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Electrolyte solutions, no corn syrup?


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#1 busymama7

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:39 PM

My son is a serious long distance runner. He occasionally drinks gatorade and such but I don't buy it on a regular basis because we try to avoid all HFCS. He passed out at practice today which led us to the doctors and he was aski for he drinks more than just water. They didnt indicate that it was related but it did get me thinking that maybe there was a healthier version we could buy. We obviously refuse to use ANY artificial sweeteners either, including splenda/sucralose. Thanks!

#2 CalicoKat

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:42 PM

My son is a serious long distance runner. He occasionally drinks gatorade and such but I don't buy it on a regular basis because we try to avoid all HFCS. He passed out at practice today which led us to the doctors and he was aski for he drinks more than just water. They didnt indicate that it was related but it did get me thinking that maybe there was a healthier version we could buy. We obviously refuse to use ANY artificial sweeteners either, including splenda/sucralose. Thanks!


I make tea with a pinch of salt for my kids as a "pedialyte" when they've got the flu. Would that work?

Just regular black tea, brewed then cooled, with a pinch of salt.

#3 ChristyB in TN

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:43 PM

I drink coconut water with a little fruit juice. I can't drink sports drinks so the coconut water has been fantastic. We are all distance runners at my house and have all made the switch.m

#4 Mommy22alyns

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:44 PM

Smartwater is bottled water with electrolytes.

#5 ChristyB in TN

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:45 PM

Also, Clif (Clif bars, Luna bars, etc) have an energy gel (like GU) that has pretty good ingredients without the corn syrup and artificial colors. We use those for replacement on our long runs.

#6 Annie G

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:48 PM

There are lots of products out there for athletes- Advocare has a product called rehydrate, and I'm sure most vitamin stores sell similar products.

#7 Plum Crazy

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:48 PM

Smartwater is bottled water with electrolytes.


:iagree: Dh likes those. You might have to try different flavors as they are really hit and miss in this house.

#8 In the Rain

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:52 PM

I haven't tried it, but I saw that Whole Foods has a "Gatorade Natural". It has sucrose and dextrose, but no HFCS. Instead, I bought some coconut water to drink after a surgical procedure, and it didn't really leave me feeling any better than the plain water. I detest the taste of Gatorade, but was wishing I had picked up that natural stuff instead of coconut water. I've actually just sent dh to the store for some clear gatorade. :tongue_smilie:

Edited by Julianna, 20 August 2012 - 02:53 PM.
added link


#9 StephanieZ

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:56 PM

There are 1001 products available. If he is a serious long distance runner, IMHO, he should be researching this himself & experimenting with what works for HIM. Every runner has different needs and preferences, and getting to know how his body works is a vital aspect of the sport.

That said, Gatorade doesn't have HFCS. There are "clear" varieties without coloring as well. Gatorade "G" series is what you want (sugar + electrolytes). Avoid the G2 series which has reduced sugars and added sweeteners.

Personally, I use Gatorade. I also use a variety of gels/bloks/etc for added sugar and electrolytes on very long runs.

Most very long distance (over 2 hours) runners find they need to fine tune their electrolyte consumption more than one single drink or gel allows. The use of electrolyte capsules (my favorite being Hammer's Endurolyte capsules) allows the runner to take electrolytes by capsule periodically (typically 2 or more capsules per hour) in addition to what they get from their drink and/or foods. In extreme heat this is particularly important.

You can get your sugars and electrolytes from whole foods (pretzels, fruit, real food, etc) easily for runs under 2 hours. For runs 2+ hours or even on shorter runs in extreme heat (say over 80), planning electrolytes and fuel becomes imperative. It can be dangerous not to do so. Passing out is the least of his worries.

I'd find him some book(s) on nutrition for endurance athletes and buy a variety of gels/drinks/electrolyte capsules for him to experiment with.

My understanding is that managing electrolytes is the most important (most dangerous if you do it wrong) thing to worry about. Sugars (for energy) will also impact performance, but electrolyte imbalance could land him in the hospital. Dehydration can be managed easily through water consumption.

Endurance athletes need MUCH more electrolytes that you are going to get out of fruit juices or similar. He could drink fruit juice and take salt tablets (or eat pretzels, etc), but the key will be for HIM to take responsibility for making these choices, and it will take experimentation and flexibility.

Plenty of ultra-marathon runners (50 - 100 miles or more) never use artificial fuels, relying on water, pretzels, sandwiches, etc . . . But they have been doing this for YEARS and know their own bodies well. Many of them also have had multiple medical emergenices due to electrolyte imbalances, as that is part of the learning curve.

If I were you, I'd buy him a variety of alternatives that seem healthy to you, but I would leave the decisions up to HIM as much as you can.

#10 busymama7

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:57 PM

I make tea with a pinch of salt for my kids as a "pedialyte" when they've got the flu. Would that work?

Just regular black tea, brewed then cooled, with a pinch of salt.


Thank you, but we are LDS and non-tea drinkers :-) but maybe something similar.

#11 busymama7

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:57 PM

I drink coconut water with a little fruit juice. I can't drink sports drinks so the coconut water has been fantastic. We are all distance runners at my house and have all made the switch.m


I have tried coconut water once and thought it was nasty :-(

#12 busymama7

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:58 PM

Smartwater is bottled water with electrolytes.


Ahh! Good idea!

#13 LaxMom

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:03 PM

Knudsen Recharge is fruit juice based and has lytes.

I like some of the various coconut waters out there, but my kids think most of them are ghastly.

#14 ChristyB in TN

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:26 PM

Clif (obviously I am a fan :D) also makes an electrolyte drink mix. Whole Foods carried it at one time but the only place I can find it now is the Clifwebsite. I also have never found the electrolyte capsules to be enticing, but I hear other people talking about the. You can make your own mixture to fit your needs. When I first went vegan/eating clean I had to make my own everything! I made energy gel from brown rice syrup and green tea, ate boiled baby potatoes with salt from little baggies, and carried refillable containers around my waist with home made replacement for Gatorade. It was nice to be able to find alternatives. Yours on will, too. My son lives away at college and I still send him his running supplies. :D

#15 Parrothead

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:39 PM

I have tried coconut water once and thought it was nasty :-(

But what did he think?

#16 Parrothead

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:39 PM

Maybe one of the Vitamin Water flavors.

#17 busymama7

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:03 PM

Ok we are back from the doctor. I appologize for not responding to each message but I appreciate them all. Apparently he was dehydrated :-( They ran an IV and he is feeling better.

Yes we have all tried flavored coconut water and thinks its nasty :-(

I am looking a some of the other solutions but bought him some recharge for now. It's expensive though! I feel stupid that I didn't know Gatorade didnt have HFCS. I really thought it did. We may go with the gatorade clear just due to cost.

My son has been reading the replies too and was amazed at how many people replied and how quick! Thanks again :-)


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