Electrolytes, Electrolytes, Electrolytes!

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by Yeti, May 20, 2007.

  1. Yeti

    Yeti Black Belt

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    Well, last weekend was not one of my best. I ended up in the hospital on Thursday and got to stay there through Sunday afternoon. Late Thursday I felt really tired and very sick to my stomach. On the drive home from work, the muscles in my hands and wrists started to contract in on themselves until I couldn't hold the steering wheel any longer. I managed to call home and my wife called 911 and the rest is history. I luckily got full use and feeling in my hands back after about 3 or 4 hours. Man was that scary though!

    It ended up I had a pretty nasty infection somewhere - the doctors think it was a viral infection - but they also saw a pretty severe drop in the potassium and calcium levels in my blood. So bad in fact that I had to drink a cup full of a potassium salt of some kind (and you thought the ocean was salty!). After a few days both levels returned to normal but the doctors still don't know what caused the drop. They do know that the low levels are likely the cause of my hands contracting, but other than that...

    So...make sure you eat that extra banana and have that extra glass of milk every day! You never know!
     
  2. Lisa

    Lisa Don't get Chewed!

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    Wow. Yeti, glad you made it alright. I have heard from others that the potassium drink is absolutely disgusting.

    Your advice is very sound. People, especially when under the weather or working out a lot, really need to watch their intake of nutrients. We all too often forget.

    If you don't mind, I am going to move this thread to the Health forum so others, when looking for information or advice can find it.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Anyone else have similar ones?
     
  3. SFC JeffJ

    SFC JeffJ Grandmaster

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    Glad to hear you are doing better now Yeti!
     
  4. Kensai

    Kensai Black Belt

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    I've had a few episodes like that. Nothing as severe as needing to go to hospital, but I've reached the point of stuffing myself with fruit and in particular, bananas. Wonder food.
     
  5. Shirt Ripper

    Shirt Ripper Black Belt

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    I know a lot of folks that swear by Pedialyte. All the nutrition of the mainstream sports drinks without the sugar. Get the target brand though, stuff is expensive.
     
  6. kaizasosei

    kaizasosei Master Black Belt

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    i heard about that and did experiene something like that once.
    it might have something to do with iron...too much iron is dangerous for males. also, there are different kinds of iron..- also something about the combination of iron and salts.
    all metals and minerals cause sickness if taken too early in morning or on empty stomach at least for me as i do not eat much breakfast. i learned that the hard way.

    sounds like to me, you either ate something bad, or it has to do with the iron. i know this is really vague and not a great help. sorry if i don't know any better. just trying to brainstorm some possibilities.
    i've never experienced lack of pottasium or calcium other than cramps.


    j
     
  7. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    I've had this happen to me. The worse I've ever had was when I couldn't take in any type of food/liquid (including water). I ended up in the hospital for a one week stay on an IV drip. (Why do hospitals continually show food commercials when I want to eat but can't? :wah: )

    I try to prepare for this beforehand if I am aware that a situation requiring a lot of physical exertion may occur. Drinking plain water doesn't really help (if already low on electrolytes) as that depletes the electrolytes further.

    I have found that bananas do very well and so do sports drinks, although bananas and avocados provide better help (potassium). The sports drinks, however, also provide hydration.

    The last time I experienced an electrolyte deprivation was when I went caving a couple of years ago. One caver was carrying my backpack for me (because I got so sick) and unfortunately, my sports drink was in it. Another caver who was physically assisting me with walking kept trying to give me his water, but I was getting sicker. I wasn't able to think clearly to explain to him why.

    My suggestion is to watch your electrolytes and prepare accordingly especially if you will be involved with any type of activity that may require a lot of physical exertion.

    - Ceicei
     
  8. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    I've done this twice, hyponatremia that is.

    The first time I had barely eaten in 24 hours and started feeling poorly toward the end of class. As I was driving home I was getting nauseous and my hands and feet started shaking, Six miles down the interstate I couldn't push the clutch in because by my foot was shaking so bad. Fortunately I had some crackers and half a bottle of gatorade rolling around on the floor from some previous week, about 20 minutes after chugging the gatorade and eating crackers I was much better.

    The second time I was in a seminar and was chugging water all day. By 4:30 I wasn't feeling too good, at 5:30 I was puking on the hotel lawn with my hands and feet cramping and tingling. Two bottles of gatorade and a power bar later, I was feeling good enough to go watch Batman Begins.

    Needless to say, I'm now a huge fan of electrolyte replacement, and while I really like Gatorade I prefer Cytomax, its alot less sweet.

    Lamont
     
  9. Yeti

    Yeti Black Belt

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    As sick as this sounds, I'm glad I'm not alone! Definitely not fun.
    I've taken to eating at least one banana every day, and am back on Gatorade/Powerade as well. Not all the time, but on the days of my workout, definitely. It's all I'll bring to class. I don't ever want to go through that again. I'll have to check out Cytomax.

    And Ceicei...I TOTALLY hear you on hospitals and food. To add insult to injury, before I was cleared to eat, they actually brought me a tray of breakfast and put it right down in front of me. I was SOOOO hungry it was torture. After 18 hours of not being able to eat....one potassium drink and 4 IV bags later all I could think about was eating. Torture I tell you.
     
  10. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    One thing that works for me is get the large containers of powdered gatorade and mix it in a quart nalgene bottle at about 2/3 strength. Cheaper than buying it prepackaged and I haven't had a problem since doing that.
     
  11. zDom

    zDom Senior Master

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    While it hasn't happened for many years, I've experienced muscles cramping up from getting too low on potassium in the past, usually after a long day of working out followed by other streneous activity. Bananas are a great source of potassium.
     
  12. Dave Leverich

    Dave Leverich Black Belt

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    Ditto on all of the above, Costco or other wholesale outlets usually have a powdered Gatorade. I got one that makes 9 gallons for about $7. I just use the 1 quart gatorade bottles (wash out, re-use etc).
     
  13. Phoenix44

    Phoenix44 Master of Arts

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    People always joke about Gatorade, but when I'm training for more than an hour, I rehydrate with Gatorade. And if I'm training REALLY hard or testing, I add some sugar to the Gatorade (yeah, gross, I know).

    When you're training hard and sweating, you're losing water AND electrolytes (there's a reason sweat tastes salty). IMHO, you shouldn't be rehydrating with plain water, because you're diluting your own body's electrolytes, and you'll get headaches, weakness, cramps, etc.

    There's a lot of information on this in the sports medicine literature.
     
  14. Yeti

    Yeti Black Belt

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    Well I finally got around to trying Cytomaxx and I am totally hooked. As Lamont said, it's not as sweet as Gatorade and man does it work for me. Plus it has more potassium :).

    Definitely good stuff. It's a bit more expensive that Gatorade/Powerade, but for me, it's worth it.
     
  15. lkblair

    lkblair Yellow Belt

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    Hi, I'm new here (I'll go post my intro in just a minute). I wondered if you could tell me which Cytomax you use? I noted in a search that there are several different ones - energy, pre-performance, recovery, and complete. I have had similar episodes, which lead to full blown panic attacks for me, and think something like this may help. I can't drink much Gatorade due to the sugar content; I have reactive hypoglycemia which also will lead to panic attacks.

    Lisa
     
  16. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    I use this one:
    http://www.cytosport.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=5

    But mostly thats because it is the one my wife started using when she started doing triathalons, marathons, and ridiculously long bike rides. I haven't used their other products.

    Lamont
     
  17. Yeti

    Yeti Black Belt

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    I use the same stuff. I've only tried the Tropical Fruit flavor so far, but it's really good.
     
  18. Yeti

    Yeti Black Belt

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    One thing I noticed that differentiates Cytomax from Gatorade/Powerade is that Cytomax does not contain sucrose - only fructose. That could be useful to you.

    BTW - Welcome to MT!
    :wavey:
     
  19. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    I saw a few paragraphs from an article that discussed overheating, exercising, and hydrating. I think that this may apply to some of us in martial arts who may be training so much (not necessarily outside, but can be made worse if training outside in the sun) and not ensuring their electrolyte balance. I highlighted in red the comments I think are worth keeping in mind.

    - Ceicei
    For those who want to read the entire article, it is:
    http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,695193561,00.html
     
  20. crushing

    crushing Grandmaster

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    Where do you get your drinks (Cytomax, etc)? From a local outlet or by mail order? An online retailer that I have dealt with for some cycling supplies and hardware (Nashbar.com) is having a sale on nutrional supplements, including Cytomax, Powerbar Drinks, Gu, and other stuff, but I'm not sure how the prices compare. Any recommendations on a source?

    Thanks!123
     

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