Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Time for the American College of Sports Medicine to acknowledge that humans, like all other earthly creatures, do not need to be told how much to drink during exercise
  1. Timothy D Noakes1,
  2. Dale B Speedy2
  1. 1MRC/UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Sports Science Institute of South Africa, Newlands, South Africa
  2. 2Department of General Practice and Primary Care, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor T D Noakes
 MRC/UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Sports Science Institute of South Africa, PO Box 115, Newlands 7725, South Africa; timothy.noakes{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

In the light of our response to Dr Murray and our suggestion that there should be greater transparency about the nature (if any) of the financial interactions among Gatorade, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) and leading exercise scientists and sports physicians, we find it interesting that Dr Roberts, a former President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), should feel it necessary to stress that he draws no personal financial benefit from the sports drink industry (other than a single moment of weakness). Dr Roberts’ credentials are indeed impeccable; he is an honourable and independent sports physician who has made substantive contributions to the understanding of, especially, exercise-associated collapse.1 But his reference to the fractured fairy tale is misguided.

Like Dr Murray, Dr Roberts accuses us of misrepresenting the ACSM guidelines by selectively quoting from those guidelines. The point, as made in our response to Dr Murray, is that when the GSSI began to advertise the ACSM guidelines, it conveniently forgot to include some of the qualifications included in those guidelines and that might have reduced the extent to which athletes in the USA began to overdrink in the 1990s.

Thus, the message that the sporting public received was not that athletes should “consume the maximal amount of fluids during exercise that can be tolerated … or up to a rate equal to that lost in sweat”, but that they should simply drink “as much as tolerable”. Or, in the text of the Gatorade advertisement published in the New York Runner in January/February 2002, “at least [our emphasis] 40 oz of fluid every hour (ie, 1200 ml/h) or your performance could suffer”.

Had the same …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests: TDN’s research unit receives an annual grant (terminating in June 2007) from Bromor Foods Pty Ltd, the manufacturers of the South African sports drink Energade. TDN receives no personal financial benefit, either at present or promised in the future as a result of this relationship. DS has no conflicts of interest.