Solar Synergy™ is the newest addition to the Mt. Capra family of high quality nutrition supplements. This 7 part series looks at the several ingredients contributing to its potency and efficacy as a sports drink.
The Problem and Solution.
In the vast market of sports and energy drinks most are advertised as performance enhancing or health improving in nature. However a quick comparison of various brands and it is soon discovered that they are not so much miraculous as they are well marketed. The fact is, these caffeinated syrups do little more than over excite the nervous system and cause an inevitable crash after consumption. Unfortunately for too long, the consumer has had to suffer from an over abundance of highly processed, sugar laden, sports/energy drinks. The lineup of ingredients in these so called performance enhancing "supplements" plays like a bad detective story. In each drink, the usual suspects are rounded up (sugar, sucrose syrup, high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, artificial sweeteners/colors/stimulants, etc.) and yet each product claims "magical" performance enhancing benefits. The obvious problem is that if each drink is made with the same unhealthy ingredients, what real health benefits are there going to be? In all actuality a company can say all they want about their sugary caffeine water but I can make the same claim for a cup of stale coffee and we would both be on similar nutritional grounds (rim shot).
There are two functions of a sports drink (actually three but I'll get to that in a moment). The first is to rehydrate the body from the effects of dehydration often brought about by mild, moderate, or intense exercise. The second, to replenish electrolytes lost by sweat and metabolic activity. Certain sports drinks handle the first function with ease because they're composition is mainly plain water. However many miss even this simple goal by containing carbonated water which has been cited as causing a variety of health related problems. As a side note, I should mention that during my graduate research work, we found that on average around 80% of people were chronically dehydrated regardless of their level of thirst. Bottom line, you probably need more water.
The second function, that of replenishing electrolytes, is almost always either overlooked or executed poorly by the leading beverages. The discrepancy lies in the fact that the majority of the minerals found in each bottle are synthetic and exist in ratios not found in nature. For example, the potassium to sodium ratio should be around 3 parts potassium to 1 part sodium (3:1) but in almost every leading beverage I have analyzed the ratio is always 1:3, 1:4, and even 1:5. This is backwards and leans far to heavily on sodium chloride (salt) a substance which nearly everyone over-consumes.
As I alluded to earlier, there is actually a third function of sports drinks that, while rarely addressed, is absolutely crucial. I am referring to the role of antioxidants in combating the damaging effects of free radical oxidation. In a nutshell, free radicals cause oxidative damage in living organisms by disrupting a portion of DNA which then creates a new free radical. These two free radicals will then disrupt more DNA creating more free radicals, fueling a vicious cycle. The bad news is that this DNA damage is often at the root of sickness, aging, and cancer. Even worse news is that oxidation happens all the time and is difficult to avoid. But perhaps the worst news, especially for athletes, is that exercise (yes life extending exercise) creates massive amounts of free radical in the form of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).
As exercise frequency and intensity increases, so does the production of ROS. Obviously, I am not advocating against exercise as it is clearly a healthy activity. However, if we are not actively combating the ROS created during said exercise, we are taking 3 steps forward to 2 steps back.
Fortunately there is hope. Although healthy sports drinks are far and few between, there is one that addresses each of the three functions discussed above. Solar Synergy™, when mixed with pure filtered water, counteracts the effects of dehydration. It also replenishes electrolytes by providing over 20 bio-organic minerals and electrolytes in natural ratios (including a healthy 3:1 potassium to sodium ratio). Solar Synergy™ also contains an impressive array of superfruits which when paired with the aforementioned bio-organic mineral/electrolyte combo, provide an antioxidant synergy that is sure to give free radicals a knock out blow.
We have just scratched the surface of the capabilities of Solar Synergy™. Next week we will begin our journey exploring each of the different ingredients and how they enhance performance, recovery, and overall wellness. Until then...
Joe Stout B.Sc., M.S.
Joe Stout received his Bachelors of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science from Washington State University. He recently finished a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Human Nutrition graduating with top honors. He has written for various magazines and is the editor of The High Road to Health. More info can be found at www.mtcapra.com