Are You Confused About…
Sports Drinks, Hydration, & Endurance Training?
Today, we are continuing our discussion from the last blog “Are You Confused About Energy Drinks?” Specifically, I want to look at water, over-hydration when you exercise, and so called “sports drinks” for preventing dehydration or heat exhaustion.
Here in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas and Southern Missouri, we just completed our hottest June in my lifetime, perhaps in history. Record highs in the 100’s for a couple weeks in a row certainly have impacted our training for Pikes Peak this September and Mt Kilimanjaro in January.
Because our hike in Africa includes 5 climates of exposure, we deemed it necessary to continue training through the heat wave. We learned much about endurance, training in the heat, and hydration in general to share with our readers.
I am happy to say that with precautions and wisdom, we made it through with flying colors! Not only were we able to continue, we actually increased our times, mileage, and intensity during these times. Yes, as a result applying some bold new training strategies, I am not only still alive and well, I am even 6 months ahead of my expected training schedule!
So, today we are sharing some of the things we learned, courtesy of Godly wisdom and professional input by my husband, Dr Ray Pearson, daughter, Dr Rebecca Pearson, and my professional trainer, son, Christopher Brynell. Doc and Christopher are playing key roles in keeping me safe and in top notch shape as I learn a whole new way of life in training! My deep thanks to you both for the expert coaching to get me to the top!)
(Also a BIG shout-out to my mom, all of our other children and grandchildren, and our faithful prayer partners who strengthen me daily by lifting my arms and often my feet too! You are dearly loved and greatly appreciated!)
Besides the logical assumption that I should drink plenty of water, what are the thought processes important for endurance training and performance?
The first principle is to realize that real, ordinary people AND ultra triathletes or professional athletes have the same foundational needs in working with the body’s design to produce health and peak performance.
Most of you should read that last sentence again. This is an area where most people make the first mistake. Don’t reinvent the wheel. The human body is designed like it is designed, so the basic key elements or requirements remain consistent. Activity level and environment then dictate timing and volume of those basic required elements.
Key thoughts here are of course, properly hydrating with good, clean, water, but even more than that, it is actually addressing what is lost, or more appropriately stated, utilized during your activities of life, in my case, endurance training or peak physical, mental, and emotional demands. (And who doesn’t have that in life??)
Interestingly enough, the area in which my thinking and applications have changed in regard to staying properly hydrated and physically balanced wasn’t regarding fluid intake at all, but rather has been regarding my consumption of EFA’s – Essential Fats – and replacing at the proper rate my Essential Minerals.
The things I am sharing with you all today played a huge part in my ability to complete 8-10 miles in a day, repeatedly, in 98 degree heat without hurting my body!
So even if you aren’t do that kind of activity, it will pay off to listen up! Learn what will help you do what YOUR life requires!
The demands of endurance training has doubled my requirement for EFA’s. NKO Krill, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E and Evening Primrose are my arsenal against injury. (EFA’s prevent hot flashes and moodiness, lady athletes, and irritability and sexual dysfunction, male athletes, due to burned up resources!)
Additionally, I have proven out that healthy fats are also providing me much better energy sources better than increasing my carbohydrates did. And, they completely eradicated inflammation and ligament/tendon pain in the ankles, knees, and elbows.
Adding increased amounts of Cellfood minerals in my water is keeping both hormones and hydration rightly regulated. Normal adult dose is about 24 drops per day diluted in 24 ounces of water, I use 32+ depending on my miles each day and how hot it is. The right minerals keep hormones steady (a real problem with many professional athletes) and aids in optimal nightly repair and recovery.
So, Are Sports Drinks Even Helpful?
Just after we published our last blog, another internet blogger, Dr. Joseph Mercola, posted an article on endurance athletes and over-hydration concerns. While we do not necessarily agree on every point, there are some very strong and valid points worth sharing.
He owns all rights to the article, which can be found at http://mercola.com. To make it easy for our readers, I have quoted some of the best tips and advice along with our comments on them. (Quoted portions from Dr. Mercola’s article are in the blocked quote immediately below.)
“The fact of the matter is, sports drinks represent a nearly $4-billion market in the United States.vii And because of their glitzy marketing campaigns, which often feature celebrity athletes, many people are under the impression that these drinks are healthy and essential during or after a workout, offering such benefits as improved athletic performance, increased energy and superior hydration during exercise.
The leading brands of sports drinks on the market typically contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas and more sodium. They also often contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Fructose is known to be highly toxic when consumed at levels beyond which glycogen stores are replenished. The excess either converts to triglycerides in the liver, which in turn raises your risk of heart disease and does nothing to satisfy the immediate glucose needs of your cells…”
Many sports drinks also contain artificial sweeteners (they can lead to impaired kidney function, depression, headaches, infertility, brain tumors, and a long list of other serious health problems), artificial flavors and food coloring, which has been connected to a variety of health problems, including allergic reactions, hyperactivity, decreased IQ in children, and numerous forms of cancer.
Not to mention, sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to your teeth than water. “
Two more quick points as we close up for today and hit the trails! This statement is very interesting:
“And even then, if you did feel a beverage other than water was necessary, coconut water is a far better choice than virtually any commercial sports drink on the market.”
That makes perfect sense on so many levels, no additives, little bit of flavor, great fats, and hydrates the bowels for good toxin elimination – as long as one didn’t over do it! That could be very bad on a long hike for sure! 😉 So I am going to test this out here a in few minutes and I will let you know next week on my Facebook post!
The last comment to close with is on this statement from a researcher in the same article quoted above: “During a 26-mile marathon, there is no role during or after the race for oral supplementation of salt.”
The latest extensive test results in from a nationally acclaimed university research lab in North Carolina shows that we would have to disagree on this one. Yes, it is partially true in regard to ordinary sodium, but not really a clear, complete picture.
Supplementation with “salt water” in the right manner can actually produce outstanding results, no, make that… recording breaking, peak performance, personal best results! but, then we aren’t talking any ordinary “salt water” either!
Oops! Out of space and time! (Selah). I’m signing off for today to drink my special “salt-water” (aka ASEA) and complete my eight miles of personal victory!
Let’s not be confused! Skip the sports drinks and start living and training like true Champions! We live differently! And, now, we can drink what turns real, ordinary overcomers into extraordinary Mountain Takers! All to God’s Glory!
Know someone who consumes sports drinks?
I’ll bet you do! Come On! Be BOLD!
Love them and share this with them.
Believe. Choose. Activate. Achieve. (Repeat.)
* Associate Link for ASEA.