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Sheri Colberg Part 4, Are Sports Drinks Necessary For Diabetes Athletes?

In part 4 of this Exclusive Interview, Sheri Colberg talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed about the consumption of sports drinks versus water.

Sheri Colberg, PhD, FACSM is Professor Emerita of Exercise Science at Old Dominion University in Virginia and a member of the Diabetes in Control Advisory Board.


Transcript of this video segment:

Steve Freed: I recently saw something on the Internet that I thought was very interesting about sports drinks. My first question is, for most people with type 2 diabetes that are overweight, who are going to go for — not even a walk, let’s say they ride the bike through 20 – 30 miles and they go through an hour walk or something, do they really need a sports drink or just water is sufficient, because less calories, they can burn more fat etc. Do people really need those sport drinks for most people, and those bars?

Sheri Colberg: No they don’t need them. So what we know pretty well from just normal athletes without diabetes exercising, is that if they’re doing an activity that’s less than an hour, usually water is fine. If they’re worried about hydrating they don’t really need sports drinks, you don’t need to replace your electrolytes in that short amount of time and you certainly don’t need to take in additional calories or glucose unless you’re using that to prevent hypoglycemia.

Steve Freed: Interesting. I recently saw a program that showed that if you can take a sport drink, swirl it in your mouth, spit it out, you get the same benefits as if you swallowed it. What are your thoughts on that?

Sheri Colberg: In terms of hydration and other things, there’s some ways it sort of tricks the body into thinking that you actually took in some fluids. It’s not the sports drink itself it’s just the fact that you had the fluid in your mouth. No, I wouldn’t suggest that for everybody. I mean a lot of people with diabetes actually are dehydrated if they have been having glucose that’s running a little higher so they’re losing a little more body water through urine and so forth. So you know, essential hydration, I mean it’s still good to hydrate on a regular basis but I mean in the short run if you’re feeling thirsty that’s a good way to kind of trick yourself, if you don’t have much water to go around!

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