the power of sweat

In my genChem class, our professor explained that drinking Gatorade DURING minimal/regular exercise (mowing yard or working outside) is a bad idea. I can’t rememeber exactly why … sort of zoned out during the discussion … but now I wish I’d paid attention because I’d like to pass on this info to my father. Actually, to “his bride” (second wife). Aside of her force-feeding him her southern diet, she also “assists” him when he’s working in the yard. She absolutely will NOT allow him to have a damp shirt — as soon as it shows sweat, she’s out there giving him a second fresh T-shirt. And she takes him bottles of gatorade on the hour (or more regularly). Common sense tells me that a somewhat sweaty shirt is a good thing - helping to cool him with the light breeze and I’d also think a bit of fresh water might be good. Any comments? If I’m off base, lemme know please!

While I think she is being excessive, and somewhat silly, she isn’t risking your dad’s life and I don’t think there’s likely to be a huge physiological difference between what you’d advocate and what she’s doing.
My main concern about chugging a bottle of Gatorade hourly is that it is a HUGE amount of calories, almost certainly more than he is expending doing yard chores. Yeah, it’s got electrolytes in it but that doesn’t mean it’s THAT good for you. OTOH worth a fight? Nah.
For ordinary people engaged in ordinary levels of exercise such as what you’d exert in your yard, there’s no big advantage to water vs. Gatorade. He’ll maintain homeostasis of his fluids and electrolytes by peeing, which presumably he’s coming inside to do frequently at one bottle of Gatorade/hr!
As for the cooling advantage of a wet shirt, I’d actually side with his loving wife in that a wet shirt isn’t going to effectively wick sweat away from his skin. But it isn’t going to be huge unless he’s doing yard chores in Iraq (and then he’s got bigger problems!).
There is one setting where inappropriate, excessive fluid intake can be dangerous and even deadly. That’s where someone is exercising strenuously - as in, marathon running or distance biking - and pushing a LOT of water as they continue to move, not taking a break and just continuing to go full speed AND drink lots of water. These people can develop water intoxication, where their serum sodium level drops quickly and dramatically. This can cause seizures and death. It happened to a D.C. cop this summer who was doing bicycle training; it’s estimated that he drank 3 gallons of water in a very short time while biking on a really hot day. Again, this is only a risk in the most drastic conditions of combined strenuous exercise AND huge water intake.
Sounds like she loves him and wants to take care of him; let her have her fun!

Thanks Mary for the explaination… and I hope no one else even reads my post … I was in a bout of frustration and I was trying to gain some ground on just one tiny item… I wish I could just remove the post — so silly. At least my father is drinking something — and I should just be happy about that.
Her love and care for him is questionable. There’s definately some dysfunction there - and, it has been suggested, that the care is more for her self-worth than anything. My dad has gone from a healthy man - ex olympic athlete - to one of very poor health (obesity, combined with high BP, LDL, apnea, etc). She dotes on him incestantly and if it isn’t accepted graciously, she pouts. She has always been obese, had a heart attack at 60, suffers from diabetes, high BP, colitis, etc.
My dad’s sister,an ICU RN, is concerned about the situation - for both his mental & physical state - which worries me. There’s really nothing to do - he has always been one who won’t “rock the boat” and I believe he has just given up … it’s easier for him. I don’t know if I am more mad or sad …
Sorry for my post — I promise not to use this board for venting about my family (unless it’s impacting my studies or such) and other silly issues. I value all the opinions and guidance you all give and don’t want to pester anyone!