Vitalyte Sports Nutrition Blog

  • Which is Best for My Injury; Ice or Heat

    As an athlete, at some point you might get injured - it’s just part of the game. Maybe it’s just a nagging pain that you work through, or worst case scenario, it keeps you on the sidelines for a while. No matter what the injury is, though, it likely comes with a lot of questions about the best way to treat it. That’s why we have teamed up with our good friends at to answer some of your injury-related questions. They are experts in injury management and prevention and in today’s post, Thomas Parker, MD, addresses a question that we have all asked at one time or another: Which is best for my injury – ice or heat? Thanks to our friends at, we have the answers you are looking for.

    Physicians sometimes recommend ice for injuries and at other times tell you to keep an injury warm.  How do you know what is the right treatment for you?  “It is important to first pay attention to observations that you have made about your own injuries in order to make some sense of it,” says Parker. “These observations can direct your own injury management.” 

    The basic rule of thumb when trying to decipher between ice and heat:

    New, Acute Injuries = Ice

    Chronic Injuries, Muscles = Heat


    Acute injuries occur suddenly when playing or exercising. Sprained ankles, strained backs, and fractured hands are acute injuries. Signs of an acute injury include:

    • Sudden, severe pain
    • Swelling
    • Painful weight bearing
    • Elbow, wrist, hand or finger tenderness
    • Abnormal joint movement

    If you have ever sprained your ankle or wrist, you suffered an acute injury and likely noticed some swelling and increased pain during the initial few days after the injury. Another observation of an acute injury is that your pain seemed to intensify first thing in the morning. This is because you have been inactive during rest and sleep, and the first activity of the day is likely to be the most painful. This “first activity of the day pain” is a good way to measure your recovery progress, as it should be diminishing over time as the body repairs itself.  An increase in morning pain, however, can be due to overuse on the day before.

    Traditional acute injury management is Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (RICE).  During the acute injury phase, ice helps to control the swelling.  “It is impossible to know whether the reduction in pain is related to a direct effect of the ice or the reduction in swelling,” says Parker.  “But in either case, pain is reduced.”  In addition, athletes who play hurt, either with an acute injury or with a chronic problem, often apply ice after activity because it reduces the swelling and the pain. “One thing to note,” Parker adds, “is that ice causes reduced blood flow and it may not be the best management for tissues that have a rich blood supply such as hamstring, thigh or calf muscles. Tendons and ligaments, though, do not have a rich blood supply so controlling the swelling likely outweighs the undesirable effect of reduced blood supply.”

    In addition to ice, you should also consider a compression sleeve or compression wrap as a form of acute injury management to help control swelling.

    Types of Ice Treatment Include:

    Take care when using ice and cold packs from a deep freeze, as they can cause ice burns quickly if used without care and proper protection.

    • Ice pack
    • Gel pack
    • Frozen vegetables


    Chronic injuries are those that did not follow a pattern of expected improvement and seem to worsen or fail to improve. Signs of a chronic injury include:

    • Pain with use
    • Pain with exercise
    • Dull ache with rest

    Heat increases blood flow and allows tissues to loosen up.  Athletes who have arthritis or other chronic conditions know that if they keep their injuries warm, they have less pain both with daily activities and during exercise. “Our muscles, tendons and ligaments are somewhat similar to a rubber band in terms of stretch and elasticity,” says Parker.  “Imagine putting a rubber band in the freezer and then pulling on the frozen band. Of course - the elasticity is gone.  Then, put the rubber band in warm water and pull again.  The elasticity will have returned with the warmth.”  This example illustrates the importance of “warming up” before explosive activities and sports.

    Heat treatments should be used for chronic conditions to help relax and loosen tissues and to stimulate blood flow to the area.  This increase in blood flow supplies oxygen and nutrients to reduce pain in joints and relaxes sore muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The warmth also decreases muscle spasms and can increase range of motion.  Body Helix compression sleeves and wraps provide both warmth and support for injury management of chronic conditions.

    Types of heat treatment include:

    The heat should be warm, not too hot, and should be maintained at a consistent temperature, if possible.

    • Electric or microwavable heating pad
    • Hot water bottle
    • Gel packs
    • Hot water baths

    In summary, ice is useful with acute injury and with exacerbation of a chronic injury such as one that might be experienced by an athlete who plays injured.  Warmth is useful to loosen up joints with activity following inactivity or with injury rehabilitation to tissues with a rich blood supply, such as muscles.

    Please contact your physician to know which course of treatment is best for you.  If you have any questions about how Body Helix compression products can help in the recovery of your injury, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

    About the Author: Thomas E. Parker, MD, Chief Science Officer of Body Helix, is a retired physician, with a practice specialty of Internal Medicine. He attended The Ohio State University College of Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at Duke University Medical Center. Parker received the distinction of “Top Doctor” in Charlotte Magazine in 2011, 2012, and 2014. In 2008, Parker became involved in Body Helix as a founding member and Chief Science Officer with the responsibility of overseeing product development, safety and guiding marketing materials to reflect scientifically accurate claims.

  • Vitalyte Electrolyte Drink for Tennis and Brand Ambassador Spencer Brachman

    vitalyte electrolyte replacement drink for tennis

    See Why Vitalyte is his “go to” Electrolyte Drink for Tennis

    Indian Wells Tennis Gardens served as the site of one of the “grand slams” of junior tennis this past weekend. The Easter Bowl is one of the most prestigious tournaments a junior player can qualify for. Vitalyte Brand Ambassador Spencer Brachman was one of the top 64 players in the country invited to play on the famous tennis grounds. This 15 year old from New Jersey took an impressive fourth place finish in the doubles! According to Spencer, Vitalyte is his “go to” electrolyte drink for tennis. He sees and feels the benefit of the isotonic sports beverage, so he even handed out some samples to his peers. Stay tuned as this emerging player heads to Orlando next week to try out for Team USA. Good luck Spencer!

  • Our Pre Workout Formula is a Great Addition to Your Fueling Routine

    vitalyte tri phase endurance fuel

    Vitalyte Pre Workout Formula for Serious Athletes

    You’ve heard your mother say a million times over, “You are what you eat.” And although we know those words stung your ears we hate to tell you, your mom was right. The quality of fuel you put in your body directly impacts your performance. But did you also know the time you refuel also determines how much your body benefits from good nutrition? So when mom also used to yell, “Don’t skip breakfast,” she knew what she was talking about. See an active body needs a steady supply of nutrients. Skipping meals, eating processed foods and eating too many large meals all affect your body’s metabolism and ultimately you overall state of health. And if you are a serious athlete and you miss getting a good pre-workout fuel in, chances are your performance won’t be what it could be. Just ask Vitalyte brand ambassador Pat Barrett. Pat has always been a fan of our electrolyte replacement drink, but she recently starting using our Tri Phase pre workout drink for endurance athletes. And this four time Ironman finisher and grandmother couldn’t be happier! “I added Tri Phase Endurance to my fueling plan about three weeks ago. My split times have become more consistent, even as the runs have gotten longer. The best description I can give is that Tri Phase provides sustained performance throughout my workout.” So if you are a serious athlete like Pat who juggles work, life and sport, our pre workout formula is a great addition to your fueling routine. Oh and don’t forget to call your mom and tell her she was right!

  • What do Electrolyte Replacement Drinks Have to do with Getting to the Office On Time

    vitalyte electrolyte replacement drink

    At Vitalyte one thing we love about mom's is the encouragement they provide. Those famous words, "You can be whatever you want to be!" Or even, "You can do whatever you put your mind to!" We thought a lot about those sayings when we were thinking about our brand identity. After many hours around the think tank and countless of mom's homemade cookies, we finally came up with what we felt embodied our brand, our ideal, our lifestyle. What Vitalyte are you? Are you the weekend warrior who just feels out of sorts if Sunday goes by without a few miles run on the pavement? Or are you the busy on the go young working adult who squeezes in a six am yoga class before your hour long commute? Whether it's cardio that calls to you or you crave the calm, we have a Vitalyte for you. So what do electrolyte replacement drinks have to do with getting to the office on time? Well we feel that you can't be the best you in this world if you aren't properly hydrated. Science knows that a properly hydrated body is better equipped to handle stress, has quicker motor skills and sharper mental functioning as compared to a body that is dehydrated. So next time you roll your eyes at your mom when she asks, "When you are going to have children already.?" You can calmly smile and say, "I love you mom. Remember that time you told me I could be doctor if I wanted to?"

  • Vitalyte’s Forty Year Proven Formula is a Great Kids Electrolyte Replacement Drink

    tennis juniors It’s that time of year when the hard courts of Melbourne are finally recovering from two weeks of tough play and clay courts world-wide are being prepped and groomed for what will be a great season. Yes tennis is back and ready to take center stage this spring. As history books tell us, long matches such as the iconic Michael Chang win over Ivan Lendl in the the fourth round of the 1989 French Open, often reveal the winner after all is left on the court. Who can forget the young American rallying back from two sets down, cramping so badly he was forced to serve underhand. He frustrated the world’s number one and eventually won the match and went on to win the tournament, becoming the youngest male ever to win a grand slam title! Boys and girls everywhere watched the grit and determination this teenager from Southern California displayed. Chang was one of many great young American players at that time: A sassy rebel from Las Vegas named Andre Agassi was on this list. So was the steady Los Angeles resident with cat-like moves called Pete Sampras. And who could forget the student of the sport from Dade City, Florida who would also go on to be a world number one, Jim Courier. These greats inspired the boom in youth tennis and are in-part responsible for the resurgence of American tennis we see today. Fortunately the boys and girls on-the-rise in this great sport have many resources available to them including: State of the art surfaces to play on, advancement in racquet and string technology and of course the best that sports nutrition has to offer. At Vitalyte we are proud that many great junior players enjoy our product. Spencer Brachman who recently placed third in the Boy’s 14’s at the prestigious Orange Bowl and Tristan Boyer who is ranked number one in California both enjoy Vitalyte and understand the importance of being properly hydrated. Vitalyte’s forty year proven formula is free from anything artificial and is a great kids electrolyte replacement drink. So whether your child is a teenage phenom or looking to improve in the rankings, we have the perfect hydration formula for you to help them follow in the footsteps of the American legends!

  • Missions International of America and Vitalyte Electrolyte Replacement

    Missions International of America Jay Nielsen, M.D., President
    Jan Meier-Nielsen, Vice President
    Missions International of America takes several education, medical and construction teams to Savanette, Haiti every year. We can’'t imagine how we would take care of our teams without Vitalyte. We keep a package of it on the table at all times and insist team members use it when they refill their water bottles. On a few occasions, people have felt weak and shaky and after being given Vitalyte Electrolyte Replacement they have immediately felt better. We are so thankful that we have this product to help keep our team healthy in the hot humid conditions in Haiti.

  • Our Electrolyte Formula for Tennis is Packed with Electrolytes

    Brand Ambassadors Gregg Hepner

    Our Fatigue Fighting Electrolyte Formula for Tennis is Packed with Essential Electrolytes

    At Vitalyte we are big tennis fans! Whether it's a nail biting semi-final at the French or a mid-night match deep in the fifth set at Flushing, we go nuts for tennis action. And we are proud to support players from youth to pro to those on the senior circuit. That's why we need to take a moment to brag about one of our very own. Gregg Hepner is a Vitalyte brand ambassador and has been having some great victories over the last few weeks. This Sacramento resident made it to the finals of The Plaza 70's Open Tournament at the Desert Princess Resort in Cathedral City. Although the championship trophy eluded him, Greg felt great about his chances as he entered the Palm Springs Racquet Club Tournament as the third seed the following week. And he was correct! He made it to the semis once again. At age 69, Gregg doesn't let anything keep him from playing the game he loves. That's why Vitalyte is always in his bottle court side to help him stay hydrated. Our fatigue fighting electrolyte formula for tennis is packed with all the essential electrolytes a player needs to be at the top of their game. So even if you're not battling for national rankings like Gregg, we can help you be at your best while you're practicing that overhead smash!

  • Vitalyte Electrolyte Drink Mix for Hangovers

    electrolyte drink mix for hangovers

    Vitalyte Electrolyte Drink Mix is Packed with Essential Electrolytes Your Body Needs for Optimal Hydration

    You know that feeling: a dull headache, your mouth feels like the Sahara Desert and even the thought of tequila makes you want to grab the nearest garbage can. Oh the lovely hangover! You've officially sworn it off multiple times! But somehow when your favorite team is winning and you're having a good time with friends, your memory of the "day after effect" isn't as sharp as it should be. So now the damage is done, your Sunday productivity is diminished to laying in a dark room and your only chance for recovery is ordering a pizza and taking a few aspirin. Well once you order that thin crust with extra cheese, turn off your phone and let us give you some pointers. At Vitalyte we know a thing or two about enjoying a Saturday night without letting Sunday morning be too much of a drag. First and foremost it's important to consume water with every alcohol drink you have. Ideally try to have 8-10 ounces of water after each glass of wine, beer or cocktail. Second, drink an electrolyte replacement drink mix before you go out and when you come home so you can help stave off alcohol induced dehydration. Finally when you get up the next morning, drink an additional 8-10 ounces of electrolyte formula. Vitalyte is the ideal way to make sure that the dehydrating effects of your favorite red or IPA don't linger too long. Packed with all the essential electrolytes your body needs for optimal hydration and free from anything artificial, our electrolyte drink mix for hangovers is a great way to make sure your Sunday isn't just about pepperoni and pulling the blinds down!

  • Looking for an Electrolyte Drink Mix with Non-GMO Ingredients

    electrolyte drink mix

    Today's modern athletes have all the latest and greatest resources available to them to ensure they are making the most out of their natural ability. From precise golf swing analysis to discovering the benefits of altitude training for runners, science is helping athletes throw farther, jump higher and run faster. The science of hydration though, hasn't changed much over the years. We know, as we have for many decades, that even a slight amount of dehydration can significantly impact performance. And we know water alone is not enough to properly hydrate the body during activity. An athlete needs a constant supply of electrolytes during activity to help stay adequately hydrated and stave off fatigue. While sports beverages were developed to help athletes combat dehydration, many contain high amounts of sugar and sodium and are made with artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. A high performing body can't be at its best if it isn't getting the best fuel. That's why at Vitalyte we make our electrolyte drink mix with non-GMO ingredients and we use only natural ingredients as a sweetener. Plus our formula is free from anything artificial and is low in sodium. So while science should take center stage in creating football helmets that are more protective and turf that is more shock absorbing, we think nature should play a big role when it comes to the modern athlete's electrolyte drink.

  • Happy New Year 2017 from Vitalyte Sport Nutrition

    new year 2017 vitalyte

    Vitalyte New Years Resolution Stays the Same, to Provide the best Electrolyte Replacement on the Market

    It's that time of year when we reflect back on the last twelve months and look forward to next dozen with renewed energy and excitement. Yes resolutions are set and determination is high as 2017 makes its approach! At Vitalyte Sports Nutrition our goal though is always the same: To provide the best electrolyte replacement sports drink on the market with top quality customer service! We have been doing so for over forty years. Making a great electrolyte formula free from any artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners is important to us and we don't intend to change anything. Call us boring, ho hum or blasé but we think some things should stay just as they are. So this New Year's when you're dancing the night away and mapping out the road to your next job promotion, don't forget Vitalyte will always be there to meet your hydration needs. Just because we are "yawn-stretch" in the change department doesn't mean we don't know a thing or two about working up a sweat and busting a move until the wee hours!

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