Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Which sports drink is best?

Hello Gary:
I figure you'd have a very good idea of what are good energy drinks and which are just sugar water.....
I've recently begun running (well, jogging actually) and I'm trying to figure out what's a good sports drink to replenish the electrolytes I'm losing. I can't keep Gatorade down, never have been able to and I'm not sure why....
My goal is to finish a 5K this year - I know that's not very far, but because of my arthritis this will be a huge accomplishment for me. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your time!

Shimmies, USA
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Gary Moller comments:

Shimmies, if you troll through my websites you will discover that I am not much of a promoter of sports drinks, especially the gels which are little more than excessively over-priced concentrated corn syrup in most cases.

  • Electrolytes are best built up over months and even years, by a diet that is rich in leafy vegetables, organ meats like liver and broths made from stewing bones and gristle. You may also consider a multi mineral supplement that has magnesium in it. Nutralife Calcium Complete is a good one to consider.
  • Even if you are sweating heavily, a properly nourished and acclimatised body can go for several days without suffering ill effects of electrolyte depletion. Train for the conditions that you expect to be competing in and you can drink plain water.
  • Plain water is best, especially over short distances. Far too many people have trouble with keeping down electrolyte drinks, or avoiding digestive upset when exercising hard. Do not get sucked in by commercially flavoured drinks studies that try to convince you that their product is better.
  • Read Training for a Marathon and take special note about how to make better use of your natural stores of energy.

Arthritis
If you have any form of joint arthritis, be it osteo or rheumatoid in nature, follow these general rules of thumb when running or walking:

  • Vary the terrain and surfaces. Undulating off-road trails are best that require constant changing of pace, stride length and which challenge the reflexes.
  • Do rhythmic calisthenic-type exercises that take the joints through their full range of motion. Conversly, avoid repetitive exercise, like shuffle running that does not take the joints through their range of motion.
  • Do speed work on grass, regardless of fitness, at least once weekly with emphasis on increasing stride length and mobility.
  • Get your vitamin D levels tested [25(OH)D]. If below a measure of 50, then get daily sunlight until measures exceed 50. Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and a stable immune system.
  • Consume daily joint food. It is beneficial for rheumatoid as well as osteoarthritic conditions.
  • Take a multi mineral that includes calcium and magnesium as per my earlier advice.
  • Take additional Omega3 oils as both natural anti-inflammatories and for joint health.
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