Monday, March 23, 2009

Sports drinks and regular exercise

I've joined a gym and in an effort to discover what really is good for me, in an of Average Joe kind of way, I looked up 'electrolyte'. This is something I've heard a lot of people mention is important in the body, something you lose when exercising and in 2010 the astronauts hated the taste of the eletrolyte replenishment drink. Anyway...

  • Electrolytes are solutions of acids or salts
  • They help the body conduct motor control electrical signals
  • Electrolytes are gradually lost during exercise
  • Only intense and extended exercise requires extra electrolyte replishment
  • Extreme exercise without replishment may result in overhydration
Ok, so lesson 1 here is that when you go to the gym or dojo (as is my preference) you won't need anything other than water, simply because your body is not losing enough electrolyte solution to need something like lucosade or gatorade. They are overkill and the extra sugar you're getting might be doing your teeth more damage than your body will otherwise gains in benefits elsewhere.

If you are involved, for example, in an Iron Man, Ultramarathon or even (as I will be) the London To Brighton Bike Ride for The British Heart Foundation you will need supplement drinks. If, however, you are simply "down the gym during lunch" (as I will be, also) you won't need anything more than water.

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