Curious as to what other endurance athletes eat? Find out what elite distance runner, Olympic Trialist, and EnduroPacks ambassador, Tina Muir eats in a regular day!
Multi-electrolyte replacement is critical for sports enthusiasts. High volume oxygen intake during athletic exertion oxidizes blood cells faster than normal and increases the change of anemia. Electrolytes are the ultimate oxygenator of all living cells through a process known as bio-oxygenation. The building of muscle and the production of energy draws on chromium, acting as a cofactor to insulin. It also promotes the entrance of glucose and amino acids into the cells to make muscle. A loss of potassium can cause dizzy spells or lightheadedness, especially during exertion in hot weather.Read More
The following is an excerpt from a peer reviewed article in Medscape, titled: Nutrition and Athletic Performance by: Nancy R. Rodriguez, PhD, RD, CSSD, FACSM, Nancy M. DiMarco, PhD, RD, CSSD, FACSM, Susie Langley, MS, RD, CSSD
Vitamins and minerals are the two types of micronutrients. While only needed in small amounts, they play important roles in human development and well-being, including the regulation of metabolism, heart beat, cellular pH and bone density. Lack of micronutrients can lead to stunted growth in children and increased risk for various diseases in adulthood. Without proper consumption of micronutrients, humans can suffer from diseases such as rickets (lack of vitamin D), scurvy (lack of vitamin C) and osteoporosis (lack of calcium).
Micronutrients play an important role in energy production, hemoglobin synthesis, maintenance of bone health, adequate immune function, and protection of body against oxidative damage. They assist with synthesis and repair of muscle tissue during recovery from exercise and injury. Exercise stresses many of the metabolic pathways where micronutrients are required, and exercise training may result in muscle biochemical adaptations that increase micronutrient needs. Routine exercise may also increase the turnover and loss of these micronutrients from the body. As a result, greater intakes of micronutrients may be required to cover increased needs for building, repair, and maintenance of lean body mass in athletes.
The most common vitamins and minerals found to be of concern in athletes' diets are calcium and vitamin D, the B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, as well as some antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, β-carotene, and selenium.[46-50] Athletes at greatest risk for poor micronutrient status are those who restrict energy intake or have severe weight-loss practices, who eliminate one or more of the food groups from their diet, or who consume unbalanced and low micronutrient-dense diets. These athletes may benefit from a daily multivitamin-and-mineral supplement. Use of vitamin and mineral supplements does not improve performance in individuals consuming nutritionally adequate diets.[46-48,50]
Adequate intake of B vitamins is important to ensure optimum energy production and the building and repair of muscle tissue.[48,51] The B-complex vitamins have two major functions directly related to exercise. Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic acid, and biotin are involved in energy production during exercise,[46,51] whereas folate and vitamin B12 are required for the production of red blood cells, for protein synthesis, and in tissue repair and maintenance including the CNS. Of the B vitamins, riboflavin, pyridoxine, folate, and vitamin B12 are frequently low in female athletes' diets, especially those who are vegetarian or have disordered eating patterns.[47,48]
Limited research has been conducted to examine whether exercise increases the need for the B-complex vitamins.[46,48] Some data suggest that exercise may slightly increase the need for these vitamins as much as twice the current recommended amount; however, these increased needs can generally be met with higher energy intakes. Although short-term marginal deficiencies of B vitamins have not been observed to impact performance, severe deficiency of vitamin B12, folate, or both may result in anemia and reduced endurance performance.[46,47,52] Therefore, it is important that athletes consume adequate amounts of these micronutrients to support their efforts for optimal performance and health.
Vitamin D is required for adequate calcium absorption, regulation of serum calcium and phosphorus levels, and promotion of bone health. Vitamin D also regulates the development and homeostasis of the nervous system and skeletal muscle.[53-55] Athletes who live at northern latitudes or who train primarily indoors throughout the year, such as gymnasts and figure skaters, are at risk for poor vitamin D status, especially if they do not consume foods fortified with vitamin D.[50,56,57] These athletes would benefit from supplementation with vitamin D at the DRI level (5 μg·d−1 or 200 IU for ages 19-49 yr).[54,56,58-61] A growing number of experts advocate that the RDA for vitamin D is not adequate.[53,62,63]
The antioxidant nutrients, vitamins C and E, β-carotene, and selenium, play important roles in protecting cell membranes from oxidative damage. Because exercise can increase oxygen consumption by 10- to 15-fold, it has been hypothesized that long-term exercise produces a constant "oxidative stress" on the muscles and other cells leading to lipid peroxidation of membranes. Although short-term exercise may increase levels of lipid peroxide by-products, habitual exercise has been shown to result in an augmented antioxidant system and reduced lipid peroxidation.[50,65] Thus, a well-trained athlete may have a more developed endogenous antioxidant system than a sedentary person. Whether exercise increases the need for antioxidant nutrients remains controversial. There is little evidence that antioxidant supplements enhance physical performance.[49,50,64,66] Athletes at greatest risk for poor antioxidant intakes are those following a low-fat diet, restricting energy intakes, or limiting dietary intakes of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.[29,66]
The evidence that a combination of antioxidants or single antioxidants such as vitamin E may be helpful in reducing inflammation and muscle soreness during recovery from intense exercise remains unclear.[42,67] Although the ergogenic potential of vitamin E concerning physical performance has not been clearly documented, endurance athletes may have a higher need for this vitamin. Indeed, vitamin E supplementation has been shown to reduce lipidperoxidation during aerobic/endurance exercise and have a limited effect with strength training. There is some evidence that vitamin E may attenuate exercise-induced DNA damage and enhance recovery in certain active individuals; however, more research is needed. Athletes should be advised not to exceed the tolerable upper intake levels (UL) for antioxidants because higher doses could be pro-oxidative with potential negative effects.[46,64,68]
Vitamin C supplements do not seem to have an ergogenic effect if the diet provides adequate amounts of this nutrient. Because strenuous and prolonged exercise has been shown to increase the need for vitamin C, physical performance can be compromised with marginal vitamin C status or deficiency. Athletes who participate in habitual prolonged, strenuous exercise should consume 100-1000 mg of vitamin C daily.[47,69,70]
The primary minerals low in the diets of athletes, especially female athletes, are calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Low intakes of these minerals are often due to energy restriction or avoidance of animal products.
Calcium. Calcium is especially important for growth, maintenance and repair of bone tissue, maintenance of blood calcium levels, regulation of muscle contraction, nerve conduction, and normal blood clotting. Inadequate dietary calcium and vitamin D increase the risk of low bone mineral density and stress fractures. Female athletes are at greatest risk for low bone mineral density if energy intakes are low, dairy products and other calcium-rich foods are inadequate or eliminated from the diet, and menstrual dysfunction is present.[47,52,55,71-73]
Supplementation with calcium and vitamin D should be determined after nutrition assessment. Current recommendations for athletes with disordered eating, amenorrhea, and risk for early osteoporosis are 1500 mg of elemental calcium and 400-800 IU of vitamin D per day.[50,72,73]
Iron. Iron is required for the formation of oxygen-carrying proteins, hemoglobin and myoglobin, and for enzymes involved in energy production.[50,74] Oxygen-carrying capacity is essential for endurance exercise as well as normal function of the nervous, behavioral, and immune systems.[64,74] Iron depletion (low iron stores) is one of the most prevalent nutrient deficiencies observed among athletes, especially females. Iron deficiency, with or without anemia, can impair muscle function and limit work capacity.[47,58,75,76] Iron requirements for endurance athletes, especially distance runners, are increased by approximately 70%.[58,74] Athletes who are vegetarian or regular blood donors should aim for an iron intake greater than their respective RDA (i.e., >18 mg and >8 mg, for men and women respectively).
The high incidence of iron depletion among athletes is usually attributed to inadequate energy intake. Other factors that can impact iron status include vegetarian diets that have poor iron availability, periods of rapid growth, training at high altitudes, increased iron losses in sweat, feces, urine, menstrual blood, intravascular hemolysis, foot-strike hemolysis, regular blood donation, or injury.[50,75,77] Athletes, especially women, long-distance runners, adolescents, and vegetarians should be screened periodically to assess and monitor iron status.[75,77,78]
Because reversing iron deficiency anemia can require 3-6 months, it is advantageous to begin nutrition intervention before iron deficiency anemia develops.[47,75] Although depleted iron stores (low serum ferritin) are more prevalent in female athletes, the incidence of iron deficiency anemia in athletes is similar to that of the nonathlete female population.[50,75,77] Chronic iron deficiency, with or without anemia, that results from consistently poor iron intake can negatively impact health, physical, and mental performance and warrants prompt medical intervention and monitoring.[76,78]
Some athletes may experience a transient decrease in serum ferritin and hemoglobin at the initiation of training due to hemodilution after an increase in plasma volume known as "dilutional" or "sports anemia" and may not respond to nutrition intervention. These changes seem to be a beneficial adaptation to aerobic training, which do not negatively impact performance.
In athletes who are iron-deficient, iron supplementation not only improves blood biochemical measures and iron status but also increases work capacity as evidenced by increasing oxygen uptake, reducing heart rate, and decreasing lactate concentration during exercise. There is some evidence that athletes who are iron-deficient but do not have anemia may benefit from iron supplementation.[50,75] Recent findings provide additional support for improved performance (i.e., less skeletal muscle fatigue) when iron supplementation was prescribed as 100-mg ferrous sulfate for 4-6 wk. Improving work capacity and endurance, increasing oxygen uptake, reducing lactate concentrations, and reducing muscle fatigue are benefits of improved iron status.
Zinc. Zinc plays a role in growth, building and repair of muscle tissue, energy production, and immune status. Diets low in animal protein, high in fiber and vegetarian diets, in particular, are associated with decreased zinc intake.[50,52] Zinc status has been shown to directly affect thyroid hormone levels, BMR, and protein use, which in turn can negatively affect health and physical performance.
Survey data indicate that a large number of North Americans have zinc intakes below recommended levels.[74,75,79] Athletes, particularly females, are also at risk for zinc deficiency. The impact of low zinc intakes on zinc status is difficult to measure because clear assessment criteria have not been established and plasma zinc concentrations may not reflect changes in whole-body zinc status.[47,79]Decreases in cardiorespiratory function, muscle strength, and endurance have been noted with poor zinc status. The UL for zinc is 40 mg. Athletes should be cautioned against single-dose zinc supplements because they often exceed this amount, and unnecessary zinc supplementation may lead to low HDL cholesterol and nutrient imbalances by interfering with absorption of other nutrients such as iron and copper. Further, the benefits of zinc supplementation to physical performance have not been established.
Magnesium. Magnesium plays a variety of roles in cellular metabolism (glycolysis, fat, and protein metabolism) and regulates membrane stability and neuromuscular, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal functions.[47,55] Magnesium deficiency impairs endurance performance by increasing oxygen requirements to complete submaximal exercise. Athletes in weight-class and body-conscious sports, such as wrestling, ballet, gymnastics, and tennis, have been reported to consume inadequate dietary magnesium. Athletes should be educated about good food sources of magnesium. In athletes with low magnesium status, supplementation might be beneficial.
Sodium, Chloride, and Potassium Sodium is a critical electrolyte, particularly for athletes with high sweat losses.[80-83] Many endurance athletes will require much more than the UL for sodium (2.3 g·d−1) and chloride (3.6 g·d−1). Sports drinks containing sodium (0.5-0.7 g·L−1) and potassium (0.8-2.0 g·L−1), as well as carbohydrate, are recommended for athletes especially in endurance events (>2 h).[50,80,82,83]
Potassium is important for fluid and electrolyte balance, nerve transmission, and active transport mechanisms. During intense exercise, plasma potassium concentrations tend to decline to a lesser degree than sodium. A diet rich in a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, dairy foods, lean meats, and whole grains is usually considered adequate for maintaining normal potassium status among athletes.[32,83]
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Whether it’s with training, racing, treatment modalities, or nutrition, the physiologist in me always likes to experiment. With the ever changing ideas about optimal training, health, and nutrition and the fact that EVERY BODY IS UNIQUE, finding the best way to keep yourself healthy and fit should be an evolving process.
I’ve learned from the smart people around me that knowing your numbers when you’re feeling good and racing well can give you a reference point for when things aren’t going as well. These numbers can include body weight, training volume, training intensity, heart rate, ferritin, hematocrit, and a variety of other blood markers.
Building off a great Fall of 2014, and hoping to make 2015 another fun and successful year, I’ve been working on developing a picture of a healthy, fit Kimber. Every athlete wants their body to be functioning like a well-oiled machine, so the first step is creating a user manual for how to keep that body firing on all cylinders and how to troubleshoot when it isn’t. With workouts we need to know how to play to our strengths, but also strengthen our weaknesses. The same is true of our nutrition, recovery, and the other hours of our day we don’t spend training. Thanks to my friend Julia Webb, I was introduced to the program InsideTracker, which measures many biomarkers in the blood and uses a special system of making nutritional recommendations to optimize these different markers for each individual. You can check out Julia’s blog post about her results here.
So in the past several weeks, I’ve used a few tools to work toward creating my athlete user manual. 1) Inside Tracker Biomarker Analysis, 2) Body composition testing, 3) Heart rate monitored test effort, 4) Keeping a training log, and 5) Identifying my physical strengths, weaknesses, and imbalances. You may not have the desire or resources to track all of these things, but they all provide different pieces of information. I’ll go into a little more depth about each of these over the next couple weeks, but in today’s post let’s focus on biomarkers and nutrition.
With Inside Tracker, you can test up to twenty biomarkers that give information about energy and metabolism, bone and muscle health, inflammation, strength and endurance, oxygen delivery, and liver health. Every individual will have different markers that are important for them to focus on, so we’ll just use a few of my results as an example. Remember that my optimized zones may not be the same as your optimized zones.
As an endurance athlete, oxygen delivery via the protein hemoglobin in red blood cells is important. Hematocrit is the percentage of blood volume that is red blood cells, while ferritin is the body’s storage of iron, which is used when making new red blood cells. As I get ready to go train at higher altitude for a few weeks, it’s important to make sure I have adequate iron storage to support red blood cell production.
Although I do eat fish and a little chicken and turkey, I don’t really eat red meat. So the month or two leading up to this test I had started supplementing with iron. The fact that my blood iron levels are high and my ferritin is low, despite taking iron supplements, indicates to me that my body may not be effectively absorbing this iron. There could be several reasons for this. The questions to ask when taking an iron supplement are: 1) Are you taking the right supplement, 2) Are you taking the right dosage, and 3) Is the timing or what you’re consuming with the iron supplement interfering with absorption? In terms of timing, you should consider that iron supplements should be taken on an empty stomach, but with vitamin C and not with other vitamins and supplements, as these can block the absorption of iron. You should also consider that iron supplements can cause upset stomach in some people. There are also a variety of types of iron supplements, from basic iron pills to liquid iron to liver capsules. If you’re a meat eater, consuming red meat can be one of the best sources of iron. It may take some experimenting to figure out what works best for your body. The changes I plan to make include using a liquid iron supplement, establishing a schedule that ensures I’m taking my iron on an empty stomach, and taking it with a little juice (vitamin C) to support effective absorption. When you monitor your ferritin, hematocrit, and hemoglobin, make sure you consider the questions above to optimize absorption.
My Vitamin D levels were also low, despite taking Vitamin D supplements. As most of you know, Eugene, Oregon doesn’t get a whole lot of sunshine in the Winter and early Spring. Vitamin D is important for bone health and energy. There are two ways to increase Vitamin D, get more sunshine and take in more Vitamin D through diet and supplementation. My solution…head to Flagstaff for some sunshine. I’ll also try to consume more tuna and salmon, as
recommended by Inside Tracker.
Contrary to my low Ferritin and Vitamin D, my cortisol levels were high. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is important for energy and metabolism. Cortisol levels fluctuate throughout a twenty-four hour cycle and in response to things like exercise, eating, and caffeine. When cortisol is not well-regulated it can affect health, energy levels, and sleep. Some ways that I plan to reduce cortisol include: more yoga, black tea, and fish, and minimizing processed foods and simple carbohydrates.
So far I’ve focused on the biomarkers that need improvement, but overall my body is pretty healthy. The majority of my biomarkers fell in the “optimized” range. I credit this to a healthy diet and a fantastic system of vitamins called EnduroPacks that support my health, performance, and recovery. Despite a high level of training, my C-Reactive Protein and Creatine Kinase levels were in the optimal indicates inflammation in my body is low and my body is recovering well. Additionally, as reflected by my white blood cell count and the fact that I’ve stayed pretty healthy the last few months, my immune system is functioning well. Most basic minerals, including sodium, potassium, calcium, chromium, and magnesium were in the optimal range.
The EnduroPacks system consists of a daily liquid multi-vitamin taken in the morning, a concentrated electrolyte spray for hydration, an essential amino acid trans-dermal patch used after workouts to aid in muscle building and recovery, and a glutamine recovery complex taken before bed to also help with muscle repair and recovery. And it’s delivered right to your door! I do my best to use real food to provide me with the nutrients I need, but EnduroPacks helps make sure I’m getting all the micronutrients I need to optimize my health, recovery, and performance.
Based on the InsideTracker recommendations, the foods I plan to eat more of include: fish, nuts, seeds, kale, broccoli, edamame, olive oil, avocado, and black tea. Some of my newly discovered favorite snacks that hit several of these are Wondefully Raw’s Brussel Bytes, Snip Chips, and Dipperz. I highly recommend giving them a try! I also plan to make my next batch of kombucha using black tea.
Feel free to contact me to find out more about InsideTracker or EnduroPacks! And check back for my next post about the other tools I’m using to create my athlete user’s manual to keep myself firing on all cylinders this year.
The Pleasant Prairie Triathlon starts and finishes in the picturesque setting of Prairie Springs Park. Lake Andrea, a sparkling 100-acre spring fed lake, will serve as the venue for the swim portion of the race. The bike course uses picturesque roads within the Village of Pleasant Prairie as well as a new frontage road, with long straight-aways. The run course will take you through Prairie Springs Park, on paved and gravel paths.
This course is FAST! So if you're looking for a race to set a new PR, this is it! Pleasant Prairie Triathlon attracts athletes of all levels, including a number of well known professionals. Professional triathlete Paul Eicher has won the International distance the past two years, beating out other elite athletes like Lukas Verzbicas (2013), and Andrew Nielsen (2014).
Athletes who register for the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon event will have the option of adding EnduroPacks daily nutrition system to their training in preparation for their upcoming race. Athletes of all levels have experienced benefits to their endurance training and recovery when consistently adding essential, all-natural, pre-, during-, and post-workout nutrients into their training diets.
Our system contains a 30-day supply of 4 essential products:
Going on it's 11th year the Harryman Triathlon takes place at New York's Harriman State Park offering participants Half and Olympic distance options. Lake Welch serves as the backdrop for this early season race. Only 30 miles from New York City, Harriman State Park's scenic beauty and hilly terrain will make you feel like you're in the Adirondacks. Another draw for athletes to compete in this event is the start time, 9am for Half-ironman and 10:30am for Olympic distance participants.
Register today to race one of New York's most scenic and challenging races of the season. Race participants that sign up for the Harryman Triathlon event will have the option of adding EnduroPacks daily nutrition system to their training in preparation for their upcoming race. Athletes of all levels have experienced benefits to their endurance training and recovery when consistently adding essential, all-natural, pre-, during-, and post-workout nutrients into their training diets.
Genesis Adventures' Harryman Triathlon takes place on May 16th. Be sure to register for this amazing race with spectacular scenery, and a day filled with fun, for athletes of all ages and abilities.
The Huntington Triathlon is one of Long Island’s finest races! This race includes a 750 meter swim at the beautiful Crab Meadow Beach, a scenic 9.8 mile bike ride through the hills of the Town of Huntington, and finishes with a 3.3 mile run through the charming streets of Northport which includes an uphill on the first half and a downhill on the second. The finish line will be at the spectator friendly Crab Meadow Beach where your friends and families will be able to cheer you on!
Registrants that sign up for the Huntington Triathlon event will have the option of adding EnduroPacks daily nutrition system to their training in preparation for their upcoming race. Athletes of all levels have experienced benefits to their endurance training and recovery when consistently adding essential, all-natural, pre-, during-, and post-workout nutrients into their training diets. Now Huntington Triathlon participants can experience these training benefits as well.
To find out more about the Town of Huntington Triathlon event, visit their website at http://www.madetotri.com
Kris Lawrence is an elite marathoner with a goal of qualifying for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. On her blog, http://kris-lawrence.com, she writes, "...I’ve made a promise to myself to give it my all, accept the good and hard times, appreciate all those who support me, and enjoy every moment along the way..." Her positive attitude, perseverance and dedication to her training have helped her cut her marathon time from 3:16:24 to 2:47:09 in just a few short years.
If you run/train long enough you've probably had your fair share of "niggles" (pains) or injuries. It's a part of training, an unfortunate byproduct of the sport that we love (and hate) so much. Unfortunately, Kristin suffered a slight tibia (shinbone) fracture, which set her training back 9 weeks. If you've ever had a fracture you know how painful, and annoying, this injury can be.
When it comes to marathon training Kristin says, "Marathon training is like putting together a 1000 piece puzzle. You know what you want the end result to look like but when you dump the pieces out of the box, it’s entirely overwhelming. You keep working anyway and every once in awhile you look and realize you have a part of that picture made and it starts to make sense..."
Having a plan and listening to your body are two key components when it comes to training. Kristin is healthy again and back on her training program for the Boston Marathon. Kristin's training program consists of stretching, core work, strength training, tempo runs, easy mileage building runs and recovery.
Running fast workouts and putting in hard efforts is a key part of the training process. However, one of the most often neglected aspects of training, especially since runners are almost always obsessed with pushing harder each day, is the recovery process.
What sets elites apart from amateurs is the amount of time and effort invested in recovering properly. As an elite runner, Kristin knows that hydrating properly, before and after her runs, is a key component to her recovery.
You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. Consuming an electrolyte substance post-workout is even more important for endurance athletes who lose large amounts of water during hours of sweating.
After depleting your energy stores with exercise, you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. This is even more important if you are performing endurance exercises day after day or trying to build muscle. Ideally, you should try to eat within 30-60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrates. A diet of essential proteins and amino acids can help repair muscle tissue and help avoid injury and reduce muscle soreness. There are 8 essential amino acids that are not produced naturally in the body, but need to be replaced by foods or through daily supplements. Here is an article by active.com on nutrition recovery for endurance athletes http://bit.ly/1lSeOtm .
Kristin, and other elites will tell you the most important thing you can do to recover quickly is to listen to your body. If you are feeling tired, sore or notice decreased performance you may need more recovery time or a break from training altogether. If you are feeling strong the day after a hard workout, you don't have to force yourself to go slow.
If you pay attention, in most cases, your body will let you know what it needs when it needs it.
The sports drink market includes a flurry of bottled drinks, mixes, and electrolyte supplements. The marketing goals appear to be focused on rehydration and increased sports performance. While most companies producing the products seem to embrace the value of electrolytes, they may not have delivered the proper complement of ingredients for maximum electrolyte formation and absorption.
While Gatorade was invented in 1965 by the medical team for the University of Florida Gators, it wasn't until 1991 when sports drinks really launched in popularity.
Today, Gatorade has plenty of competition, but do you really need any of them to enhance your workout? Yes, if you're exercising longer than 60 minutes — or less than that but very intensely. "Water provides no sodium, which helps the body hold onto water and helps fluid get to the right places in the body, like muscles and blood," says nutritionist Heidi Skolnik, M.S., CDN, FACSM, who advises both the New York Giants and the New York Knicks on healthy eating as well as drinking.
Many sports drinks on the market claim to be healthy for you but contain certain preservatives, artificial flavors and colored dyes, aspartame and sugar that add to the visual or taste appeal of the drink, but may not be user-friendly to the body.
In addition to its usefulness after exercise to replenish glycogen stores, sugar (fructose, dextrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin) is usually added as a carbohydrate to boost energy levels. "While this may stimulate the body momentarily, minutes later the glycemic roller coaster sets in with associated compromise in body function. Muscle-testing (Kinesiology), used by chiropractors and natural medicine practitioners, reveals that sugar actually diffuses the body’s ability to maintain muscle strength; therefore, it does not seem wise to use it when periods of strength are required", says sports nutritionist, Nina Anderson (SPN) of Safe Goods Publishing.
For any sports workout lasting more than 60 minutes, athletes are recommend to consume pure electrolyte drinks with the proper complement of minerals. If you need a boost for short term energy or glycogen replacement, you may want to choose a drink containing less than 8 percent carbohydrates or take an ATP booster like rhodiola. As a general rule, the higher the carbohydrate content, the slower the absorption rate of electrolytes and nutrients.
For additional information on this topic, visit our website to reference a full publication.
Your body is a complex and carefully-balanced superhighway of cells, tissues, and fluids that, almost every second, directs an incomprehensible array of electrical impulses. This is only possible because those cells, tissues, and fluids thrive in a homeostatic environment where they conduct electricity well enough to carry the signals to their intended destinations.
Electrolyte is a “medical/scientific” term for mineral salts, specifically ions. Electrolytes are the spark that keeps our body running. They are necessary for life. They are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across them- selves and to other cells.
These electro-chemicals influence the body’s pH — a chemical balance that determines how effectively the biological systems run. When there is a deficiency of body electricity, body functions slow down and eventually stop. Micronutrients play an important role in energy production, hemoglobin synthesis, maintenance of bone health, adequate immune function, and the protection of body tissues from oxidative damage. They are also required to help build and repair muscle tissue following exercise.
Electrolytes facilitate delivery of oxygen to achieve and maintain peak brain function and proper nervous system response. The constant firing of micro-electric impulses across the synapses of the brain requires a great deal of energy. Only electrolytes can supply this. If, because of electrolyte imbalance, there isn’t enough oxygen available for the nerve cells to fire when needed, the brain functions less effectively. The body uses oxygen to turn nutrients into energy through the process of primary oxygenation. This simply means that electrolytes help the oxygen create a chemical reaction that ultimately allows the body to “burn” the nutrients as fuel.
There are several common electrolytes found in the body, each serving a specific and important role, but most are in some part responsible for maintaining the balance of fluids between the intracellular (inside the cell) and extracellular (outside the cell) environments. This balance is critically important for things like hydration, nerve impulses, muscle function, and pH level.
Approximately 4% of the human body mass is composed of 21 macro and trace minerals that are essential for life. When mineral levels are insufficient to meet the demands of the body under emotional, physiological, and psychological stresses (such as during physical activity), the result will most likely be a substandard level of performance. For athletes or weekend exercisers, this increases the risk of serious injury and reduces the recovery rate after strenuous work or exercise.
Sports drinks and supplement manufacturers who claim their electrolyte-forming minerals facilitate proper rehydration may be only partially correct. Macro and trace minerals work in combination to provide the proper environment for electrolyte formation and maximum absorption. According Dr. Gerald Olarsch, N.D., if there are too few trace-minerals in a drink they will be unable to form the proper electrolyte balance to enter the cell and maximize rehydration.
To find out which trace minerals are important for proper balance during exercise, read the publication titled: "Analyzing Sports Drinks: Carbohydrate or Electrolyte Replacement", by sports nutritionist, Nina Anderson (SPN) of Safe Goods Publishing. The full version PDF is available here: http://www.enduropacks.com/