3/20/11

4 more days!!

I can't believe I am entering my last (14th) week of clinical interning and my 32nd week of interning. After this week I will be starting "staff relief" and on April 22th, I will be finished with my internship. Between now and then comes two finals, 4 more quizzes and turning in my binder (on Thurs) and hopefully I will successfully complete my internship program in order to receive my papers that say I am eligible for the RD exam.

I had a little time this weekend so enjoy some non-interning reading so I choose the April 2011 issue of Consumer Reports on Health. There were three great articles and I thought I'd share them with you since they are very relevant to my fitness-oriented blog readers. Enjoy!

(p.s. bear with me this week....I'm hoping to stay balanced but I have 4 more days in the ICU, a meeting with my preceptor to approve/sign-off on my assignments in my binder and another quiz to study for this weekend...oh and healthy cooking + training to keep me happy)

Is it possible to make your own electrolyte replenishing drink?
Yes and it can save you money and calories. Electrolytes are minerals in your body that help maintain proper muscle and nervous system function. The best known are sodium, potassium and chloride. Anything that seriously depletes your body's store of fluids - including diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive sweating - can also disrupt your balance of electrolytes. To make your own formula for replacing them, mix 4 cups of water with 2 tbsp of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir thoroughly. You can add lemon juice or sugar-free flavoring if desired. Have a banana along with it to get some potassium. Unless you do endurance sports, steer clear of electrolyte sports drinks such as Gatorade. They have lots of calories, and the added sugar can actually worsen diarrhea and nausea.

(In my opinion, I am not a fan of Gatorade for any type of fitness training or event, unless it is on the course. I believe that you should train with a maltodextrin drink to improve performance and then on race day you will perform based on your race day fueling plan and previous training..not just what you use on the course unless your body can't tolerate the drink. As for Gatorade during training, I recommend Hammer or your choice of a maltodextrin drink)

Fat-soluble vitamins: You've reported that some fat in the stomach is necessary in order to absorb vitamin D from food. Does it matter what type of fat?
Not in terms of absorption, but you should stick mainly to unsaturated fats, found in fish and most vegetable oils, rather than saturated ones, which can raise LDL 9bad) cholesterol. Foods that contain those healthful fats are themselves often rich in fat-soluble vitamins, which include A,E, and K in addition to D. Good sources include avocados, nuts, vegetable oils, and fatty fish such as wild salmon and trout. But don't take the need for a little fat as license to overdo it. even when it's the healthful kind, fat should account for only about 15-35% of your daily calories.

Glucosamine and chondroitin: Possibly helpful
Research is mixed on whether these supplements can slow the progression of osteoarthritis. But there's some decent evidence that they can alleviate pain in a subset of patients with moderate to severe arthritis of the knee based on a large, multicenter trial published in 2006. A 2005 CONSUMER REPORTS survey of some 2000 people who tried the combination found that it eased arthritis symptoms at least as effectively as over-the-counter drugs.
Bottom Line: People with arthritis pain might consider taking 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate and 1200 mg of chondroitin sulfate daily, separated into three doses. Stop after three months if you don't see improvement in your pain severity. Talk with your doctor before taking glucosamine if you have a shellfish allergy, since it's made from the shells of sea creatures. And don't take glucosamine with warfarin (Coumadin and generic) because it can interfere with the blood thinning action of the drug.

Manufactures of dietary supplements don't have to prove that their products are safe or effective before they reach the market, as drug makers do. So if you decide to take supplements, look for products with the "USP Verified" mark. That indicated that the U.S. Pharmacopeia, a nonprofit standards-setting authority, has verified the quality, purity and potency of the raw ingredients or finished product.