Episode #205: What Kind Of Sports Drink or Gel Is Best For Endurance Exercise?

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Aug 22, 2012 free podcast: What Kind Of Sports Drink or Gel Is Best For Endurance Exercise? Also: upper body strength for swimming, is honey a good energy source, is a “hair analysis” worth while, should you “run through menopause”, chlorine sensitivities, dealing with a labrum tear, xenoestrogens and weight changes, cycling and sciatica pain , and ways to deal with metatarsal pain.

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As compiled and read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.

Audio Question from Keith:
Wants to know Ben's opinion on Tailwind Endurance Fuel.

~ In my response I mention Osmo Nutrition.

Eve asks:
I am a typically pear shaped female. I have done strength training diligently for several years, and I have trained for triathlon for almost a year. My upper body strength is really holding me back on the swim. I train swimming 3 times per week. I have worked with swim coaches and have followed numerous strength training protocols with several personal trainers. I bought your book “strength training for triathletes” and followed some of the exercises. I've had improvements in my leg strength, but not in my lats and arms. I eat Paleo with loads of fruit, plenty of protein, litre of milk per day with zero junk and zero gluten. Is there no hope for me? Even my mother can bench more than me :-(

~ In my response to Eve, I mention the SwimSmooth book.

Rob asks:
I was listening to you and Brock talk about gels and goos today, recommendations for half-marathoning. I started running hardcore last year and I found the half-marathon distance really tough until I started wearing a CamelBak and I was thinking about carrying honey packets with me as a natural source of energy, as opposed to gels and goos. I'm a budget runner as much as possible because I'm a budget sort of wage-earner and I can just grab these honey packets at the local coffeehouse. What do you think about using honey as an energy source during a long-distance run?

KaLonny asks:
Is there any validity to hair analysis? A local chiropractor offers this test to measure mineral content of your hair and, according to this particular website, “if a particumineral deficiency or toxicity exists in the hair, it usually indicates a mineral deficiency or toxicity within the body. This in turn, provides a great window into the metabolic activity within the body, which allows us to prescribe a unique treatment protocol in order to properly treat your condition. ” I am interested for myself, but also for my daughter, who shows characteristics of autism and other behaviour issues. Is it legit or a waste of money?

~ In my response to KaLonny, I recommend these two tests:

Hope says:
I'm 53 years old and have been going through the side effects of peri-menopause and menopause for many years now. I decided when I was in my later 40's that I would try to “run through menopause”. I'm now running about 3 – 4 miles a few times a week and also do different types of cross training. I have completed a 5k and a 10k, but I find that I get too exhausted to put in any real extended mileage. I wanted your input regarding how to deal with the exhaustion, hot flashes and creeping weight gain which has been occurring. I have tried black cohosh and other remedies to no avail. My diet is overall very good – lots of veggies, clean foods, protein and not huge amounts of carbs, except for a treat. My mother had breast cancer twice, so there is no way I'll be touching any hormones. I am trying my best to keep fit and young, but I gotta tell you, it's been tough!

~ In my response to Hope, I recommend listening to my podcast on why women gain weight as they get older and taking a look at the Ben Recommends page.

Nadine asks:
I am an ex-triathlete who stopped swimming because of a problem with chlorine. Here is what the symptoms are like: after two or three swims in a week, I stop being able to digest fat, get heart palpitations (which I never get otherwise) and generally feel terrible. It took me a long time to figure out what the trigger is until my naturopath did some reflex testing with pool water and figured out that the chlorine in the water goofs up my liver and gall bladder. I stopped swimming in 2005. I do a lot of endurance training but really really want to get back into triathlon. I am going to try a lower chlorine pool in Vancouver but wondered if a) you have encountered this sort of reaction before and b) if you have any ideas about helping out with the chlorine. I have no respiratory symptoms.

Shannon asks:
I currently have a small tear in my labrum in my left hip. I have an acetabular impingement that seems to be why this has happened. I was a runner and practised a lot of yoga. I have been seeing a yoga therapist and doing physical therapy and my hip has been feeling better. I am not planning on having surgery, because my hip is feeling better. Do you have any suggestions or opinions about workouts? I would love to get back to running, but high impact activities make me nervous.

~ Heal Your Hips book.

Sefi asks:
Are there any studies that actually look at weight changes in women who avoid xenoestrogens compared to those who don't?

~ Harvey PW, Darbre P. Endocrine disrupters and human health: could oestrogenic chemicals in body care cosmetics adversely affect breast cancer incidence in women? J Appl Toxicol. 2004 May-Jun;24(3):167-76.

~ Braun JM, Kalkbrenner AE, Impact of early-life bisphenol a exposure on behavior and executive function in children, Pediatrics. 2011 Nov;128(5):873-82. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

~ Roy JR, Chakraborty S, Chakraborty TR. Estrogen-like endocrine disrupting chemicals affecting puberty in humans–a review, Med Sci Monit. 2009 Jun;15(6):RA137-45.





~ Jensen TK, et al. Do environmental estrogens contribute to the decline in male reproductive health. Clinical Chemistry December 1995 vol. 41 no. 12 1896-1901.

 ~ Ho, S-M, W-Y Tang, J Belmonte de Frausto, and GS Prins. 2006. Developmental Exposure to Estradiol and Bisphenol A Increases Susceptibility to Prostate Carcinogenesis and Epigenetically Regulates Phosphodiesterase Type 4 Variant 4. Cancer Research, Volume 66, Pages 5624-5632.

~ Diamanti-Kandarakis E et al. 2009 Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement. Endocrine Reviews 30(4):293-342

~ Carwile JL, Michels KB, Urinary bisphenol A and obesity: NHANES 2003 – 2006. Environ Res. 2011 Aug;111(6):825-30. Epub 2011 Jun 14. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

~ Zsarnovszky A, Le HH, Wang HS, Belcher SM. Ontogeny of rapid estrogen-mediated extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling in the rat cerebellar cortex: potent nongenomic agonist and endocrine disrupting activity of the xenoestrogen bisphenol A. Endocrinology. 2005 Dec;146(12):5388-96. Epub 2005 Aug 25.

~ Ayyanan A, Laribi O, et al, ISREC-Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research, National Center of Competence Molecular Oncology, Lausanne, Switzerland.

~ Masuno, H., et al. “Bisphenol A in combination with insulin can accelerate the conversion of 3T3-L1 fibroblasts to adipocytes.” J lipid Res. 3 (2002): 676-684.

 ~ Silver MK, O'Neill MS, Sowers MR, Park SK, PLoS One. 2011;6(10), Urinary Bisphenol A and Type-2 Diabetes in U.S. Adults: Data from NHANES 2003-2008.

~ Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America.

~ Harvey PW, Darbre P. Endocrine disrupters and human health: could estrogenic chemicals in body care cosmetics adversely affect breast cancer incidence in women? J Appl Toxicol. 2004 May-Jun;24(3):167-76.

Andy wrote:
I recently “fell” into the sport of road cycling after trying it out last year during a vacation. I have always been active (4th degree Black Belt in Karate) though I now have to work within my sciatica that at times does not allow me to walk without pain. Riding does give me a minor back soreness but it does not hurt me at all! Even though I am now 56 I would like to get into this sport more seriously but with caution. I still have a full time job and yes a growing family thus I have to balance. So, where does one begin to establish a serious, though reasonable overall program that someone like me can use to challenge himself?

~ In my response to Andy, I recommend www.TriathlonDominator.com and www.Tri-Ripped.com

Paul asks:
I am a 63 yr old 30 + yr. runner. I have flat feet and hammer toes. The last few years I have had nerve pain under second toe on my right foot. I have used a metatarsal pad under toes with relative success. Lately pain hangs on after long runs. I went to a podiatrist and got a cortisone shot for the inflammation and was told I need an orthotic. I've seen insoles with a pad directly behind the ball of the foot designed to take the pressure off the metatarsal bone and would be interested in your view of the best way to approach this problem.

~ In my response to Paul I talk about the How To Run Barefoot post.

Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!

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9 thoughts on “Episode #205: What Kind Of Sports Drink or Gel Is Best For Endurance Exercise?

  1. Kathy says:

    You mentioned chronic cardio as a contributor to hormone issues, due to the release in cortisol. Does high-intensity interval training have the same effect? Also, you seemed to be saying that weight lifting is OK. Does that mean weight lifting doesn't raise cortisol levels? (One would think that almost any type of active exercise would raise levels, no?)


  2. Grant Corless says:

    Hi Ben,

    I was listening to a recent podcast while driving the other morning and couldn't write the book down. You were talking about a book by a guy I think it was food and treating cancer. Do you recall the name of the author and book? My cousin has cancer and it sounded like something she would like to read.

    I've gone back twice to try and find it but couldn't!?

    Thanks for your help in advance
    GC in BC

    1. from episode 204: Lauri says:
      My partner just completed abdominal radiation therapy for cancer. Needless to say, this pretty much trashed her digestive system. I have been looking into the GAPS diet as a potential method to help her along the healing path. However, when I’ve done a search through PubMed, I have not been able to find any peer reviewed articles on this diet. Are you familiar with any that are out there? I may just not have the correct search parameters.

      ~ In his response, Ben talks about the book: Fourfold Path To Healing.

  3. Chris Hughes says:

    Also in response to the call in from Paul…

    I had the same problem and thought minimalist running might help… it didn't. What I did find was that I needed a zero drop shoe but I Wasn't able to find any with arch support. So I had some custom orthotics made for my Altar Adams…and like magic I can run pain free.

    All my minimalist runner friends mock me for having orthotics in what's supposed to be a barefoot shoe… but I would prefer to be a runner that someone when used to be able to run.

    1. Interesting and good information, Chris…thanks for sending through…

  4. Misty says:

    Hi Ben, THank you for this. No, I do not eat any of those things. I try to eat as clean as possible. I worked with an acupuncturist for a while, and i do alot of building foods. steamed, saurkraut, protein, almond yogurt. i keep it really simple with minimal sugar/ carbohydrate.

  5. Misty says:

    Hi Ben,

    I also have hip impingement. I was doing all the exercises that you suggested to the girl that called in, when i actually go injured. If i do them now, i flair and my leg gets limp and weak..any thoughts? I had to stop running and vinyasa yoga. i am currently doing a therapie now called egoscue, postural alignment, but even those flair me up. I have been a dancer all my life and not being able to functionally use my leg is a quite humbling experience.

    1. Misty, do you eat an antiinflammatory diet that does not have tomatoes, potatoes, nightshades, gluten or dairy? That's exactly where I would start…

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