Hi Emil, I’m fairly passionate about science reporting in print or online, and I totally support your goals.
The trouble is that one of the whole points of science is that there is no “absolute” answers, it is designed to change as the evidence does, so I’d imagine more a wiki page with each subject, and links to supporting research papers.
Wikipedia does a fair job of this, but you need to see the quality of references and be prepared to take part in editing Wikipedia…Plus, you still have to make up your own mind.
The monthly fee you’re considering could go to legitimate scientific and medical research bodies that ratify research papers. But this is no easy reading, it takes effort and knowledge to get through a hefty research paper.
…These are the reasons we usually just get a headline summary from a science journalist.
But don’t be disheartened, I think you’re doing a good thing, just be prepared!
This is a bit of a hobby horse of mine I’m afraid. If you forgive the pun, you need to take with a pinch of salt a great deal of the information presented as science or research that is available to the general public on the internet. And even when interpreting what looks like science or research you still need to be able to critically appraise what you are reading to be able to make a judgement on whether what the article is saying is actualy the case. Just because something is in a scientific website, that doesn’t automatically mean that the conculsions are valid.
A vast proprtion of scientific research isn’t freely available to the general public on the internet. It’s available to academic bodies through subscription. A google search of articles availble does not constitiute research either.
As I understand the issue of electrolytes is that if you only replace what you lose through sweat with water, then you may dilute down essential body salts to the point where it becomes seriously dangerous. (Technical term is hyponatremia)
BUT you need to take in several liters of water for this dilution to become a serious problem, but your body can really only absorb about a liter per hour.
The study is probably correct for a 2 hour timeframe, but if you start talking about 4-5 hour hot bike ride, replacing electrolytes becomes much more important. Obviously temperature, humidity, acclimatisation, salt intake through food, what you are doing for the rest of the day, etc become factors in how much electrolytes you lose, and how important it is to replace those electrolytes.
Oh, speaking of which, you still owe me for those quartz crystals I gave you to help you win your races. And I just got a shipment of dream-catchers that you can use to ward off evil spirits which pester you during workouts.
It could work but I was thinking about this on my lunch run - people get very upset if they feel they are being told they are wrong, no matter how wrong or right they are. Perhaps it would be less upsetting if it were something a bit like:
Headline: Supplementing electrolytes for endurance sports
For x research papers Inconclusive y research papers Against z research papers
Then list the links for each?
This would allow people to draw their own conclusion from raw numbers or read the supporting papers.
This is a great idea but as mentioned already it would need to be based on scientific papers for recognized sources such as elsevier. Using posts as the link from on the original thread can be dangerous because although they might make sense(and that specific one does make sense for efforts under 2h) they lack proper scientific back up - in other words, it is not science, it is just someone’s interpretation of a given subject.
I would love it, but think it’s a minefield tbh. Scientific studies often “suggest” rather than “prove”.
Examples I frequently run into are around diet - as well as all the “bro science” around protein and amino acids, there’s the whole sugar addiction thing (based on rodents), the benefits of Intermittent Fasting on body composition (there’s some studies that have suggested additional benefits above being a way of maintaining calorie deficit, but very far from conclusive).
As long as someone is willing to market something, there will be a market for it. Science often takes forever to do anything “absolutely”, so you’re probably going to have to try things for yourself and see as with this case.
For me, K.I.S.S. seems to be a good general rule with respect to nutrition, fueling, and supplementation. I try and limit to things that have been shown by science to absolutely work - carb fueling to replace glycogen; tart cherry juice… and avoid the other marketing claims - multivitamins and just about anything coming in tablet form; lactate reduction capsules; compression socks while running… it’s all unregulated so buyer beware!