Phoenix Rising supports the Millions Missing global day of protest
Phoenix Rising is delighted to support the demands being made in the ME/CFS community’s first-ever global day of protest …
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Question about sports drinks and electrolytes

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by lowkey, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. lowkey

    lowkey

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    15
    Hi guys, I hope you are all doing ok given the unfortunate circumstances most of us find ourselves in.
    This is my first post on these forums - I have asked questions online on other forums such as Patient UK but I thought I would migrate to phoenix rising because it seemed like the best place to surround yourself with others who know how you are feeling.

    I just have a quick question about using sports drinks with electrolytes, specifically Powerade (Similar to Gatorade for those of you that live in countries without powerade). Recently I have taken to drinking one Powerade drink every day. Since I began doing this, about 2 weeks ago, I have managed to avoid any significant flare ups. This is quite rare for me; normally in a two week period I would feel really bad on at least 3 or 4 of the 14 days. Sometimes in the morning I've woken up and thought - oh no, this is going to be a bad day - but by the end of the day, after drinking my powerade, i haven't felt nearly as bad as I could have.

    Do you think the Powerade could be having some sort of positive effect? Or do you think it is just coincidence? If you think that the sports drink could be having a good effect, are there any alternatives that I could buy in bulk that you know of? It is quite expensive to buy a sports drink every day.

    FYI- a quick bit of information about my condition, in case it helps you answer. I am a 20 year old male, previously very healthy. I have had symptoms for nearly 1 year, and I was diagnosed with mild CFS about 4 months ago. Although I have mild CFS it has still impacted my quality of life in a big way. The specialist that I have spent time with is hopeful for a full recovery in a relatively short time frame of 1 or 2 years thanks to my health and my age, but it is still easily been the worst period of my life so far. The worst symptoms are strange feelings in the head, fogginess, dizziness, and heaviness which differ in severity, but have been quite mild in the last few weeks (since i started drinking electrolyte sports drinks). I do not have fibromyalgia or POTS. I go to university and have a part time job but I spend most of time resting in my room.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated,
    Thank you so much, and I hope you have a good day
     
    musicfan50 and alkt like this.
  2. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

    Messages:
    4,678
    Likes:
    4,643
    Left Coast
    If you had some kind of OI maybe it is helping that. I know you say you don't have pots but who knows if there isn't something else going on. I'm sure some smarter than me on this subject will chime in.

    The only way to know if it's the Powerade or a coincidence is stop the Powerade. Just enjoy feeling good
     
  3. Bansaw

    Bansaw Senior Member

    Messages:
    379
    Likes:
    207
  4. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

    Messages:
    4,678
    Likes:
    4,643
    Left Coast
    There's s thread here about Ultima Replenisher too. But I think he just wanted
    To know if Powerade specifically helped.
     
  5. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,552
    Likes:
    2,552
    San Francisco
    I think it's quite possible that your powerade is helping by keeping you hydrated and your blood pressure higher. You could have other forms of variable hypotension besides POTS.

    I used to drink an electrolyte solution w/out sugar or just added 1/2 tsp salt to 1 liter of water. You could ask your doc about midodrine or florinef. (None of these things helped me, but ymmv.)
     
    ahimsa and SOC like this.
  6. lowkey

    lowkey

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    15
    Thank you for the swift replies everyone. I have done a little bit of research on the web, and it seems as though many people have found some form of relief from certain CFS symptoms with electrolyte drinks. Lots of people recommend something other than powerade/gatorade because of the high sugar content in these drinks. Minkeygirl, I have looked pu ultima replenisher and it looks promising, I may give it a go.
    Again, thanks for the help, and if anyone reading this has anything more to add about the role of electrolytes in CFS, and advice on how to utilise them, feel free to contribute.
     
  7. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,246
    Likes:
    781
    I've got ME and some form of dysautonomia (diagnosis isn't going well, it's a tricky one, although they did put me on meds for it), and swear by electrolyte drinks. So do various people I know who don't have ME, come to that. They're generally useful.

    It may be helpful to talk about the background of electrolyte drinks. Traditionally, they were used for treating people with severe diarrhoea and/or vomiting who couldn't keep food down and were dehydrated. You need some glucose to be able to use the electrolytes, and those folks weren't keeping food down, so they put glucose in there.

    Do you need glucose in other situations? Opinion is divided. As far as I can tell, if you are getting sufficient food in your diet, that will probably deal with that side of things. Many of us with ME have difficulties with eating sugar. I get bad pain flare-ups from it, for instance, and am really careful about eating complex carbs and wholegrains as a result. Sugar can cause wild blood sugar swings, which aren't good for us either.

    So I'd suggest trying some non-sugared electrolyte drinks and seeing how you get on with those. Nuun is a popular brand. The cola and cherry flavours have a small amount of caffeine, which some people find useful when carefully used, and other people prefer to avoid altogether. I use the caffeinated ones in the morning to help wake me up, especially if I'm breathless, since caffeine is a bronchodilator. I admit to being swayed by the fact that the cola is the tastiest flavour, though. eBay is a good place to pick up a single tube of Nuun, and then I buy multipacks on Amazon.

    You can also try salting your drinking water and see if you like it, because if you do (I do, most people don't), that works out a lot cheaper. I have been working from a basic blend that gives me sodium and potassium, the two main ones, which you make by mixing ordinary salt with low-sodium salt (potassium chloride plus sodium chloride). The larger part is ordinary salt, the sodium is the main thing you want here. Salt substitute is pure potassium chloride, so you'd use proportionately less of that. I have a few Nuun drinks throughout the day too, but 1/2 tsp of this salt mix to an 800ml/27oz bottle of water is what I drink mostly. I'm not sure whether I get a better result from Nuun tablets, which also have a bit of magnesium and calcium in them (minerals I take separately in tablet form anyway), and have found an electrolyte powder at bulkpowders.co.uk which has all four. So that's on the way, and I'll see how it dissolves and tastes, not to mention whether it makes a difference.

    You may also find that you do better with a sugary drink, of course. Some people take d-ribose as a supplement for ME, and that's a form of sugar, so you could try that. If you use that in a water bottle, for the sake of all that is holy, wash the water bottle very thoroughly on a regular basis. I had a horrific experience with mould once.

    Something else that will affect whether people prefer sugar or not is which way their weight tends, and whether they are getting enough to eat. Lots of us with ME have weight problems one way or the other. I tend towards overweight rather than underweight, and I don't have problems taking in enough calories, so I really don't need the extra sugar. If you tend towards underweight and/or have trouble eating enough, it might be more suitable for you. The only way to tell is to try it, really.
     
    musicfan50 and PatJ like this.
  8. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,246
    Likes:
    781
    By the way, don't bother with fancy salts. They make various health claims, but the additional minerals are negligible. Some people find they are tastier for cooking, although that's usually only when added at the end, but mostly it's just a marketing thing. And pink "Himalayan" salt is often just road salt!

    I salt my food heavily, as do many of us, and it's under doctor's orders.
     
  9. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,280
    Likes:
    4,280
    London
    I am better on Gatorade but I do have POTS in addition to ME (had a tilt table test).

    It's possible to import a powdered form of Gatorade and mix it up. I'm getting family members to send this to me from abroad.
     
  10. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

    Messages:
    11,875
    Likes:
    12,622
    Sth Australia
    I strongly suggest to stop doing that.. cause it at the very least will wreck your teeth using it consistently in the way you would be using it to help yourself. I had a dr put me onto sports drinks (I have POTS with the ME/CFS) and so I started drinking a lot of Powerade (and Gatorade) following her recommendation.

    It helped me a lot but within 6-8mths I ended up with 3-5 holes in my teeth (and almost lost a tooth, they weren't sure it could be saved) due to this!! and it had eaten away at all my tooth enemal on all my teeth so it was thinner. I was at the point where wearing a mouth guard while sleeping to protect my teeth was recommended to me as it due to weaker enemal, then my teeth went painful. Note my teeth had been exceptional before this.. I'd only ever needed two fillings in my whole life (one for each pregnancy I had). It was the powerade which started destroying my teeth in only 6-9mths use. I'd only advise using something like that for a special day out not all the time..

    I've also since then become prediabetic and now have to stay in a very low carb diet due to hyperinsulinemia (prediabetic state). Two of my drs have told me I will become diabetic.

    Many of us use electrolytes or make up our own.. and choose ones without sugar or use less glucose in them.. Seeing the sport drinks help you.. it probably means you have like most of us some kind of dysautonomia issue with your ME/CFS (or maybe it could be the cause of your whole illness as it an cause a lot of symptoms which may be mistaken for CFS).

    POTS too Ive found may not always be picked up on a test and may be coming and going to a degree with our ME/CFS like our other symptoms do, so its possible it was missed. I have severe POTS which can go increase up to 67 beats a minute when standing and leaves me having to use a wheelchair but one test it didn't even show itself.

    Seeing sports drinks help you, maybe it would be a good idea to ask a dr to see if you could trial florinef (which helps the body hold onto its fluids and helps increase blood volume) .. and keep up with taking electrolytes..
     
  11. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,936
    Likes:
    1,464
    UK
    Bulk powders.co.uk sell a sugar free electrolyte mix which is cheap. They also deliver very quickly. I have used them often.
     
    ukxmrv likes this.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page