Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Obsession with Electrolytes

If you know me you may know I've got quite a complex about hydration. If I haven't had a full eight glasses of water in a day, along with some form of electrolytes I do not go to bed feeling healthy. While I've always been told by fellow runners and other athletes that it is very important to consume electrolytes, especially when exercising for long periods of time. I decided it was about time I figure out why the heck electrolytes are so important in prevent dehydration. So here it goes...

What are Electrolytes?

In chemistry terms, an electrolyte is a substance that contains free ions which makes the substance itself electrically combustible. Muscle tissue and neurons are electric tissues in the body that require electrolytes. Muscle contraction requires various electrolytes, and without a sufficient amount will lead to muscle weakness or even severe muscle contractions. In non-science genius terms, electrolytes are essential to maintaining hydration to all parts of the body.

Sodium and potassium salts are important for replenishing levels of water and electrolytes after dehydration cause by exercise, a night of too much drinking, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

You don't need to down pricey sports drinks all of the time to maintain proper levels of electrolytes. You can make your own sports drink at home! The following recipe has a 6.2% within 2 liters of water.
  • 10 tbs. sugar (5/8 cups or 120 grams)
  • .75 tsp Sea salt (4.2 grams) or Morton’s lite
  • 1 package of unsweetened Koolade mix for flavor
  • Water to make 2 liters

It's really important when consuming electrolyte replacements though to include all the electrolytes your body requires: sodium chloride, potassium, magenisum, and calcium. All of these are available in sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade.

Electrolytes are also found in some foods many of us eat all the time:

Exhaustion is related to dehydration, so it makes sense that when we are tired we crave water and foods and drinks rich in electrolytes.
That's all I've got for now. Happy Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Alexis' Camping Adventure Part II

My second camping trip of Fall Break was definitely more of a roughin' it experience than our trip to Lake Sherando. Bryant and I headed off to Paul's Creek to explore some natural water slides. We hiked about half a mile in to the creek where there were about 5 sets of slides created by the running water of the creek.

I somehow managed to get down 2 of them, despite it being freezing and really slippery. Good thing I had my handy water shoes to make it down.

"Yeahhh water slides yeahh."

Our sliding adventure was halted as we began to notice that due was soon becoming night and it was time to find a place to make camp. The trees made the evening much darker than expected so we had to find our way in the dark with one flashlight. There is never a better lesson to be prepared than actually not being prepared.

Not to worry we eventually found some ground to call home for the night. Bryant got cracking on making a fire and despite our efforts and my addition of various leaves, the fire was not maintained but our one flashlight and little propane tank provided enough light for the night.

Wolfgang Puck goes into the wild:

Pretty changing leaves we woke up to.

All in all a successful camping trip round 2. Can't wait to see what other adventures lie ahead.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We're Alive/CAMPING

We're alive we promise. School has taken over and our free time is spent trying to fit runs in and making time for friends, etc. Enough for excuses, blogging will be coming back full force. The past month that I have not been blogging, I have already noticed a depletion in health. My addiction to mini Reeses has returned and it's killing me.

Anywho, Shelby and I were able to have spend some serious outdoor time with our good friends last weekend during Fall Break.

We left the planning to our good friend and Charlottesville native, Skylar:

In retrospect, that may not have been the best option considering his choice of eye wear. JUST KIDDING. Thank goodness for Skylar things went much smoother than would have happened if we had gone solo.

We trekked west to the Shenandoah Valley to Lake Sherando.

Shelby was pumped.

After setting up camp, we headed out on a 4 hour hike to Three Ridges. Eager to get to the finish, I found myself practically sprinting to the top. I managed to find some downtime with my girls on this here rock:

The hike was totally worth it. Can you believe these views? I napped mountain top until everyone dragged me back down the mountain.

And then the camera died...

Oh well. We went for a very quick swim in the Lake after the hike. We're talking REAL quick as the water was about 40 degrees. The rest of the night was spent huddled around the campfire. Skylar made me a gluten-free friendly camping meal of a burger topped on hashbrowns. Delicious.

Our attempts to make breakfast were short run, so we headed out to a Charlottesville staple the Tavern on the way back to UVa.

The camping trip was definitely a success. I loved it so much I went back out the next day to some natural water slides right outside Charlottesville. Look for a post about that to come. Miss you all and be sure to stay tuned to more posts in the future!