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“I have diabetes; do you make VITALYTE without any sugar?” or “Can I drink VITALYTE if I am hypoglycemic?” These and other varia-
tions are among the most common questions I have about using VITALYTE and with good reason: people with diabetes and hypoglyce-
mia have problems in controlling their blood-sugar levels and VITALYTE does contain sugar. They have found or heard that VITALYTE
can be very effective in keeping them hydrated, but are concerned about the effect the sugar (glucose) will have on their blood sugar
The problem lies not only with the amount of sugar, but also in the kind of sugar. Table sugar (sucrose), fructose, maltose, lactose, car-
bohydrates, even glucose polymers in energy drinks, must be digested and changed into glucose in the small intestines, where they are
also absorbed into circulation and can be distributed for use or temporary storage in the liver or other areas of the body. These processes
are regulated primarily by insulin secreted by the pancreas as demand dictates the level of glucose in the blood. If insulin secretion is
erratic or insufcient, ingesting sugars or starches can send the blood sugar levels soaring and then, as the excess glucose is used up
and/or excreted, dropping way below normal, both with discomforting to serious effects. Eating something with a lot of glucose, fructose,
sucrose or honey (a mixture of glucose and fructose) dumps a lot of glucose into the blood at one time, as these are digested and ab-
sorbed very quickly; starches and larger glucose polymers are digested more slowly so the “jolt” isn’t as severe, but lasts longer.
“O.K.; how does VITALYTE t into this picture?” The sugar in VITALYTE is almost entirely glucose* which can be absorbed directly from
the stomach into the blood; glucose is the only sugar that doesn’t have to be digested, which sounds as if you’re increasing the amount
of sugar in the blood. However, the concentration of glucose is the same as the normal blood-sugar level, so you have the same kind and
concentration of sugar as in the blood; this, plus the proper proportions of electrolytes means that you are adding to the blood volume
at the same concentration as blood, neither diluting nor making any component more concentrated. If your blood-sugar level is low, VIT-
ALYTE, mixed as directed, can bring it up closer to normal; if it is too high, VITALYTE can bring the concentration down closer to normal.
It acts to moderate the blood-glucose levels. In classes for search and rescue and EMT teams, I have been asked if VITALYTE can be
given to diabetics or people with hypoglycemia; physicians in the classes have been unanimous in stating that “this is the best thing for
a diabetic with dehydration or blood sugar problems.” I ask diabetics to check with their physicians to be sure that they can use it and,
once they see the concentrations, every one has O.K.’d it.
I have been providing electrolyte and uid replacement for players and spectators at a major tennis tournament in Indian Wells, near
Palm Springs, and had some diabetics tell me of an interesting effect from using VITALYTE: their legs and feet weren’t nearly as swollen
after a day of sitting and walking around. One lady who had been at the tournament all day said that the year before she had to be taken
out in a wheelchair after only a half-day, and the pain was miserable. Since then, I have had several hundred similar reports and the rela-
tionship of VITALYTE to this effect is being studied by some of the major diabetes centers. Preliminary studies indicate that apparently the
proportions of potassium and sodium are just right to enhance maintaining the water in circulation instead of in the tissues. Many diabetics
and some hypoglycemics also have to watch their sodium intake and sodium pulls uids into the tissues resulting in edema in the lower
extremities. Watch for the latest on this and please let me know if you have noticed any of these effects.
*In all but the Citrus Drink, less than 2% of the glucose has been replaced with the same amount of fructose with no measurable effect
on the absorption rate or the glycemic index VITALYTE has been known, used and tested for over thirty years as “Gookinaid E.R.G.”
By: Bill Gookin, No. 12 in a series of occasional reports on wellness and dehydration
* For 40 years athletes have known us as Gookinaid, but we are not just a drink for athletes.
Now the world knows us as Vitalyte™, a drink for everyone. Same fast, effective formula...band new name!
**This article is the opinion, advice and testimonial of the author and your results may vary. If you have a medical
condition involving dehydration or electrolyte imbalance, you should consult a physician before following this advice.
***Documentation on le.