I think I started drinking “recovery” drinks way back when with Gatorade, back when I actually ran two miles almost every day. Gatorade tasted nasty, but I figured I was putting back, um, well…stuff I needed to put back after sweating like a horse. (For most of my life I have been saying “sweat like a pig” but have recently been informed by a farmer-type friend that pigs don’t sweat.).
Did I know what I was “putting back in”? I did not. Did I read to understand all the ingredients of Gatorade and think if they worked for me? I did not.
Flash forward to the bummer diagnosis of insulin resistance. Watch that sugar source, eliminate most of it anyway. I began reading labels. Aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, fructose (okay for most, but not me), etc.
Um, and an electrolyte is?
From the Ultima web site: (yes, it’s the lazy way to do this, but hey–it’s my blog.) “The word “electrolyte” is derived from words meaning “carry” and “energy”. Electrolytes are minerals found in the healthiest foods we can eat, such as fruit and vegetables, The main electrolytes include the macro-essential electrolytes: calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium and sodium, and the micro-essential electrolytes: selenium, zinc and phosphorus. These minerals, when used in proper ratios, can be utilized by the body systems to control blood flow and oxygen utilization, which thus keeps our cells healthy and our muscles strong and loose. Ultima’s formula focuses on provided all of the electrolytes in correct and useable ratios. Hydration depends on electrolytes and the best way to stay hydrated is to make certain you get electrolytes.”
How we found Ultima
The Food & Exercise Guy (FEG) we visited for four sessions tuned us in to Ultima. He recommended it for the “other stuff” and the stevia, which would not affect my blood sugar. I was already using Now French Vanilla Stevia packets for my coconut-almond milk lattes and in coleslaw. (Added data: Stevia can be 70-300 times sweeter than white sugar.) Stevia was a good thing. Then he gave us the “other stuff” info, the added benefit of an electrolyte drink.
Here’s the gist of what the FEG said: To get optimal hydration from the water I’m drinking, I need a good balance of the different electrolytes. It takes carbs~gasp~to help electrolytes absorb best (and thus provide the best benefit to me). After the fact, when I was preparing this post, I learned that “Ultima’s researchers found that by minimizing carbs, and using only complex carbs, rather than simple sugar, the absorption is quick and effective.” So that’s why “sports drinks” made me feel nauseous, gaggy, and shaky very soon after drinking–the carb was a simple sugar. Sort of like the way I feel after eating a cheese Danish or toffee almond ice cream, dang it.
The fact is that Ultima Replenisher powder, added to water, will help me. The reality is, if it tasted like Gatorade or any other crummy sport drink, it wouldn’t matter how good it was for me–me no drink it.
The good people at Ultima (who are NOT on Twitter & YES I instructed them on the exponential value of getting their tweets going) sent me a packet of no-strings-attached-no-positive-review-hint samples of their most popular flavors. We have Lemonade and Orange at our house already. At first, I wasn’t a big fan of Orange, but now I’ve adjusted the powder-ratio to how I like it and it likes me. Remember, I was a Tang kid, so judge accordingly. Lemonade is the one I use the most.
Well. That was before I got the samples box.
Before I get to that, let me say that when I was a kid, my mother was early-savvy on the white sugar thing. We had soda very infrequently and it was always an ask-first luxury item. If we did have it, it was stored in the vegetable cellar, out of our line of vision. Coke was never an option; it was Tru-Ade or Canada Dry Ginger Ale. Not sure why, but I think it had something to do with the Navy using Coke to clean the rust off bridges. (I’m not saying it’s true, I’m just saying that what I remember hearing somewhere as a young kid. I do, however, distinctly recall a baby tooth eaten in less than a week in an inch of coke in a glass bottle. That was Mr. Abraham’s experiment in sixth grade. And yes, he drank Coke in the teacher’s room.)
When Mom made Kool-Aid (shall we sing? “Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid, tastes great. Wish I had some, can’t wait!”), she put in half of the one cup sugar called for and when the “new and improved” came out, pre-sweetened, well, she wasn’t buying it.
All this to say that grape was my second favorite Kool-Aid flavor and Ultima’s grape is GREAT. Brings to mind the K0ol-Aid days.
Adventure Guy weighs in on taste
He tasted each of them with eight ounces of purified water. The directions say 8-12 ounces, but I wanted more flavor than not. That way, if there was an interest, but he wanted to dilute, he would still get the flavor. See how scientific this was. I would have taken pics of each glass with the ice cubes and sunshine beaming through, but alas, I have hard water and the glasses were most unattractive.
The results, in order of preference:
- Orange – “Reminds me of Tang”
- Wild Raspberry (which I thought for sure would be first)
When it came to the Grape, he swirled the ice in the glass, sniffed the bouquet, and sipped. Cocking his head, he mushed it around in his mouth. He sipped again. I got a little worried. That was the last packet of Grape and if he liked it, it meant I was going to have to share. This time he took a deep drink. Dang it. Adventure Guy has the kind of face that looks the same whether he’s happy, sad, or mad.
Then he spoke: “I don’t like this even a little bit. Tastes like Dimetapp.”
I’d like to know the electrolyte drinks you use and what the sweetener is in them. Please post!