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Author Topic: Electrolytes - Thinking on the fly  (Read 3503 times)

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Offline risred1

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  • Posts: 419
  • My Source for Supps - www.newyorkbuyersclub.org
Electrolytes - Thinking on the fly
« on: September 19, 2007, 11:26:01 PM »
electrolyte (ee-LEK-troh-lite)

    A substance that breaks up into ions (electrically charged particles) when it is dissolved in body fluids or water. Some examples of electrolytes are sodium, potassium, chloride, and calcium. Electrolytes are primarily responsible for the movement of nutrients into cells and the movement of wastes out of cells.

I have been training a bit for a long charity bike ride and a triathlete told me about a Electrolyte Tablet that you dissolve in the water you carry on the bike. The product is called NUUN. It has only 5 calories and the idea is that as you rehydrate, you need to replenish Electrolytes or Salts that you loose when you perspire.

Now reread the definition i found from the National Cancer institute.

What I'm about to ponder are my thoughts alone. The conclusions are my own. I am not a doctor. I am not a scientist.

I am also not on meds. What I'm about to state may have serious implications for those on meds. Please keep that in mind.

So I get the NUUN tablet and I'm curious about the flavor, which was described to me as a weak and slightly effervescent quality. Since it is just really flavored Electrolyte or salts, its akin to Gatorade in some aspects, but it is a more complete electrolyte mix without any significant carbs. So I drop a tablet in 16 oz of water and drink it. Yeah, it has a weak flavor, certainly not at all like Gatorade, and it is only just mildly sweet, as it has sorbitol in it.

I then go on a bike ride and carry it with me in my water bottle. Everything they are stating seems to be true. It tastes better as you use it in exercise. As you drink to rehydrate you are getting electrolytes in balance with the water you are taking in. I feel pretty good about using it, and it seems to boost my performance.

So I discuss NUUN with the triathlete who recommended it. He stated that he drinks it everyday in the morning and ever since he has been using it as a daily drink and in training, he no longer has any problems with cramping up.

I also recalled John Cleese talking about loosing salts on a long hike in the mountains of Madagascar for his special program on Lemurs. (I know....Lemurs, just try to stay with me on this long path to the point.) As the body looses salts, your body begins to not work so well, cramps, dehydration - even as you drink fluids, without electrolyte, the water doesn't do what it is supposed to do. There is a condition that ultra Marathoner athletes often suffer from, Hyponatremia, which means that you have too much fluid in the body which can kill you. It isn't enough to drink, you need to replenish salts.

Obviously salts are so important to our body function that we have a taste sense devoted to salt. Literally, we need water to survive, but we also need salt to make the water work correctly in our bodies.

Now comes the proposition, it is a common issue or side effect of the HIV that digestive problems are a frequent issue, mainly diarrhea. And this isn't about the med side effect, although that is very real as well. But just HIV alone can create digestive issues. I certainly had them. After a year of my diagnosis, I was practically taking Imodium on a daily basis. And this was before and after my bout with a intestinal parasite. (eww gory detail!). A very real concern about dealing with diarrhea is replenishing Electrolytes in the digestive track. Without Electrolytes, your intestines cannot move nutrients and most importantly Water into your system. People can and do die of dehydration caused by Diarrhea. So after a bad bout of diarrhea, what do doctors tell you, get it under control and drink Gatorade or something with electrolytes, pedialyte for example.  So us poz folks have already an issue with HIV causing digestive issues. It is also understood that HIV can over the long term cause a condition called Leaky Gut. Essentially the HIV can so damage the digestive track, that the gut just cannot bring nutrients effectively into the body. This is a serious condition.

Now I hated the idea of having to take Imodium all the time to control the diarrhea, so I've been able to with Glutamine, Vitamins, Probiotics, Yogurt and Psyllium Fiber get things back to, and I'm being honest, better than "normal", to the point that Diarrhea is Infrequent, and less frequent than before I was poz. So, hey, I'm feeling pretty good about how I'm taking care of the digestive track. But still, I'm cd4 of 425 and VL of 12k. I'm impacted and borderline on meds. Over the summer I've been having increasing fatigue. I'm not getting out there to exercise like I was. I just feel out of it. Time to look at my supps or get on meds. So I redid my supplements, adding MSM and Ginsing back into my regimen. I gave up on Ginsing and MSM was in a supp I took that was no longer available. Since I felt pretty good with these supps in the past, I put them back in. And I did feel a bit like my old self.

But after all this, and now thinking about electrolytes and learning from my friend that you can drink this every day essentially as a supplement. An electrolyte supplement for a person with HIV, hmmm, is this something that can help carry nutrients more effectively into my cells?

So, today, I had the NUUN mixed with my Glutamine Water, 5 grams in 16 oz of water, and took my supplements with the electrolyte enhanced water.  My supps are NAC, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Carnitine, A Chelated Multi, MSM, Ginseng, Astragalus, 7-keto DHEA, Omega 3, Probiotic, Psyllium Fiber caps, and Green Tea Extract. The idea is that the electrolyte might help infuse the supps to a higher concentration through my digestive track, and, since the salts are critical for moving nutrients in and wastes out of cells, the electrolyte supp may help improve the supplement access into my cells.

But how are we going to know? I don't have anyway to really prove it, but i do know that when i did a hard 20 miles today on the bike, I felt great at the end, almost giddy, and I easily climbed those hills which have been a real challenge. Normally I fall way behind a friend I ride with, but not tonight.

So from an elemental stance, for athletic performance, electrolyte tablets with the water one drinks can be very helpful in prevent bonking and muscle cramps and keeping up a strong performance over a several hour event. That is important in itself.

The wider scope of my thought is for us as HIV Positive people. Perhaps Electrolyte supplement can help the nutrients we really do need to combat HIV more effectively.

Lastly, in the disclaimer, and this is a serious comment, if your on meds, I would really talk to your doctor before taking in these electrolytes. The ingredients of NUUN are:

active ingredients                                                           level (mg)

Sodium (carbonates)                                                    360.0
Potassium (bicarbonate)                                              100.0
Calcium (carbonate)                                                      12.5
Magnesium (sulfate)                                                      25.0
Vitamin C                                                                          37.5
Vitamin B2                                                                        500mcg

other ingredients: citric acid, sorbitol, sodium carbonate, natural colours flavours, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, polyethylene glycol, magnesium sulfate, sodium benzoate, calcium carbonate, acesulfame potassium, riboflavin-5-phosphate.

I would expect that for some, this is not an issue at all and that electrolytes are not needed. I am performing an experiment on myself. i am not so hopeful that my CD4 Count is suddenly going to improve and that VL is going way down. Hardly. I do hope to feel more energized, more functional, more alert and better performing on the bike and in other areas!  ;D
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 10:34:03 AM by risred1 »
risred1 - hiv +
02/07 CD4 404 - 27% - VL 15k
10/07 CD4 484 - 31% - VL 45k
05/08 CD4 414 - 26% - VL 70k
01/09 CD4 365 - 23% - VL 65k
05/09 CD4 291 - 23% - VL 115k - Started Meds - Reyataz/Truvada
06/09 CD4 394 - ?% - VL 1200 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
07/09 CD4 441 - ?% - VL 118 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
09/09 CD4 375 - ?% - VL Undetectable - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
12/09 CD4 595 - ?% - VL Undetectable - VIT D 34 - Reyataz/Truvada/Norvir

Offline risred1

  • Member
  • Posts: 419
  • My Source for Supps - www.newyorkbuyersclub.org
Re: Electrolytes - Thinking on the fly
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2007, 12:23:14 AM »
There is some verification of electrolyte deficiencies in people with HIV.

risred1 - hiv +
02/07 CD4 404 - 27% - VL 15k
10/07 CD4 484 - 31% - VL 45k
05/08 CD4 414 - 26% - VL 70k
01/09 CD4 365 - 23% - VL 65k
05/09 CD4 291 - 23% - VL 115k - Started Meds - Reyataz/Truvada
06/09 CD4 394 - ?% - VL 1200 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
07/09 CD4 441 - ?% - VL 118 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
09/09 CD4 375 - ?% - VL Undetectable - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
12/09 CD4 595 - ?% - VL Undetectable - VIT D 34 - Reyataz/Truvada/Norvir


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