Using salts to rehydrate

Sports drinks really can help with rehydration

I was feeling a little better on Wednesday, though still far from well. My stomach was still tender and my appetite much less than usual, so I was once again on simple carbohydrates and avoiding protein, fat and fibre. But by the evening I felt well enough to try a baked chicken breast, which accounted for almost half the day’s protein.

As I was still feeling dehydrated, I had a bottle of water with an electrolyte tablet in the afternoon. Electrolytes are just mineral salts like sodium, potassium and chlorine. Fluids are absorbed from the gut and into the blood faster when their salt concentration closely matches that of blood. By adding mineral salts to water, you make it closer to concentration of your blood, which means it is absorbed better and does not encourage the body to increase urine production the way plain water can. In other words, you rehydrate faster.

This is why the sports drink was invented. In essence, a sports drink is simply water with some simple sugars and electrolytes. Yesterday I talked about how adding some simple carbohydrates can also help with rehydration. While being ill is one of the few times simple carbohydrates are appropriate, the more common occasion is extended periods of exercise. Endurance athletes can produce sweat at rates exceeding 1.5 litres an hour and about 90% of this comes directly from the blood. Drinking anything when exercising can slow dehydration substantially, but having something with some salts and sugars can really improve performance. What’s more, the salts and sugars in sports drinks also stimulate thirst, so athletes usually drink more when they have a sports drink. This is especially important when exercising in the cold, as most athletes don’t feel as thirsty.

Clearly serious dehydration will impair sporting performance, or your ability to get through a workout. However, mild dehydration caused by sweating is not that big a deal. So while sipping water during exercise is always a good idea, there’s no need to reach for a sports drink unless the session is going to be very sweaty (such as an intense interval session on a hot, sunny day) or well over an hour. Which is why most power athletes who exercise at a lower intensity, such as myself, rarely use them.

The Score for 22 March:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre:  
1672 94.60g 233.26g 98.31g 36.83g 11.32g 23.20g  
23% 56%   20%    
     
Calories burned through exercise: 0      

What I ate:

Time Item Amount Calories Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre Fat Sat Fat Alcohol
08:00 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Soft boiled eggs, 2 large 120g 157 15.12 0.00 0.00 0.00 10.80 3.00 0.00
Newburn Bakehouse by Warburtons gluten free crumpets 129g 218 5.20 43.42 1.95 1.82 1.82 0.65 0.00
with butter 3g 22 0.02 0.03 0.02 0.00 2.47 1.56 0.00
and St Dalfour Raspberry fruit spread 19g 47 0.10 11.20 11.20 0.40 0.16 0.00 0.00
Black tea 450mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
10:00 Fresh ginger tea with a splash of lemon juice and 1 tsp honey 250mL 25 0.00 6.25 6.25 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
12:15 Tesco finest vine ripened tomato and lentil soup 300g 182 7.80 19.20 8.40 4.50 7.20 0.60 0.00
Nairns gluten free wholegrain crackers 28g 128 2.97 16.49 0.50 2.13 4.70 1.85 0.00
Tesco finest Elderflower jelly 120g 81 0.96 17.16 16.92 0.84 0.84 0.24 0.00
15:30 Activia natural yoghurt 150g 96 7.50 9.90 9.90 0.00 2.90 2.00 0.00
Natures Path Mesa Sunrise cereal 50g 195 5.00 40.00 6.50 5.00 1.65 0.25 0.00
Sliced nectarine 90g 40 1.26 8.10 8.10 1.08 0.09 0.00 0.00
Tesco sweetened dried cranberries 26g 84 0.08 19.35 16.25 1.38 0.40 0.05 0.00
16:00 Sleep
17:15 Nuun lemon lime electrolyte tablet 1 tablet 5 0.00 1.00 1.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
in water 750mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
20:00 Baked chicken breast 131g 175 41.47 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.47 0.78 0.00
Sweet potato mash 168g 152 2.40 32.96 9.25 3.50 0.38 0.10 0.00
Steamed broccoli 102g 40 4.30 3.20 1.90 2.50 0.60 0.20 0.00
Gravy made with 10g Bisto Best chicken gravy granules in 100mL boiling water about 75mL 25 0.43 5.00 0.17 0.06 0.35 0.04 0.00

Image Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_ejzett’>ejzett / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *