Commentary: role of hydration in health and exerciseBMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e4171 (Published 18 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e4171
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It is striking how in the pursuit of financial gain basic and common-sense facts are distorted and manipulated by sports drinks companies.
The article, "The role of hydration in health and exercise" by T D Noakes is most illuminating, in that, it is a statement of facts backed by basic physiological principles, and besides being highly educational, it lays down the foundation-stone for sense and sensibility.
The subject of hydration and dehydration is not a new one. The phenomenon of 'water intoxication' in miners working deep underground was known of more than 50 years ago, The penny dropped when it was realised that water alone was not adequate and the importance of adding salt tablets to the drinking water was instituted to replenish the sodium loss.
This is not the only message from the past that has been forgotten. The accrual benefit from eating chocolate is yet another example of 'an old hat idea' re-dressed as new discovery. Has it been forgotten that several decades ago young school-children were drilled in the old adage, "Tea and coffee go away; Milk and cocoa come to me". And surprise of surprise, milk and cocoa just happen to be the constituents of chocolate!
Perhaps, some experiences of the past are relevant not only for now but, also, for the future.
Newly-found ideas may not be necessarily be superior and it must be acknowledged that they may merely be a re-presentation of that which has been buried and forgotten over the passage of time.
1. Moss, K N: Some Effects of High Air Temperatures and Muscular Exertion upon colliers, Proc. Roy. Soc. London, series B, 95:181, 1923-24
2. Manz, F.: J Am Coll Nutr, October 2007 Vol 26 (no. supp. 5) 535S-541S
Competing interests: No competing interests