Article Abstract

Effects of electrolytes on endurance of middle-school girls: a prospective study

Authors: Ria M. Desai, Milind Y. Desai


Background: During periods of intense exercise, human body loses a substantial amount of water, in the form of sweat, along with a lot of important electrolytes. Replenishing these electrolytes is not only important to maintain homeostasis, but it helps in sustaining intense exercise for an extended period of time. The aim of the current study was to test whether drinking an electrolyte-laden drink (Gatorade) prior to a short-burst of high-intensity exercise could improve exercise time as compared to water alone.
Methods: This was a prospective cohort study of 12 middle-school girls, between ages of 12–14 years. The study was conducted over a period of 2 days, 1 week apart, where each subject served as a case and their own individual control. Drink 1 consisted of 100 mL of Gatorade and drink 2 consisted of 100 mL of water with 1 drop of Mio original liquid enhancer, which was used to add color and flavor to the water to mimic the Gatorade. Subjects ran for 30 meters after drinking Gatorade on day 1 and flavored water (in a blinded manner) on day 2. Time to distance was recorded.
Results: The mean time taken to run 30 meters was 5.98±0.5 seconds on day 1 and 6.33±0.6 seconds on day 2. On paired t-testing, there was a statistically significant improvement in 30-meter dash time after consuming Gatorade vs. Mio enhanced water (5.98±0.5 vs. 6.33±0.6 seconds, P=0.004). Nine (75%) subjects had a better running time after consumption of Gatorade.
Conclusions: In a group of middle-school girls, consumption of Gatorade before a short-burst of intense exercise was associated with a significant improvement in running time when compared to Mio enhanced water.