Ear to the ground

“The last thing I remember was racing cockroaches across Canal Street.”

– Local man commenting on his first and last St. Patrick’s Day in New Orleans

The perfect sports drink

Move over Cytomax. Exercise kinesiology professor Joel Stager and co-workers at Indiana University have announced that they have found the perfect sports drink. Since the advent of Gatorade, biochemists have searched for the perfect balance of carbohydrates, electrolytes and protein to keep athletes in peak form. Stager and the crew at IU say they’ve finally found the nectar – chocolate milk.

In three trials, nine male cyclists performed a strenuous workout then drank one of three drinks. One group got 2 percent chocolate milk, another drank Gatorade and a third group dabbled in the high-dollar sports drink, Endurox.

The study, published in the February issue of theInternational Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism and – get this – funded in part by the dairy industry, reported that cyclists who drank chocolate milk at the break were able to continue riding about 50 percent longer than those who drank Endurox and just as long as those who drank Gatorade.

Endurox was outraged. Noting the milk industry funding, Robert Portman, Endurox’s chief executive, told theL..A Times, “That’s like a cigarette manufacturer concluding that smoking is good for you.”

Others were not so surprised. “I’ve been touting chocolate milk for years,” said Felice Kurtzman, sports nutritionist for UCLA’s Athletic Department.

“Chocolate milk provides carbohydrates, calcium other trace minerals,” she says. “And the important thing is that the kids drink it. I can tell you from our training table that football drinks it, swimming drinks it, track drinks it.”

Still feeling alone?

The third anniversary of the beginning of the War in Iraq takes place this Sat., March 18. From a look at the polls, sentiment is finally swinging solidly against the occupation.

A Gallup poll reports that 65 percent of people in the United States want to withdraw some or all troops from Iraq now. A poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes relates that 70 percent of Iraqis support U.S. troop withdrawal. And from the front lines, a Zogby poll finds that 72 percent of U.S. troops serving in Iraq support troop withdrawal.