Category Archives: Sports

What’s The Best Way To Refresh Post-workout? Coconut Water or Sports Drinks?

What’s the Best Way To Refresh Post-Workout- Coconut Water vs. Gatorade vs. Powerade?

This is a guest post by Shannon White, the choreographer of the MECKids Dream Team.

The “New” Kid in Town                                   

Before you divorce your favorite sports drink for nature’s alternative, ask yourself if you’ve tried to work it out. Let’s take a moment to make sure this is the right decision. Rehydration after a strenuous activity (like playing with your kids) is essential to ensure that your body replenishes its nutrients. In the last few years, coconut water has splashed on the scene in the U.S., with celebrity endorsements and big names like Pepsi and Coca-Cola getting in on the action too. Coconut water is far from new, however. Americans are “tardy for the party”; tropical countries (Caribbean, parts of Africa, Southeast Asia) where the young, green coconuts are found have been getting the “super water” straight from the source for many years.

MECKids Mission: To find out whether or not coconut water is an adequate, healthy substitute for popular sports drinks of today.

Water WIth Lemon

Why all the Fuss?

What is so great about coconut water anyway? If the liquid from this tropical fruit isn’t manipulated too much, coconut water is a natural, low calorie source of electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium) with a slight nutty and refreshing taste. In fact, the Molecules scientific journal boasts that it can also help to prevent heart attacks and treat kidney stones. Its other benefits include:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Fights free radicals to help fight cancer
  • Can have anti-aging affects
  • Has trans-zeatin that is used to prevent and/or treat Alzheimer’s and dementia

So far so good, right? Let’s continue.

Potassium is the key electrolyte that contributes to coconut water’s star power— if electrolytes were famous, potassium would be an A-list celebrity. It helps not only control the amount of water in your body, but it also helps maintain a healthy pH level in the blood. Because there aren’t as many sources that are rich in potassium as say, sodium, potassium deficiency is very common, especially in African American women. If severe, it can be fatal (eek!).

Raw coconut water has about 20 times the potassium of Gatorade, which equals about four bananas. For all the banana haters out there, talk about a win!

Does it measure up?

e5aacdb5-c77f-4654-b0be-7179bf747b32Even though potassium is a salt (which we now know is important), it’s not the primary salt we lose while sweating it out. That prize goes to sodium. Here are the cold (and refreshing) facts: Powerade and Gatorade both have more than double the amount of sodium of coconut water per ounce. Normally, less sodium means it’s better for you. But in this case, sodium is the most essential electrolyte to the rehydration process (after a strenuous workout). The Scientific Committee on Food suggests 460-1150 milligrams of sodium per liter in order to rehydrate properly. Sodium helps the small intestine absorb water and carbohydrates, helping to replenish fluids and energy. In other words, coconut water does not have enough sodium content to roll with the rehydration “big dogs” Gatorade and Powerade. Stick with these engineered performance drinks for optimal rehydration after your workout.

Don’t Say it’s Over

cut coconutDon’t fret though, albeit coconut water isn’t your go-to after a workout, it can still be your go-to for a potassium supplement, along with the other benefits mentioned above. Just make sure you pick the right brand. Because of the mass marketing of coconut water, a lot of companies are cutting corners to get (and keep) their products on the shelves. Coconut water is incredibly perishable once it’s taken from the coconut, meaning that its nutrients are literally a ticking time bomb. Most companies use concentrates or heat to pasteurize the nutrients right out of the water or use a mature (and less nutritious) coconut as a substitute, masking the acidic taste with sweetener and fruit flavors.

Vani Hari of Foodbabe.com suggests keeping it simple. Pay attention to the labels and avoid:

  • Concentrates
  • Heat Pasteurization
  • Added “fruit” flavors
  • Added sweeteners

Try an organic or raw brand from your local organic store. If there isn’t one nearby, Amazon has a few organic brands that ship within a few days (Harmless Harvest is at the top of our list!) And if you happen to visit any tropical areas this summer, make sure you try the best way— straight from the source!

Do you drink coconut water or sports drinks after you workout and what has been your experience? Please share in the comments below!

So now it is time to decide if Gatorade or Powerade is better for you. Click here to take a look at our article for a comparison of the two.

 

 

Beach Vibes!

 

Tons of people head to the beach through out there summer vacations because who doesn’t love the beach? Whether you like to walk on the board walk, sit on the beach, or swim in the ocean the beach is a great place for everybody. During the summer I usually go to Bethany Beach in Delaware with my family I’ve also gone to Ocean City, New Jersey this summer they are both really fun places to go to. The beach may be a very fun place to go to but it’s also a good place to exercise at a lot of people get a good workout at the beach without even intending on it! When I was at the beach I noticed that I was doing tons of walking from place to place because when you’re at the beach you don’t want to spend time in the car. Walking is so simple but it’s a good exercise especially if you’re doing a lot of it. When I was at the beach we would walk everywhere that we could because we had been in the car for hours so we wanted to avoid the car as much as we could. At most beaches there are tons of places that rent out bikes, and that’s because biking around the boardwalk or just around the town is a popular thing. We did not rent bikes when we were there but we really wanted to because it’s a good work out and it does not take as long as walking. If you spend a lot of time on the beach than you are probably doing a lot of exercise as well because there is a lot of things to do on the beach like playing sports like volleyball, soccer, and football another thing that kids do at the beach that is a great workout is shoveling you know how you’ve always wanted to “dig a hole to china” in the sand well I’ve dug holes in the sand and it’s quite the workout. Finally, the ocean is a great place to exercise in because you’re not only swimming but you’re going against the waves and the currents add all those together and you get a pretty decent workout this is my favorite thing to do at the beach.

 

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Powerade VS. Gatorade

Powerade VS. Gatorade

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Water is one of the best things for you and we need it to survive because it keeps you hydrated. There are also other drinks that help you hydrate by giving you electrolytes and nutrients lost in sweat like Gatorade and Powerade. The question is which one is better for you I drink both when I’m playing soccer in my games, at practice, or at a camp. The best thing about both of them is that they are beneficial and they both taste good there are also many flavors to try, time to find out which one is better.

People may think that Gatorade is better because it has more flavors that are delicious from cucumber lime to fierce melon. but is that the only reason why it’s good? Gatorade started in 1965 at the University of Florida (home of the gators). Gatorade is used to fight dehydration and is a mix of water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes all of those together are very effective with handling dehydration. Your body starts to cramp when you do not have enough potassium but drinks like Gatorade and orange juice have potassium which will help you avoid those extremely painful cramps. Gatorade also has different types of drinks for different situations some of them are for before you play, while you play, and after you play there are also energy chews. Gatorade also gives you the opportunity to have it where ever you have water because they sell Gatorade powder in which you can make your own Gatorade just by mixing it with water.

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Gatorade is not the only sports drink out there that tastes good and is good for you Powerade is Gatorade’s prime competition. People may prefer Powerade because it has Vitamins in it (B-3, B-6, and B-12) and it tastes good. Aside from giving you carbs, electrolytes and water Powerade also provides you with vitamins like B-3, B-6, and B-12. Based off of a 2,000calorie diet per day Powerade provides ten percent of your daily value of vitamins. Vitamin B-3 is associated converting food into energy and digestion, Vitamin B-6 is associated with the production of red blood cells, which adds oxygen to the blood stream, and Vitamin B-12 maintains the blood cell count. Also Powerade also offers a zero calorie version which is good for people who do not want such sugary drinks. I think Powerade is great because it contains these vitamins and I also think that is why it is so popular among athletes.

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So now it is time to decide which one overall is better for you Gatorade or Powerade. Gatorade’s best features are all the different flavors they have, and all the different forms they have. Powerade’s best features are they have vitamins and minerals (B-3, B-6, and B-12), and it has a zero calorie form. Because Gatorade and Powerade are so similar the best way to see which one is better for you is to do it based off of nutritional facts. For carbs,Gatorade uses sucrose, and dextrose which are two simple sugars and Powerade uses high fructose corn syrup which is associated with certain health issues. For electrolytes Gatorade has more potassium and sodium which is necessary for athletes but Powerade also features vitamins. Powerade and Gatorade are both great sports drinks but if you are doing marathon level distances or high level intensity activities than Gatorade is the better choice, Gatorade also has a lot more flavors than Powerade.

Controversy about Washington Redskins Name & Logo

A few mascots and logos in American professional sports invoke controversy, such as the Washington Redskins. Some claim that it represents the history of Native Americans, and some people believe it’s’ racist and highly offensive. This controversy about the Washington Redskins has been going on for many years, but the mascot has remained since 1933, when it originated in Boston prior to them moving to Washington, D.C.

The controversy has very deep roots. Even though they had this name for most of its history, the name and mascot has really started to become a problem in 1922. 25 years after the Redskins originally trademarked the brand, a group of Native Americans filed a lawsuit against the team’s name. The case was later dismissed after the Supreme Court refused to take it up.  Years later, after the team was attempting to build a new stadium in Washington, D.C, and Senator Ben Campbell introduced legislation that would have required the team to change the name before building the stadium in D.C.  The owner Jack Cooke, did not comply, and eventually moved the construction outside the city. Throughout the Redskins history, the government, social groups, and Native Americans have attempted to get the name changed. So far none of them has even gotten close to getting the name changed. If the Redskins were forced to change, they are thinking about changing it to the Warriors. The logo wouldn’t have to change that much, or the colors, just the name would be changed. Also, if they were forced to change the name, the Braves could be a serious option. The team originated in 1932 as the Boston Braves, but a year later they changed it to the Boston Redskins. After four years the team moved to Washington. This will satisfy a lot of people because the name the Braves is not using Native American imagery in their logos or mascots.

All you have to do is try!

It’s easy to think that losing weight is hard…And it is, but what most don’t realize is that just a few minutes of light weight exercise can go a long way. Even if you feel you don’t have time, you do. You just have to MAKE time to be active! Just because you have to be active, doesn’t mean you have to push yourself to do things that you can’t or do not want to do. Playing sports, dancing, or even going for a 10 minute walk before your meal can help with losing weight. Its a step by step process and takes time to increase your intensity, but that’s okay. As long as you try to be more active and follow your plan you will be well on your way to your goal weight!

Football? Hmmmmm…

Well football isn’t something that I would sit down and watch for 3 hours , but it’s something I like to play on PS3. My family’s favorite football team are the “Cowboys”and I like the Cowboys. There’s one team I don’t like and that’s the Redskins, they have RG3 now they thought they were going to make it to the super bowl but they didn’t, but I do commend them for going to the playoffs!