Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

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sardia
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Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby sardia » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:13 pm UTC

My roommate who's a organic hippy likes to talk about how you can save money on working out by adding lemon to water instead of gatorade. His specific claim was that a slice of lemon in a glass of water was just as good as gatorade at replenishing electrolytes.
I understand the marketing juggernaut behind gatorade brand, so I did a quick google search to see if anything backed him up, and all I got was some unsatisfactory health magazines about potassium and sugar content.
Is there any evidence that shows a statistically significant difference between water, lemon water, and gatorade? Staying hydrated is important, so I could see how one can confuse the main effects of water with the minor addition of lemons.

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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby Xanthir » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:10 pm UTC

Gatorade is kool-aid plus salt. Its salt is kinda fancy, but still.

"a lemon slice in water" isn't enough to be equivalent, but it's not too far off. I make a sports drink with half a liter of water, a juiced lemon, a large splash of maple syrup, and a heavy pinch of salt.
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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby gorcee » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:34 pm UTC

Here is one study comparing the efficacy of sports drinks to water: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18461208

Sports drinks to coconut water, bottled water, and sports drinks: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3293068/

Sports drinks to distilled water and lemon tea: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21813913

All studies show that in some metrics, sports drinks have better effectiveness in restoring fluid balance.

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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby Shivahn » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:57 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:Gatorade is kool-aid plus salt. Its salt is kinda fancy, but still.

"a lemon slice in water" isn't enough to be equivalent, but it's not too far off. I make a sports drink with half a liter of water, a juiced lemon, a large splash of maple syrup, and a heavy pinch of salt.

Do you have some potassium additive? You really don't want to get too low on that.

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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby ConMan » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:12 pm UTC

gorcee wrote:Here is one study comparing the efficacy of sports drinks to water: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18461208

Sports drinks to coconut water, bottled water, and sports drinks: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3293068/

Sports drinks to distilled water and lemon tea: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21813913

All studies show that in some metrics, sports drinks have better effectiveness in restoring fluid balance.

But, the second part to the equation is that unless you're engaging in some significant athletic activity, you typically don't need the sports drinks.
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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby bigglesworth » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:26 am UTC

http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e4737

Beware cherry-picked studies stating how good sports drinks are. I'm not saying those three are, but the article linked above is the overview that I read to get an idea of the subject. The BMJ is one of the highest-regarded medical journals.
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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby Xanthir » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:37 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:
Xanthir wrote:Gatorade is kool-aid plus salt. Its salt is kinda fancy, but still.

"a lemon slice in water" isn't enough to be equivalent, but it's not too far off. I make a sports drink with half a liter of water, a juiced lemon, a large splash of maple syrup, and a heavy pinch of salt.

Do you have some potassium additive? You really don't want to get too low on that.

I get plenty of potassium in the rest of my diet. Gotta keep up that healthy radioactive glow!
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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby sardia » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:36 pm UTC

gorcee wrote:Here is one study comparing the efficacy of sports drinks to water: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18461208

Sports drinks to coconut water, bottled water, and sports drinks: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3293068/

Sports drinks to distilled water and lemon tea: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21813913

All studies show that in some metrics, sports drinks have better effectiveness in restoring fluid balance.

Hmmm, I was originally going to give the benefit of the doubt to the study, but each of them has 10, 12, and 13 people sample sizes. And they aren't even random people, they are all well trained marathoners/kayakers/runners. =\ I'm not gonna attack his argument based on that.
Oh well, I guess I'll attack my roommate based on the lack of studies that fail to disprove the null hypothesis. If he even knows what that means...

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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby mercutio_stencil » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:29 pm UTC

If you want to make your own Gatorade (or generic re-hydration beverage), salt and salt substitute are the two magic ingredients. Those give you the Sodium and Potassium you need.

Xanthir, are you saying you don't get enough Sodium in your diet? Add it directly to food, it's pretty awesome.

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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:50 am UTC

Rosner MH, Kirven J. Exercise-associated hyponatremia. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol2007;2:151-61 wrote:Because EAH primarily develops by consumption of fluid in excess of urinary and sweat losses, most efforts at prevention have been focused on education about the risks of the overconsumption of fluids (14,95). In many respects, EAH can be viewed as an iatrogenic condition because of the prevailing view that exercising athletes should drink as much fluid as tolerable during a race. Given that there is a wide variation of sweat production and renal water excretory capacity both between individual athletes and in the same individual depending on ambient conditions during the race, universal guidelines for prevention are not feasible. However, several general recommendations for the prevention of EAH have been made (14,95–98). The first is to drink only according to thirst and no more than 400 to 800 ml/h (95). The higher rates of fluid intake would be recommended for runners with higher rates of exertion (e.g., heavier runners, warmer conditions, longer times of exertion). This rate of fluid intake is well below the levels of intake that are seen in athletes who develop EAH (up to 1.5 L/h water) but above the level that would be associated with dehydration. The second recommendation is to use the USA Track and Field guidelines or other methods to estimate hourly sweat losses during exercise and avoid consuming amounts that are greater than this amount during endurance events (96,97). This is facilitated by serial measurements of weights during and after exercise with the goal to maintain weight or even finish exercise with a slighter lower weight. However, this is difficult, time-consuming, and less likely to be followed by casual athletes. That these recommendations can be effective was demonstrated by Speedy et al. (99), who were able to show that prerace education and limiting fluid availability at a race were able to reduce the incidence of hyponatremia without deleterious effects.

Currently, there is insufficient evidence to support the suggestion that ingestion of sodium prevents or decreases the risk for EAH; neither is there any evidence that consumption of sports drinks (electrolyte-containing hypotonic fluids) can prevent the development of EAH (1,35–38,42,100,101). Again, most commercial sports drinks are hypotonic with a sodium content of 10 to 20 mmol/L (230 to 460 mg/L). Overconsumption of such fluids may decrease the rate of serum sodium decline but is unlikely to prevent EAH (35–38,42,100–102). Currently, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends an intake of 0.5 to 0.7 g sodium/L of water as the appropriate level of sodium intake to replace the sodium that is lost in sweat during endurance events (6).
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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby wumpus » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:33 pm UTC

Note to hippy: you might want to google "liter of water, fist of sugar, pinch of salt". It is probably the most amazing program ever in terms of increasing life expectancy vs. cost. It is still purely amazing just in increasing childhood survival rates.

Two notes about gatoraid:
from the above rehydration formula, you probably want some form of sugar, as well as salt/potassium.
distance runners dilute normal gatoraid in half. I have no idea what the full strength is for other than taste. Lets just say I was impressed to see gatoraid marketing an "endurance formula" gatoraid.

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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby Sizik » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:38 pm UTC

mercutio_stencil wrote:Xanthir, are you saying you don't get enough Sodium in your diet? Add it directly to food, it's pretty awesome.


Just make sure it's mixed with chlorine first.
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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby bigglesworth » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:47 pm UTC

mercutio_stencil wrote:magic ingredients
Got that right. Placebo ho!
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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby Jorpho » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:26 pm UTC

Isn't there some kind of powdered electrolyte explicitly intended for use with people who are going to be working outside all day sweating heavily? I seem to recall someone mentioning that to me at one point.

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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby sardia » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:01 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:
mercutio_stencil wrote:magic ingredients
Got that right. Placebo ho!

That's what I'm trying to sort out. Water has an effect, gatorade has an effect, lemon water has an effect. However, all of it has water as the main effect. The hard part is measuring the marginal/additional affect of lemon juice or gatorade ingredients.

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Re: Lemon Water vs Gatorade vs Water

Postby ConMan » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:04 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Isn't there some kind of powdered electrolyte explicitly intended for use with people who are going to be working outside all day sweating heavily? I seem to recall someone mentioning that to me at one point.

I'm not sure about that, but there are products like Gastrolyte that have those kinds of properties, mainly for when you've been vomiting a lot/having diarrhea and losing ridiculous amounts of fluids and electrolytes that way.
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