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post-exercise refueling?
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Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Post Event Recovery on 04/10/2012 19:56:27 MDT Print View

This all depends on the duration and whether it is a multiday event.
1) For sub 4 hour I love the chocolate milk. I also will get intense craving for beer which is strange since I rarely drink it.
2) For longer single day events I make sure I get plenty of protein. I do this immediately at finish.
3) For multiday events I do both protein and carbs to replenish the carb supply for the next day.

Laurie,
As far as electrolytes, I with Tom. With all due respect to your friend, a 4 hour marathon is not pushing the limits in most cases with respect to electrolytes. While she could get away with it she would likely change her tune in events beyond a marathon. Like Tom, I used to get bad cramping on high mile hiking days from lack of electrolytes. No longer.

Bob,
The Lite Salt will give you Potassium, Sodium and Cloride. I also mix in a magnesium and calcium complex and take a multi vitamin to get the rest of the critical electrolytes.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: refuel and rehydrate on 04/10/2012 20:05:26 MDT Print View

"Tom.... I trust her judgement on this one."

For your situation, yes. However, if you ever decide to get into endurance training/running, I'd revisit the subject if I were you. Maybe at least get a second opinion? Your doc is not infallible, and there are other opinions. (See below)

"Keep in mind too that (for me at least) she recommends a daily magnesium supplementation for running (and that is one of the important electrolytes). She is sports med and was a military doc before that so she's used to extremes."

I also use a magnesium supplement, and it has helped me a lot, but I also make sure I have adequate sodium/potassium dripping in on longer, hotter, higher altitude workouts/hikes. You do lose sodium under those conditions and if you go on long enough, you will need to replace it. I choose not to wait until I am "a quart low" to do so because by that time my body's homeostasis has been disrupted and bad things start to happen. Been there, done that, and it isn't a pretty sight.

"anyway I have to wonder if this puts me at less risk for hyponatremia."

Perhaps, but it also puts you at greater risk of hypothermia if it is hot, especially if it is humid and/or you are out for an extended period.

"So, after your comment, I thought I'd Google it and I found this interesting article with resources cited and linked."

Yes, and it basically makes the same points I have been trying to make. Keep in mind that I am not talking about 5k runs. The article cites the Mayo Clinic as recommending that you consider electrolytes in your fluid intake if you are going to be out more than an hour, if I have read the article correctly.

Alan henson
(355spider) - F

Locale: DFW
Go with nature on 05/01/2012 08:09:26 MDT Print View

There really is nothing better than what nature provides. After exercise you have about a 45min window to refuel the muscles. They need glucose and protein. A banana and an egg with salt added is the best recovery out there. Of course you need water as well. Weigh yourself before and after exertion to get an idea of water loss. 8lbs/ gallon and drink what you lost. Pediolyte is the best water replacement. It has nearly perfectly balanced electrolytes. No Dr has ever said, hurry give that dehydrated baby some gatoraide. Gatoraide is about the worst thing you can drink. Takes out much more water than it puts in. And the electrolytes are totally out if balance. Way to much sugar, not enough salt, calcium or potassium. It has an osmolality of about 900 and humans are at 300. Anything about 300 takes water out of the system and anything lower puts water in. Near 300 puts water and electrolytes in. Pediolyte is 270. No sports drink even comes close. I tell all my patients who are long distance athletes to put pediolyte in their sorts bottles and it makes a huge difference in performance. no more cramps.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Go with nature on 05/01/2012 18:12:56 MDT Print View

"Pediolyte is the best water replacement. It has nearly perfectly balanced electrolytes."

I think you can come close enough for field work using Mortons Lite salt replacement. It's a lot cheaper and you can take just as much as you need based on the duration of your activity. I've been using this for years for backpacking, bookended by calcium and magnesium supplements at either end of the day with good results.

Alan henson
(355spider) - F

Locale: DFW
Salt replacements wouldn't be my first choice. on 05/01/2012 22:38:24 MDT Print View

If you were a chemist you might get it right. No one in the sports drink world has managed to get it right and you're not likely to either. You're best bet is to use water and real sea salt as it is as close to your own bodies mineral makeup as nature gets. Any salt that has been treated like table salt will always have the minerals out of balance. This is why table salt raises blood pressure but sea salt does not. Always trust nature first. Man nearly always gets it wrong. On things like hikes and camping and athletic events it wont matter much. When your life is on the line it might. I saw a 26 year old girl go into a coma last year at a marathon that was unusually hot. She nearly died from dehydration and the family just couldn't figure it out. She drank gator-aide the whole race. Stuff should be banned from sports.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Salt replacements wouldn't be my first choice. on 05/02/2012 03:17:04 MDT Print View

Alan, the American Heart Association does not agree with you about sea salt. Too much of it too can raise blood pressure just like table salt.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Sea-Salt-Vs-Table-Salt_UCM_430992_Article.jsp

"What’s the difference?
Sea salt is obtained directly through the evaporation of seawater. It is usually not processed, or undergoes minimal processing, and therefore retains trace levels of minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium and other nutrients.

Table salt, on the other hand, is mined from salt deposits and then processed to give it a fine texture so it’s easier to mix and use in recipes. Processing strips table salt of any minerals it may have contained, and additives are also usually incorporated to prevent clumping or caking.

While these attributes may make sea salt more attractive from a marketing standpoint, Johnson says there are no real health advantages of sea salt."

Edited by jshann on 05/02/2012 03:48:37 MDT.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
endurance activities on 05/02/2012 05:35:29 MDT Print View

Some of the best ultra runners in the world come for places where they don't have anything but water. The Tarahumara for example... they drink water and sometimes they drink water mixed with chia seeds and lime.

My doctor is currently in Central America doing a sports med thing. Sort of like a doctors without borders deal from what I understand. Like I said... I trust her and not just in my particular case. Running a marathon or ultra is not an easy thing.

If we are speaking about refueling after intense backpacking... good food should do that in combination with water. There should be enough nutrients in the diet you prepare for your trips to cover everything that your body needs both calorically and nutritionally. I steer clear of some of the UL food ideas that don't encompass a good variety of nutrition and I look for a decent ratio of carb to protein.

At home... well after last night's trail run (hill training), my recovery was water and a dish of yogurt with 2 tablespoons of chia seed mixed into it.

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
Re: Go with nature on 05/02/2012 06:36:52 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments, Alan. They make sense to me, as a chemist ;-). Actually I like to say I have a rusty chemistry degree. Chem joke.

I do know that my body does not like Gatoraide during exercise. I prefer to just drink water, but for very long or hot hikes/bikes that starts to feel bad too. I'll try the Pediolyte.

On the 45min window, I've heard that forever and do try to hit it ... but I kind of think my body isn't dumb. If follow with an off-day and good food, I think it will do the right thing.

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
Re: Re: Go with nature on 05/02/2012 06:37:47 MDT Print View

BTW, my body does seem to like a can of V-8 when I get home.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Go with nature on 05/02/2012 08:23:17 MDT Print View

The normal serum osmolality is between 285 and 319 mOsm/kg H2O. It may differ by laboratory performing the test.

Nathan Hays
(oroambulant)

Locale: San Francisco
Gatorade/Pedialyte/Malto on 05/02/2012 12:14:38 MDT Print View

Gatorade is pure sugar water. If the osmolarity is 900, your body will add water until it is ~300, then suck out the sugar and water together, replenishing the water to your body. Meanwhile, you are losing water to sweat and breath. If the lag time it takes to dilute the gatorade and then reabsorb is too long, you get dehydrated. Drinking more gatorade won't fix this because it only increases the delay. Drinking straight water would help since that both dilutes and adds water.

Pedialyte does NOT contain calcium or magnesium, both essential electrolytes that are depleted during exercise. It also contains SOME dextrose. Dextrose is a monosaccharide which is worse than sucrose for boosting your blood sugar because it only contains a single glucose molecule per "unit of osmolarity".

Immediately upon ceasing exercise, your muscles are trying to replenish glycogen and if your blood sugar is low, that is coming from fat and protein, neither of which is efficient. The result is within 45 minutes everything calms down, the fat and protein burn slows and your muscles settle in on the glycogen level they got.

If you want to increase your muscles' glycogen stores capability and prevent the burn up of your proteins (muscles), you need to dump a lot of glucose and some aminos in your blood asap.

The sweet spot (pun intended) for glucose absorption is with the mid-length glucose polymers found in malto-dextrin. Longer polymers (starches, more glucose/molecule) take too long to break down. Shorter polymers (dextrose-sucrose, one or two glucose/molecule) don't deliver enough per molecule. The important thing is the osmolarity, which is primarily the number of molecules per unit of water. For the same osmolarity, dextrose delivers one glucose while malto delivers about 10 glucose.

You also need a broader spectrum of electrolytes than just salt or lite salt (sodium-potassium). Take at least a calcium-magnesium supplement as well, or choose foods that boost them.

I must take issue with the "nature knows best" meme. If that were the case, then the plague and flu pandemics wouldn't have occurred, we wouldn't get gangrene from untreated wounds, and we wouldn't have famine. Nature doesn't "know" anything - it just is.

Eat natural and healthy, but know what is in what you are eating and why you are eating it. Your body is excellent at working with poor environmental choices such as diet and stress. That doesn't mean it is working optimally or even close to it. Get your vaccine shots, treat your wounds with anti-biotic ointments, and eat to maximize your body's capability.

Since I have switched from gorp and granola on trail (starch, fats, and sugars) to malto-amino sources, I've found an enormous difference in performance and consequently enjoyment of the hikes. Leisure hikes that used to have me huffing on the hills have become like a stroll in the park. Deep glycogen stores let me skip like a mountain goat up short, steep climbs where I used to slow to a plodding pace.

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
Re: Gatorade/Pedialyte/Malto on 05/02/2012 13:12:41 MDT Print View

malto-dextrin ... Guinness is good for you

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
Re: Gatorade/Pedialyte/Malto on 05/02/2012 13:15:53 MDT Print View

I must take issue with the "nature knows best" meme. If that were the case, then the plague and flu pandemics wouldn't have occurred, we wouldn't get gangrene from untreated wounds, and we wouldn't have famine. Nature doesn't "know" anything - it just is.


Nature has strategies and counter-strategies. I don't think anyone is suggesting a counter-strategy (from our perspective, a strategy from the viral perspective) for health.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Gatorade/Pedialyte/Malto on 05/02/2012 13:50:56 MDT Print View

The two terms seem to be misused in some posts.

OsmolaRITY- defined as 1 osmol of a nonelectrolyte dissolved in 1 liter of distilled water.

OsmolaLITY- measure of the number of dissolved particles in solution.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
thanks to Nathan on 05/02/2012 15:54:34 MDT Print View

Thanks for that Nathan... it was interesting to learn a bit more about the science behind it.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Salt replacements wouldn't be my first choice. on 05/02/2012 16:17:50 MDT Print View

" No one in the sports drink world has managed to get it right and you're not likely to either."

I've managed to get it right enough to backpack at a pretty decent level in metabolically stressful environments and run one of the tougher trail marathons around twice after having my life, as you put it, "on the line" in my first attempt. I did so by educating myself enough to understand what was going on and devising ways to deal with the stresses I was putting on my body. In my case, at least, off the shelf ingredients seemed to suffice, because I haven't had ny problems since then. I stand by my statement, "close enough for field work" as proven by my own experience. I would apply that statement to a couple of companies in the sports drink world as well, again based on my experience with their products. I strongly suspect they just might have a chemist or two on staff, and maybe even a few exercise physiologists. Several others in the community seem to be doing just fine by pursuing similar strategies. I think you are overstating your case.

Danny Korn
(d0nk3yk0n9) - F

Locale: New York
Re: Re: Gatorade/Pedialyte/Malto on 05/02/2012 16:28:23 MDT Print View

"OsmolaRITY- defined as 1 osmol of a nonelectrolyte dissolved in 1 liter of distilled water.

OsmolaLITY- measure of the number of dissolved particles in solution"

Osmolarity = osmoles of solute / liter of solution

Osmolality = osmoles of solute / kilogram of solvent

They both measure the number of disolved particles in a solution; the difference is that one is in terms of particles per mass of solvent, while the other is per volume of solution.

For our purposes, the difference isn't that important as long as you make sure all your units are the same when you compare things.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: endurance activities on 05/02/2012 16:36:23 MDT Print View

"The Tarahumara for example... they drink water and sometimes they drink water mixed with chia seeds and lime."

With all due respect, the Tarahumara run incredibly long distances in very hot climates. They will require electrolytes just like anybody else. They have to get them somewhere.

" I trust her and not just in my particular case. Running a marathon or ultra is not an easy thing."

Lots of people here have run marathons and ultras. Your doctor is not unique in this regard. Referring back to the article you posted earlier from The Mayo Clinic, and I paraphrase: If you are engaging in strenuous activity for more than an hour, an electrolyte replacement drink may be advisable. I think the experience of most would be that you need to replace electrolytes when engaging in these activities. Elite athletes are probably more efficient at conserving electrolytes long enough to drastically reduce their replacement needs for the duration of their chosen event, but the rest of us would do well to pay close attention to replacing them during the event, as the May Clinic article indicates.

"If we are speaking about refueling after intense backpacking... good food should do that in combination with water. There should be enough nutrients in the diet you prepare for your trips to cover everything that your body needs both calorically and nutritionally. I steer clear of some of the UL food ideas that don't encompass a good variety of nutrition and I look for a decent ratio of carb to protein."

This is fine for shorter backpacking trips and after you have returned from any backpacking trip, but it is impractical when going on longer, unresupplied trips, IME and in the experience of the Arctic1000 crew and likely a few others on this site as well. The name of the game becomes calories, calories, calories, with enough carbs and protein to at least partially repair muscle tissue and support the metabolism of fat.

Edited by ouzel on 05/02/2012 21:00:18 MDT.

Alan henson
(355spider) - F

Locale: DFW
Re: Gatorade/Pedialyte/Malto on 05/02/2012 16:53:37 MDT Print View

Good explanation of sugars. It's actually osmolality they measure and not osmolarity. The funny thing is when you call most of these sports drink manufacturers, they don't even have a clue what you're talking about when you ask about the osmolality of their product.
As far as nature knows best I think we all know I wasn't talking about the plague. And really nature has a plan(not exactly a conscious one I know) for pandemics. The point is to reduce population to keep it sustainable. It may not be the best thing for us personally but it is the best for the system as a whole. And nature does know far more about the chemistry of life than man will ever know. "The simplest cell in our body is more complex than all the technology man has ever created in his entire history." Quoted from a NASA flight surgeon who's name escapes me. Really my point was you can try all these fancy drinks and types of goo and even pedialyte but you are likely not going to be able to do any better than the simple things mother nature already provides. Most of the sports drink industry is hype, junk and good marketing. It's kinda like watering your lawn with city water and it grows ok. As soon as it rains though your lawn explodes. There's obviously something better about that water.
If you don't mind me asking what Malto-amino sources are you talking about. I use specific amino acids with athletes for recovery in addition to the simple stuff.

Nathan Hays
(oroambulant)

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Gatorade/Pedialyte/Malto on 05/02/2012 20:13:03 MDT Print View

@Alan, I don't think 'plan' is a good word for what happens in nature. Pandemics happen because conditions are right for them. Ascribing value judgements such as 'better' is purely human hindsight. Any evolutionary biologist will tell you that evolution is not progress, it is change that works and that sticks.

And on top of all the discussion of the man-nature dichotomy is the simple fact that man is natural. Thinking, planning, inventing, building, and even deforestation are all natural processes. When locusts lay waste vast fields, it is no more natural than man plowing up ancient grasslands to plant Monsanto wheat. The difference is that man is more self aware and also more aware of the long term consequences of his/her actions. We have the luxury and the responsibility to guide our completely natural actions toward a future we plan for.

In our consciousness Nature has achieved a remarkable ability to reflect on itself. This is nothing new, everything we consider living has an internal model of its environment and mechanisms that react accordingly. Even rocks have a 'consciousness' of sorts in that their internal state reflects the environment around them - an example is a heat gradient when one side is warmed by the sun. Our consciousness is capable of great abstraction - we get to play with our model of the universe in ways completely detached from the reality they started from. And that too is completely natural because man is completely born of and immersed in nature.

And I put it to you that whenever you decide what you want to eat, you are applying your knowledge, experience, and advice from others. You are acting intelligently, humanly, and naturally. If you salt your food you are altering the chemical proportions of your meal. If you eat a banana you are taking advantage of the petrochemical, the transportation, and the financial industries because you have concluded you need more potassium after a long hike. All natural, all organic, all part of a planet waking up and noticing there is radioactive crap in its food chain so it should probably figure out a better way.

The malto-dextrin is bulk, I think made from some starch. The aminos are usually whey, sometimes soy protein. Always searching for better sources, but these are the best so far.

And as for chia seeds, I have nightmares about waking up with a green lawn growing on my stomach. :)