S. diet comes from adding salt or other sodium-containing condiments to foods while cooking or eating. But the majority of the sodium — 77 percent — comes from eating prepared or processed foods that contain the mineral. So even though you may limit the amount of salt you add to food, the food itself may already be high in sodium.

The average person ingests too much sodium on a daily basis. If your kidneys can’t eliminate enough sodium, the sodium starts to accumulate in your blood. Because sodium attracts and holds water, your blood volume increases. Increased blood volume, in turn, makes your heart work harder to move more blood through your blood vessels, increasing pressure in your arteries. Certain diseases such as congestive heart failure, cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease can lead to an inability to regulate sodium.

You can stay hydrated by drinking water and eating a balanced diet

Gatorade is a sports drink and is not specifically formulated as an oral rehydration solution. If you’re not eating, then taking your fluid in the form of soup may be a good idea. Also, electrolyte solutions like Gatorade and Powerade may be good options, but for most people, plain water is usually sufficient. But, if you’re replacing your nutrients with a liquid, you aren’t getting what you need from Gatorade. You should just as well be drinking Ensure.

The carbohydrates found in sweetened sports drinks provide energy to help delay fatigue, key word… delay. Sugar and electrolytes increases performance, it doesn’t directly aid in hydration. A sports drink can do many great things to increase energy levels without the complications of digesting and absorbing a meal.



April 6, 2010

A lot has happened since I left the blog and social media world back in February; family ski trip, anxiety attack, gave notice at my job…ugh.

I went on a ski trip with my parents, younger brothers and Ben to Winter Park, CO.  Our original plan was to go to Whitefish, Montana. However, two days before we were supposed to leave the weather said it would be highs of 55 and chance of rain in Whitefish… uh oh. My dad changed the plans and the day we were supposed to leave for Whitefish we headed to Winter Park, Colorado. It was my 6th time there, but I still loved every minute of it!

from left: Ben, dad, me, mom, Rob, Jim

While on the ski trip I had a bit of a breakdown about stress. I’ve been slowly getting more and more unhealthy as the days/weeks/months go by. I’m unhappy at my job. So, on March 8th, I told my boss that I would be looking for a new job. Thankfully she told me I could stay until I find a new job. Since then I’ve applied to more jobs than I can remember, unfortunately. I don’t think I’ll get a job until i have my diploma in my hand, which will happen on May 13th. Long time coming.

I can say one thing, since decided to leave, my stress has already gone down. I’ve been in a much better mood and things are starting to look up. However, the job search is degrading and I’m getting nervous about my prospects. But, my body isn’t hating me as much as it has been over the past year, and I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hey, maybe this gluten allergy will go away…one can only hope.


February 16, 2010

I’m giving up unnecessary internet use for lent and focusing on my health, personal life and career. We’ll see if cutting back on wasteful time sitting at the computer helps. Bye bye facebook, wordpress, twitter, and all the blogs I usually read. Only absolutely necessary internet use at home.

March should be an interesting month.

Also giving up for lent- eating out and eating sweets. That means no Starbucks vanilla soy lattes and Finnish bistro morning glory muffins, OH NO!

I’ll let you know how it goes when I return on April 5th.

Whitefish, Montana

February 11, 2010

Family ski trip in the making and it looks like we’re going to Whitefish. I won a trip for two back in November at the Minneapolis Ski and Snowboard Expo. My dad was able to make a deal with the resort so the whole family can go. Yay!

Posted 02/09/2010 - Oh Boy - Fred Frost is out here everyday making turns and having a great time. Photo by Kat Gebauer.

Time to start pounding the ski-friendly workouts! I’ve been doing plenty of leg workouts to get my running legs back, but I think it’s about time to add some more squats and lunges into the mix. Ben asked me to find him some of the best leg workouts for skiing. I’ve made a compilation from the gallery of workout images at SKI Magazine.

I would [and probably should] go into more detail for each image, but I can remember how to do each, and can answer any questions. I printed out each image and I’m going to tape them to the wall in our basement near our workout equipment. I’m going to tape a straight line down the middle of the basement and do some of the plyometric workouts using the line, and will probably tape some dots on the floor as well to do some of the jumping plyometric workouts I remember from my sprint training and downhill racing days.

This is my favorite:

Doing the whole dot drill (5 separate drills with 5 repetitions each) should take anywhere from 40-70 seconds depending on your skill level. Do anywhere from 2-4 sets.

Up and Back

– Start with feet on D & E

– Jump to C with both feet, then one foot each on A & B

– Come back by going back down to C with both feet, then D & E.

– Repeat 4 more times

Right Foot

– Jump to dot A, B, C, D, E and back, E, D, C, B, A.

– Repeat 4 more times.

Left Foot

– Jump to dot A, B, C, D, E and back, E, D, C, B, A.

– Repeat 4 more times

The nice thing about the dot exercise is that you really can do any pattern you want! Plyometrics are my favorite.


February 8, 2010

I was thinking about my anxieties again last night.  I claim to have no will power, and practically use it as a crutch when I fail- blaming my lack of willpower rather than just saying- okay, one slip up is okay, just get back on track, no big deal…

Maggie said it well- “We base our anxieties and worries on our own histories. Just because something happened yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, and … – does not mean that it has to happen today.”

I keep looking to other people for inspiration because I can’t seem to find my own motivation. You’d think having a co-worker ask if I am pregnant would be enough motivation for me to work toward those Carrie Underwood legs… errr…no. If it was nice out a 5+ mile walk would have helped. I can’t wait for spring. SAD is kicking in. I would love for some advice on how to kick the wintery blues.

Lent starts on Wednesday, February 17. I’m trying to decide what I’ll give up this year. I was thinking I’d give up dining out. This would stop me from buying a coffee a day, and little snacks here and there. Ben and I don’t go out to eat that much, it’s the soy lattes, fruit strips and Chinese take-out that add up. Or I was thinking of giving up meat, but I don’t think Ben would be on board with me, and it’s really hard to cook for two as it is. Maybe I’ll give up dairy. That would be really tough. I love cheese! One year I gave up condiments and “toppings”, that was surprisingly difficult, but very do-able. I love peanut butter and buttered popcorn.  What if I gave up a habit, maybe TV or Internet at home? I have a little over a week to decide. I want it to be a big challenge.

Decisions. Decisions.

::insert bad word::

February 5, 2010

A faculty member asked me if I was pregnant today.

I think I’ll go throw up now.


February 4, 2010

Tomorrow was a long ways off…

What’s been going on since my revelation? I’ve been going to the gym, fairly consistently compared to December and I’ve been working hard at getting my legs back in working order so I can start running again. I’ll be one happy camper when I can start running. I REALLY miss it; as does Ole. He’s been destroying a lot of things lately. Little punk. I was at the gym at 5:45 today, did the elliptical machine for 10 minute while I waited for a treadmill. I hate treadmills, but I’m soooo sick of the elliptical machine. 40 minutes walking up hill and I’m feeling good 🙂

I’ve been listening to audiobooks while I work out, it makes the time go by much faster, and it’s the only time I allow myself to listen. The longer I’m working out, the longer I get to listen to my book. I have no shame, I’ve been reading and listening

I had PT yesterday and was told I need new shoes- yeah… I knew that. My ILTB Syndrome is going away, thankfully. However, apparently I supinate to an extreme, also considered underpronating. My physical therapist gave me a bunch of exercises to work on strengthening my hips more, and my stabilizing muscles to try to correct my extreme supination. I feel so much more knowledgable. As soon as my physical therapist clear me, I’m heading to Marathon Sports and I’m getting some new shoes that are cushioned and have a “curved last.” Every Tuesday they have a podiatrist or physiatrist in the store. Lovely 🙂

REI has some lovely diagrams and RunnersWorld has a great video supination.

Supination video from Runner’s World.