Natural Electrolyte Drinks | Q+A

Natural Electrolyte Drinks | Q+A

Question:

I am looking for a more natural electrolyte drink than Gatorade. Lately I have been squeezing lemon juice into a water bottle and mixing with water. Is there anything you suggest either adding to this drink or even a completely different drink you can suggest?

– Brian W.

Answer:

Hello Brian. Kudos on making your own drink. To mimic a prepared carbohydrate electrolyte solution, you’ll need a source of energy (sugar). I’d recommend adding one tablespoon of agave syrup per 16 fl. oz. of your drink. Alternatively, you can replace a half-cup of water with orange juice or coconut water*. To improve the electrolytes, I’d suggest adding a couple shakes of salt (sodium chloride). With the fruit juices you shouldn’t need to add more potassium. Taste and cost preference for ingredients is up to you.

You may find oral rehydration solution recipes online, but keep in mind that they are targeted at reversing dehydration (due to vomiting & diarrhea) instead of preventing it, as they are saltier and less sweet. During exercise, people tend to drink cooler, slightly sweet beverages.

10 Surprising Facts About Water and Staying Hydrated

*I don’t recommend 100% coconut water as a sports beverage. A recently released study1 indicated no benefit to coconut water over regular water for hydration or time trial performance for a small group of men, consistent with a previous similar study2 on rehydration following exercise:

  1. Coconut Water Does Not Improve Markers of Hydration During Sub-maximal Exercise and Performance in a Subsequent Time Trial Compared with Water Alone. Peart DJ, Hensby A, Shaw MP. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2017 Jun; 27(3):179-184.
  2. Comparison of coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink on measures of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men. Kalman DS, Feldman S, Krieger DR, Bloomer RJ. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012 Jan 18; 9(1):1.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Protein Advice for Males | Q+A

Protein Advice for Males | Q+A

Question:

I have 150 lbs. of lean mass and burn 1800 calories. How much protein should I take in?

– Troy B.

Answer:

Your true protein need depends on your age and physical goals in addition to your weight and caloric rate. To get a rough estimate, start with a gram of protein for each kilogram of lean body mass (68.2 kg in your case) then increase per your activity level:

  • Sedentary – add 10%      
    • 68 + 7 = 75 gms
  • Light activity (e.g. walking) – add 30%    
    • 68 + 22 = 90 gms
  • Moderate (30 min. of vigorous activity 3 days/week) – add 50%  
    • 68 + 34 = 102 gms
  • Active (1 hour per day 5 days/week) – add 75%    
    • 68 + 52 = 120 gms
  • Very Active (10 hours of vigorous activity/week) – double 
    • 68 x 2 = 136 gms

If you maintain weight and thus consume only 1800 calories, it’s likely that the highest factor you need to use is the moderate level. If you have a goal of increasing muscle (requiring more calories), you’ll want to move to the next level higher. Likewise, for those dieting — protein should increase to preserve lean mass when caloric intake is restricted.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Nutritional Advice for Those With Hashimoto’s Disease | Q+A

Nutritional Advice for Those With Hashimoto’s Disease | Q+A

Question:

I have hypothyroidism caused by Hashimotos. What foods should I eat/stay away from?

– Justin S.

Answer:

As you know, Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune problem and the subsequent hypothyroidism is primarily treated with a hormone prescription. The American Thyroid Association’s website (www.thyroid.org ) and their 2013 patient booklet don’t mention diet or foods suggested for treatment of Hashimoto’s. Although there is no special diet for an underactive or mal-performing thyroid, nutritional support can help*. In addition, many patients experience problems with their weight. So a sound nutrition plan can help two-fold.

Follow the basics of a healthy diet, such as consuming regular meals, focusing on wholesome fresh foods, avoiding processed/packaged foods, getting more vegetables and beans, managing portions, drinking adequate fluids and balancing energy consumed with physical activity. Check with your physician whether you need to increase Vitamin D foods (fatty fish, milk, dairy, eggs, mushrooms) or Selenium sources (Brazil nuts, tuna, crab, lobster). If you are deficient in Vitamin B12 then you should consider increasing your meat, fish, poultry, organ meats and dairy intake.

Talk to your doctor if you eat large amounts of soy products, consume a high-fiber diet or if you take any of the following which may affect drug absorption:

  • Iron supplements, including multivitamins that contain iron
  • Aluminum hydroxide, which is found in some antacids
  • Calcium supplements

Because people with Hashimoto’s disease may be sensitive to the essential mineral iodine, do not consume large amounts of seaweed or take iodine supplements, which may worsen the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

* “While these practices can be helpful, it’s important to note that there is no one special diet or vitamin that has been proven to eliminate cancer or remove thyroid disease. Because of these special reasons, it’s important to talk with the doctor managing your treatment about any special diets or supplements you are thinking about using.” – ATA 2017, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Thyroid Disease

– Debbie J., MS, RD

References:

  1. Thyroid Disease and Diet — Nutrition Plays a Part in Maintaining Thyroid Health. Cheryl Harris. Today’s Dietitian. July 2012 Issue, Vol. 14, No. 7, P. 40
  2. “Hashimoto’s Disease.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 01 May 2014. Web. 15 June 2017.
  3. “Hashimoto’s Disease.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Nov. 2016. Web. 15 June 2017.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Protein Percentages for Seniors | Q+A

Protein Percentages for Seniors | Q+A

Question:

What percent of protein a day should seniors (over 65) be eating? I am female, if that makes a difference, and do cardio, weights, and yoga/Pilates classes.

– Carole H.

Answer:

Hello Carole, I’m hoping your question is about what percent of calories should come from protein.

Seniors should consume about 1.0 gm protein per kilogram of body weight daily. This is higher than the recommended 0.8 gm/kg for other healthy adults for two reasons: a greater need for maintaining lean mass and slightly diminished protein digestion/absorption. Since

protein has 4 calories per gram, your requirement equates to a set number of calories, but the percentage this makes up of your total calories will depend on how many you take in.

If you were 130 pounds, you’d need (divide pounds by 2.2 to get kilograms) 59 grams of protein. These 236 calories would be 12% of a 2000 Calorie diet, but 20% of a 1200 calorie

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Sources:

Protein for Fitness: Age Demands Greater Protein Needs. Densie Webb. Today’s Dietitian. April 2015 Issue, Vol. 17 No. 4, P. 16

Seniors — Beef it up to prevent muscle loss. Jennifer K. Nelson. WebMD. May 1, 2015

 

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Teen Talk: Healthy Nutrition Advice | Q+A

Teen Talk: Healthy Nutrition Advice | Q+A

Question:

Hi! I am a sophomore in high school who has been interested in health and fitness since middle school. Within the past two years I have worked hard to lose a good amount of weight/fat, but I can’t seem to lose anymore. As a matter of fact, my only concern is losing the fat and maintaining my weight. I do plenty of weight training with machines, inclined running, and I even workout at school because I am on the dance team. I use the MyFitnessPal app to track my caloric intake, and even with the “weight loss” setting, I can’t seem to lose any more fat. I refer to myself as “skinny fat” because I am pretty long and slim, but my stomach has a good amount of fat to get rid of, and I want to look more toned. The past three months I have been pushing my workouts harder, and restricting my calories more. I can’t seem to get more results and I just don’t know what to do anymore. I am looking for fat loss, and a more toned look.

– Patricia S.

Answer:

Lots of physical activity for a teen certainly burns calories, though it may not translate to toning because the tissues are programmed to reach their genetic potential under the guidance of your maturing hormones. Granted, you may see some older girls with six-packs in the media, but they are typically fitness models and make up less than 1% of the population. Chances are your body is fighting to attain its adult female form while you are attempting to prevent it from doing so. Consuming less than 1600 calories also makes it difficult to get the nutrients you need, such as iron and magnesium.

Experts do not recommend restricting calories1, but rather making the most out of what calories you do eat. Be sure to get at least 25 grams of fiber and 8-10 glasses of fluid daily. Instead of sweetened beverages or diet sodas, drink water or iced tea. Include healthy fats such as omega-3s (from fish), oils, avocado, nuts and nut butters. Eat two to three calcium rich foods per day, 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and 6 ounces of whole grains. Include a little protein at each meal and snack. Meals should have 3-4 food groups, while snacks should have items from at least 2 food groups.

It’s important to maintain a positive body image. Focus on the health benefits of your good choices. Embrace the long and slim physique that exercise has brought you. Concern yourself with enjoying summer, developing healthy habits and staying on top of dance! You’re on your way to becoming a capable, strong woman of substance.

If you think you may worry too much about your weight or body image, or if thinking about these things is interfering with your happiness, tell an adult you trust, like a parent, coach, teacher or doctor.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Sourced:

  1. Kids, Caring For. “Dieting: Information for Teens.” Dieting: Information for Teens – Caring for Kids. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2017.

Resources:

  1. KidsHealth.org
  2. GirlsHealth.gov
  3. Teen Dieting

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

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Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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