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AMANDAREB SparkPoints: (4,069)
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6/11/12 5:17 P

I agree that a banana, sugar, and some salt water is essentially 95% of gatorade. Long, hot, intense workouts deplete you of 2 really important electrolytes- salts and potassium. There is a school of thought, however, that says liquid calories are processed faster than solids, and you recover more quickly if the replacements are in liquid form.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,460
6/11/12 6:55 A

I agree with Dragonchilde - unless you are sweating A LOT, you are unlikely to benefit much from electrolyte replacement. Most people get enough salts from their natural diets to cope with most normal exercise demands.

I don't know why you were feeling shaky, but from 30 minutes of indoors (ie. not direct sun) exercise, it certainly wasn't exercise-induced electrolyte deficiency.

'Electrolytes' is more than just salt, but the potassium in a banana would cover most of it.

The main advantage of sports drinks is they are easy to digest (no huge 'cannonball' effect), and hit the bloodstream fast. This can be an advantage DURING exercise, but for post-exercise recovery, your method seems more natural, and cheaper.

I am a keen hiker, and have definitely found that drinking electrolyte powder (much lighter and more practical than a banana in that context) at lunch time has helped me keep going for 20+ mile trail days in summer, but is not really an issue in other seasons. As a rough guide, if I am drinking more than 3 quarts of water a day just to stay hydrated, I start considering adding back some electrolytes.


6/11/12 12:16 A

I admit to being a hard core "show me the hard copy controlled research studies" so I suggest that doing a Google search for "Dr. David Costill at The Human Research Laboratory, Ball State University" will give you the best non opinion based information I can find online.

Edited by: SERGEANTMAJOR at: 6/11/2012 (00:21)
SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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6/10/12 11:23 P


Sports Registered Dietitian Nancy Clark states that real food can be just as beneficial as so-called 'engineered' foods in our workouts as in our recovery. Many runners or endurance athletes find that bananas and pretzels can provide our bodies with the nutrients and electrolytes our bodies need. I highly recommend Nancy Clark's book Sports Nutrition Guidebook as well as Suzanne Eberel's book Endurance Sports Nutrition.

I hope this helps!

Coach Nancy

6/10/12 11:07 P

Gatorade was developed by analyzing the electrolytes and other things in the sweat of the University of Florida working out in the heat in the Fall, another similar product was developed by a marathon runner named Bill Gookin and marketed as Gookingade which runners refereed to as "Bill"s sweat". A researcher at Ball State University did some research on the use of both products for runners working out in hot weather. The results of the research were that they were beneficial for longer work outs and got into the system more rapidly when chilled.

What the current commercial product contains and it effectiveness is I have no idea but I do keep the power around to mix up from time to time. I find it effective when I have had longer work bouts in the heat. I do not use the premix versions due to cost factors.

MENHALLS SparkPoints: (31,663)
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6/10/12 6:40 P

I once had an old, old man tell me after running his 1/2 marathon (to my 5K and he looked better!) that he thinks Gatorade and etc are chemical nonsense. He said to use a small (500 ml) water bottle, about 1/2 orange juice/1/2 water and a tsp of salt.

So, I tried it after my last hard workout - 6 miles, sweat dripping off the end of my ponytail, and I felt pretty good. It doesn't taste the best but my body felt comparable to drinking a Gatorade. No shakes and no headaches.

His feeling was it was just too many chemicals & really, you are just looking to replace salt and water. I am going to stick with it for myself.

MAGGIEMURPHY4 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/10/12 6:07 P

I would stick with water, plenty of should be drinking 8oz of water every 15 minutes of hard exercise. Eating a banana or any other fruit after exercise makes me feel better...exp oranges...It boost my sugar levels back up which gets rid of that weak dizzy feeling I often get.

ELEKEBOU SparkPoints: (0)
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6/10/12 5:09 P

Well, the last time I felt really shaky, I had had a handful of 'heart healthy' trail mix and a bit of peanut butter about half an hour before exercising. I was doing intervals (going between 60-90 rpms) on a stationary bike for about 15 minutes, a five-minute break, and then a rowing machine for another 15 (staying around 30 s/m).

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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6/10/12 5:04 P

Unless you're really working out hard (as in, think a couple of hours in hot weather) you're probably not going to need electrolyte replacement. You're right that Gatorade is a waste of money; it's essentially flavored sugar water. ;)

If you're shaky afterwards, what are you eating before? I've found that I don't eat (or drink) a little something beforehand, I run out of steam.

Just how hard are you working out, how long, and what are you doing?

ELEKEBOU SparkPoints: (0)
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6/10/12 4:47 P

I think this is the right section for this. If not, I'll repost in the correct one.

Anyway, doing a bit of research as I do, I discovered that Gatoraid (and most other exercise drinks) is essentially a mixture of salt, potassium, and artificial flavors and colors. So, I'm wondering if instead of spending a lot of money a week on sports drinks, if I can just drink salt water and eat a banana after heavy exercise and get the same benefit as I do from a Gatoraid for comparatively cheaper?

I'm by no means a hardcore athlete, but by the time I finish my average workout I'm sweaty and a bit wobbly, so replenishing some of the nutrients I lost in my sweat (namely salt) and replenish the potassium my muscles burned seems like a good idea to me.

What do you guys think?

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