Water vs. Electrolyte Drinks

As a universal rule, water is the primary source for rehydration for any athlete during a workout, event, or everyday life. However, When the revolutionary drink Gatorade was created for the Florida Gators football team, how to hydrate has become a seeming rivalry between the trusted water and the up and coming electrolyte drink. To answer the question which drink is better for an athletes body during intense spans of activity, a comparison of the overall goals and benefits of each must be examined.

Water has been used as a tool for survival since humans have existed, mostly because it offers no serious nutritional setbacks. This, along with the fact that the majority of the human body is comprised of water and uses water to maintain body temperature, transport oxygen and nutrients, and dispose of waste, serves as a serious argument that water is the most necessary natural element for humans. Water offers a no calorie, easily absorbed solution to thirstiness and dehydration, and is a perfect source of hydration for athletes enduring extremely intense, shorter workouts.

However, the invention of electrolyte drinks wasn’t just a marketing ploy to make quick cash. There are noticeable benefits to these drinks that water cannot provide. Sports drinks contain certain electrolytes and carbohydrates that need to be replaced in a long endurance workout. These drinks can replace these electrolytes and carbs that are naturally lost during a workout more effectively than water. Additionally, sports drinks are generally a more appealing taste to athletes, which in turn could lead to more consumption, which then leads to a quicker replenishing of the electrolytes and carbohydrates. Yet with these benefits, sports drinks also has some problems. The primary concern is the extra calories in every drink. Some drinks contain over 150 calories per drink, equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar, which can counteract the benefits gained.

However, a serious concern that must be noted is hyponatremia– the rapid loss of sodium in the blood caused by over hydration. Yes, it is possible to over drink during workouts or athletic events. This can be done by drinking too much water and too much of a sports drink.

Overall, because sports drinks cannot defend against hyponatremia and also add unnecessary calories for a normal athlete, the general rule should be to stick with water, with the possible exceptions to long, high endurance activities. Yet even then water is still a very acceptable tool for rehydration.

Sources: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/trade-sports-drinks-for-water-201207305079 and http://runnersconnect.net/coach-corner/sports-drinks-vs-water-when-its-best-to-use-each/

The Benefit of Arthroscopy

Stemming from the Greek arthro (joint), and skopein (to look), arthroscopic surgery redefines the conventional definition of surgery by making a small incision and inserting “pencil–sized instruments” to expose the structures inside the joint. This allows surgeons to not only finalize a diagnosis, but operate with little collateral damage to other areas of the body. By maximizing efficiency and minimizing unnecessary steps, arthroscopic surgery has become the best form of surgery for joint injuries and diseases.

The necessity of arthroscopy speaks for itself. It is stored as the final piece in an arsenal of medical tools used for diagnosing injuries and diseases. Following a “thorough medical history”, a physical examination, occasionally X-rays, with the usual MRI or CT scan, arthroscopic surgery seals a diagnosis with more accuracy than “open” surgery or X-ray, MRI, and CT studies.

Because of the noticeably reduced physical wear and tear on the body, arthroscopic patients are almost always treated as outpatients and are home within hours of the surgery. The overall healing process and rehabilitation is reduced favorably for patients. As opposed to “open” surgery, the tiny incision and the work that takes place inside that incision minimizes bleeding and shows a sizable reduction in complications, physical pain and infections, proving that arthroscopy should be considered a standard.

For patients searching for a path that reduces unfavorable complications and increases efficiency and accuracy, arthroscopic surgery is the obvious road to travel.

Sources: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00109 and http://actifit.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/shutterstock_4075453.jpg

It’s Never Too Late To Be Fit

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A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that being fit in your forties and fifties can significantly improve the quality of life in your seventies, eighties, and nineties.

Assessing 40 years of data gathered from 18,000 adults, the analysis finds that those who had higher fitness levels in middle age were substantially less likely to have a chronic condition between the ages of 70 and 85. Instead of living with diseases like heart disease, colon cancer and Alzheimer’s for 10 and 20 years, individuals who exercised more frequently during middle age were less likely to develop chronic illnesses until their last five years of life.

Research shows that you don’t have to undertake a strict fitness regime to get results though. Increasing your level of exercise during midlife years by 20%, decreases your chances of developing chronic diseases by 20%.

“Fitter individuals aged well with fewer chronic illnesses to impact their quality of life,” says Benjamin Willis of the Cooper Institute, first author of the study.

Thirty Minutes of Exercise Ideal for Weight Loss

According to a new study published recently from the University of Copenhagen, less may be best when it comes to weight loss.  Researchers studied two groups of individuals hoping to lose weight. The first group exercised daily for thirty minutes. The second group worked out for one hour.  The result? Those who sweat for thirty minutes lost more weight (two pounds over a three month period) than those exercising for twice the amount of time.

The individuals who sweat for sixty minutes did burn more calories, but researchers speculated that their increased appetite may have countered their weight loss. They also reasoned that the 30 minute exercisers had additional energy to do other activities, like walking up stairs instead of taking the elevator, for the rest of the day.

“The take-home message is that in order to get the benefit of exercise on weight loss, you don’t have to go to extremes,” says Dr. Donald Hensrud, a weight-managament specialist at the Mayo Clinic.