Friday, August 14, 2009

Responsible Journalism

Is the moon full? This week has been riddled with journalistic attempts to bait the American public into believing inaccurate and misleading information. Time Magazine published an article titled “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin” stating that the role of exercise in weight loss has been wildly overstated. They claim many people reward themselves with high fat foods following exercise, eat more due to exercise induced hunger and heaven forbid consume an occasional sports drink laden with extra calories! They down play the cardiovascular benefits, never address the improved lipid profile, immune system, bone density, and mental well being to name just a very few.,8599,1914857-1,00.html Further confusing the role of good eating and exercise habits, Good Morning America Weekend Edition featuring a “nutritionist” who received part of her credentialing by a healing arts center in Australia and took 9 week online courses. She touted soy protein bars, peanut butter and fruit after dinner as being taboo foods. Thankfully I also read an article called “Network TV morning health news segments may be harmful to your health” by an organization that reviews media for fact not “hook and bait” tactics. As Groucho Marx said so eloquently "It's important to have an open mind, just not so open that your brains fall out." Nutrition is a science not an opinion. A Registered Dietitian is the credentialed professional for nutrition information. Keep running, hydrate with water and sports drinks, refuel with a portable protein bar or peanut butter and jelly sandwich and eat an apple or any fruit whenever and as often as you like!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The 3 Musketeers: Sodium, Potassium and Chloride

Sodium is a vital electrolyte, especially for runners with high sweat losses. Many endurance athletes require more than the Tolerable Upper Level for sodium (2.3 gm/day) and chloride (3.6 gm/day). Beverages containing carbohydrate are recommended in sports lasting >1 hour, and sports drinks are recommended in events lasting > 2 hours. Sports drinks provide .5-.7 gm/liter sodium and .8-2.0 gm/liter of potassium as well as carbohydrate. This combination replace sweat electrolyte losses, sodium encourages thirst and fluid retention and the carbohydrates provide energy. Sweat contains an average concentration of 1 gm sodium/liter, modest amounts of potassium and small amounts of other minerals such as magnesium and chloride. Errors in proper hydration can result in dehydration, hypohydration, or hyponatremia. Nancy Clark MS, RD provides the following recipe for a homemade sports drink: mix 4 Tbsp sugar, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ cup orange juice and 3.5 cups cold water. Some people substitute lemon juice or unsweetened Koolaide mix for the orange juice for a variety in flavor.