Dan56789
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Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby Dan56789 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:59 pm

Hello
i am doing a science fair project and what I am testing is the amount of electrolytes in beverages (5 of them) and their effects on endurance athletes. After measuring the conductivity of the beverages I do a test wear people run for an hour at 6 miles per hour then they fill out a questionnaire saying how they feel. My main problem now is that the people that said they would do it, quit.

My question is if any of you have any other ideas of how i could test this.

"The Varying Amounts of Electrolytes in Beverages and their Effect on Endurance Athletes"

Sorry if I was vague but I really don't know any alternative ways of testing this.

ashleywbae
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby ashleywbae » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:33 pm

Hello,

This sounds like a really cool project with electrolytes! As for testing the effect of electrolytes on performance, I would try and create a procedure that can easily quantify your data. Using examples like heart rate and pH as your dependent variable can help show biological effects of electrolytes beyond the thoughts of a subjective individual.

As for finding a new way to test the effect of electrolytes, I suggest trying planaria. Planaria are very popular organisms to test in a lab environment because they are very resilient and relatively similar in biological processes to humans. By feeding planaria electrolytes, you can analyze their energy levels by observing how much they move within their petri dishes. Many of my classmates put a piece of grid paper underneath their transparent petri dishes and counted how many units the Planaria traveled across for a minute. They used this rate to determine how much the planaria traveled.

I don't know what your access to resources is for this experiment, but I think moving away from human test subjects may be the best course of action realistically.

Let me know if you have any more questions!

Dan56789
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby Dan56789 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:20 pm

Thank You so much
The only thing is my teacher does not know where you can buy Planaria
Is there a store that sells it ? (like Walmart, Superstore, etc.) I guess I should mention I am living in Canada

ashleywbae
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby ashleywbae » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:11 pm

Hello,

you can find Planaria at science supply retailers like Carolina. Carolina does ship internationally, although I don't know how their shipping rates would apply. I attached a link to where you can find it below.

https://www.carolina.com/browse/product ... ubmit=true

If you need anything else don't hesitate to ask!

Dan56789
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby Dan56789 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:41 pm

The only problem i can think with Planaria which only came to my mind now and which i should of done when I did the test with humans is that wouldn't the sugar in the beverages create energy for the Planaria to move ? So I couldn't be sure if it is the sugar or the electrolytes which is causing them to move. The other thing is that you said that Planaria "relatively similar in biological processes" to humans. Isn't the difference that they are like little worms which can regenerate body parts cause them to have different results than with humans ? Maybe that was a dumb question, it is just i don't understand it Sorry.

Dan56789
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby Dan56789 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:34 am

Hello

Dan56789
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby Dan56789 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:38 am

Hello I figured out that I can't get planaria so do you have any other suggestions. I am sort of in a hurry because I only have the school facilities for another week. Then I only have access to stuff at my house which is not much Please
So sorry

SciB
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby SciB » Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:14 pm

Please keep all your posts in one thread to avoid confusion.

I like your original idea better than planaria. Instead of running for one hour, however, I would recruit volunteers to use a tread-mill or stair-stepper for 15 minutes and record the heart rates. To limit the number of subjects you need, I would choose one endurance drink to test and test it against a juice drink that has approximately the same amount of sugar so that you compensate for any possible effects of sugar. You should be able to get at least four friends to help you out with the project--two male and two female,

Be sure to measure the resting heart rate accurately. The peak heart rate will be measured at 15 minutes at the end of the exercise session. You should also measure the time it takes for the heart rate to return to baseline as this is also a variable that could be affected by electrolyte balance.

You could test the two drinks on the same day but it would probably be more accurate to do the experiment at the same time of day but on a different day. Also, do not do the test right after eating or if the person is sick.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.

Sybee

Dan56789
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby Dan56789 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:59 pm

Thank You very much
The only problem is that all the people who I had recruited previously for my project are very unhappy with me for asking them to run for a hour so they don't want to run again. The other problem is that everybody has to do their own science fair project so they don't have time to help with mine.

To be honest my preference is to move away from human test subjects. I was wondering if you could help me modify my project so that it does not involve humans.

I am thinking of something else I could measure besides electrolytes. Maybe I could do something related to sugar and what the healthiest option for a electrolytes replenishing beverage is. But that seems too basic for my liking so I was wondering if there is something else I could do besides that to make my project more interesting.

For measuring sugar I am planning to boil away the liquid in the beverages ( Orange Juice, Chocolate Milk, Gatorade, Coconut water and Distilled water as a control.
Thank you again !!!!

SciB
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby SciB » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:10 pm

OK, you can't recruit any more friends and you can't get planaria--how about Daphnia, water 'fleas'? These are tiny multicellular critters, just visible to the unaided eye, that are common in pond water and which are often used for experiments because they are easy to grow and use. They also have a heart that is visible through their clear bodies so you can count heart beats as a dependent variable. Other dependent variables can be life-span and egg formation.

You can buy cultures of Daphnia magna from Carolina Biologicals (https://www.carolina.com/daphnia/daphni ... on=daphnia) for $10. They are easy to grow and maintain or you can just plan on using the Daphnia 24-48 hours after you receive them (https://www.carolina.com/teacher-resour ... tr10492.tr).

There is a project in Scibuddies that uses Daphnia to test water samples for toxic contamination (https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science- ... #procedure). You can use the same procedure to test the sports drinks, although you will have to decide on a suitable amount of drink to add to a specific volume of spring water. If you test several drinks, make sure you keep the proportions the same so you can compare them.

This project measures the number of living Daphnia at the end of the experiment, but there is another project to test the effects of caffeine in which the heart rate of the Daphnia is measured: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science- ... hnia-magna
The only problem with this project is that you need to magnify the Daphnia in order to see the heart and count the beats. They recommend using a microscope but I think you might be able to use a smart phone video camera with an accessory lens to make it like a microscope. I have done this for still photos but haven't tried videos.

There are many clip-on lenses that you can attach to your phone to magnify the image through the camera but I have not tested them so you will have to read and decide on your own if you want to try it. I think a 30X lens would be sufficient to see the heart of a Daphnia and count the beats. They move around a lot so you don't want a lens that magnifies too much or you woun't be able to track them.

If you can borrow a microscope and some well slides to use then you are good to go, otherwise the camera might be the only way you can count heart beats.

I think Daphnia are your best choice for test subjects and for getting some real data. I'm sure you will have questions, so post again and I will continue to help.

Sybee

Dan56789
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby Dan56789 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:38 am

Hello Sybee

Thank for all everything you have done to try to help me. I am really really sorry but it is just that I can't spend anymore money then I already have. I have spent $40 and it would have been more if I did not have the multimeter for the first part of the experiment. MY budget will buy the Daphnia shipping it will cost more money.

I know that you feel like you wasted your time trying to help me and I really appreciate it. I also know that I sound cheap for not being willing to pay for the Daphnia and I am really sorry. Right now I am just trying to do as much as I can with resources from my school - which is not much.

I have done the Electrolytes Challenge from Sci Buddies and I have used five beverages like I previously said. I got the results from it but I want to add to it in some manner. I want to talk about how healthy each of the options are comparatively to how much electrolytes it has. That is what I meant when I talked about measuring sugar. What I was wondering was what other unhealthy/healthy nutrients,vitamins, etc. that I could measure with minimal resources.

Sorry Once again, and Thank You and will very much appreciate it if you can give assistance as I go.

Dan56789
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby Dan56789 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:16 am

For measuring sugar I am thinking of using a hydrometer. But I don't know what to do for everything else (vitamins, nutrients, Carbohydrates, proteins) and I am also considering eliminating chocolate milk from our project because we cannot use the hydrometer because there are other dissolved solids in chocolate milk other that primarily sugar.

Dan56789
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby Dan56789 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:29 am

I am thinking of measuring vitamin c with cornstartch and iodine

Dan56789
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby Dan56789 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:33 am

I am thinking of using the liebermann burchard reaction for testing cholesterol if I my school has the chemicals necassery but I don't know yet.

Dan56789
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Re: Electrolytes - Endurance Athletes

Postby Dan56789 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:33 am

I am thinking of using the bendicts solution for sugar instead of the hydrometer if I my school has it.


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