Friday, October 09, 2009


Stevia natural sweetener enhances the flavor of Hydration Fruit-Ade homemade sports drinks.

Stevia is the not so "secret sauce" that sweetens my natural sports drinks!!

When mixing up my recipe for Hydration Fruit-Ade homemade sports drink certain types of fruit juice taste very bland after dilution to the proper sugar concentration. In these cases I add a small amount of stevia natural sweetener to produce an excellent tasting, do it yourself natural sports drink. Many other fruit juices don't need any stevia added when making sports drinks.
Should you switch to stevia? 'Natural' sugar substitute joins list of sweeteners - NY Daily News21april2009.
"Stevia has been used for years in Japan as a sweetener, but it’s more costly than, say, saccharin ... it’s labeled 'natural' since it comes from a plant. Prepared from an extract of the stevia shrub, it can be concoted into a sweetener that is 300 times sweeter than table sugar and has been shown to be a safe supplement for human use, says Toby Smithson, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association."

Stevia - New Sugar Substitute Joins a Street Fight - NY Times 14april2009.
"The Food and Drug Administration agreed in December that rebaudioside A, an extract from the leaves of the stevia plant, is safe to add to food and drinks." "Because it comes from a plant, marketers can call it a natural sweetener."

FDA Clears Use of Stevia Herb As Sweetener - Wall Street Journal 18dec2008.
"The Food and Drug Administration has declared a natural zero-calorie sweetener derived from the herb stevia safe for use in foods and beverages"

Zero-Calorie Sweetener Stevia Arrives - US News and World Report 28july2008.
"There's a new sugar substitute on the market with a really sweet pitch: zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero chance of a spike in blood sugar levels. Several companies are just out with new products derived from the leaves of the Latin American herb stevia, which contain a substance hundreds of times more potent than sugar."

FDA Approves Stevia, Ends the Era of Oppression of this Herbal Sweetener - 19dec2008.
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued letters of non-objection for the use of a natural, zero-calorie sweetener it once sought to wipe out from the U.S. marketplace. ... it will largely replace aspartame, an artificial sweetener chemical linked to numerous neurological disorders, including headaches, eye disorders and other problems. It will also unleash a wave of stevia-sweetened products for consumers, and that's good news for diabetics or anyone seeking healthier products sweetened with an herbal extract rather than a synthetic chemical."

Stevia is now available in the United States -
"In late 2008 the Food and Drug Administration declared that the artificial sweetener stevia is "generally recognized as safe" — thus allowing it to be used as a no-calorie sweetener in foods and beverages. ... Stevia is an herb, and its extract can be hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. Stevia has virtually no calories and doesn't raise blood sugar levels. Stevia has been used as a sweetener in other parts of the world for several years. Side effects of stevia are generally mild, such as nausea and a feeling of fullness. Does this mean that stevia is safe? What we currently know is that it is probably safe in moderate doses."

Stevia Products & Books.

Stevia for sweetening and flavor enhancement of do it yourself sports drinks.

In addition to its intense sweetness, stevia also acts as a natural flavor enhancer. I use about 20 drops of stevia liquid concentrate in a 2-quart batch of Hydration Fruit-Ade natural sports drink whenever the diluted fruit juice needs a little flavor boost. This homemade sports drink is helping me to prevent dehydration and maintain muscle performance while kayaking by replenishing water, carbohydrate and salt. I also appreciate the lack of calories in stevia, so I use stevia for sweetening things that I drink at home when I am not exercising. For example, just a few drops of stevia liquid concentrate are needed to sweeten a cup of tea or homemade lemonade. Thus, a small bottle of the stevia liquid concentrate lasts a long time and sweetens many gallons of natural sports drinks. I have tested both SweetLeaf and Now Foods brands of stevia liquid concentrates and was equally happy with both of them. At the low levels needed for sweetening and flavor enhancement I did not detect any off-flavors or experience any side effects from stevia consumption in my drinks.

More about stevia, natural sports drinks and preventing dehydration:
Stevia could be supersweet crop for Central Valley - Sacramento Bee 08aug2010
Paddleboaters need good hydration for optimum paddling performance - BRT Insights 09sept2009.
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.
Stevia Story: all about the herb that's sweeter than sugar -
Healthier Sweetener and Stevia Resources -
Cooking With Stevia and Stevia Recipes -
Stevia rebaudiana - Raintree Nutrition, Inc. Tropical Plant Database.
Stevia - The Natural Sweetener - HealthWorld Online.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 waterproof digital camera - equipment review.

Great photos & videos from your whitewater river paddle boating trips.

The new Stylus Tough 8000 waterproof digital camera is a very significant upgrade from the older Stylus 720sw waterproof digital camera that I reviewed previously. Megapixels have increased from 7 MP to 12 MP. The tiny power on/off button has been replaced by a larger button that is easier to operate. A rotating dial has been added in the new model for easier selection of photo shooting modes. The buttons for changing camera settings have been reorganized into a nice system that is easier to learn.

Other Reviewers' Opinions of the Stylus Tough 8000 camera.

Olympus unveils Stylus Tough 6000 and 8000: Digital Photography Review.
"The Stylus TOUGH-8000 features a 12 megapixel sensor while the sister model TOUGH-6000 captures 10 megapixel images. Both cameras come with a 3.6x (28-102mm equivalent) zoom lens and feature Olympus' TAP control technology for easy operation when wearing gloves, ideal for all sorts of outdoor activities."

Olympus Stylus Tough-8000 - HotHardware.
"Stylus Tough-8000 is the first in its family to include Dual Image Stabilization. Olympus uses mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization to adjust the internal image sensor and compensate for camera movement even in low-light conditions with slower shutter speeds. Digital Image Stabilization works to freeze action by adjusting the camera’s ISO settings and shutter speeds to help prevent blurry images caused by a moving subject."

Olympus Stylus Tough-8000 Review - Digital Trends.
"Although we certainly like the tough concept and the ability to kiss your worries goodbye if drop your camera, step on it by mistake or take it into the snow and water without a care in the world, a digicam still has to take good pictures. The Olympus Tough-8000 really doesn’t do that primary task well, sad to say, and it’s hard to recommend at nearly $400."

Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 Digital camera reviews - CNET Reviews.
"The good: Nice design; wide-angle lens; good feature set. The bad: Soft photos; slow performance. The bottom line: For going from snorkeling to rock climbing to everyday life, the Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 is a good choice, though its photos and performance can be disappointing."

Olympus Stylus Tough-8000 Digital Camera - Imaging Resource.
"Olympus really poured all the good stuff into its Tough 8000. Its combination of "tough" features and ratings outranks anything else currently on the market, and it snaps photos with accurate color and better than average detail for its category. Drop it, crush it, freeze it, or dive with it to 33 feet, and it'll keep on clicking: If "tough" is what you need, the Tough 8000 delivers it in spades."

My analysis of the Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 waterproof camera.

A reviewer at has complained about the soft focus of the pictures produced by the Stylus Tough 8000 waterproof camera. When I use IrfanView software for editing these pictures it is quick & easy to apply the sharpening tool to produce nice, crisp pictures that are perfectly fine for my needs. I'm quite satisfied with the picture quality from the Stylus Tough 8000 camera and from my old Stylus 720SW camera. See my Kayaking Photo Gallery and my Kayaking Video Gallery.
The Stylus Tough 8000 is a wonderful digital camera that will help you to get great pictures & short videos from your whitewater kayaking, IKing, rafting, canoeing & river tubing trips. Taking photos while kayaking is still quite challenging, but this new improved waterproof camera helps to make it a little easier. (**** - my rating - very good - 4 stars out of 5).

More about:
Photo tutorials - are you serious about photography? - BRT Insights.
Reviews - Equipment for Whitewater River Paddleboating.

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Sunday, October 04, 2009


Sacramento River Tributaries - California Paddle Boating Overview.

Rafting, Kayaking, IKing, Canoeing & River-tubing Guide - northern California, USA.

Jump to: West Side Tributaries, North Side Tributaries, East Side Tributaries.

West Side Tributaries, Listed north to south:

A. Clear Creek (Shasta County), Campground to Trinity Mtn Rd (class IVp, 16 miles).
      N 40.92817 W 122.58579 - Clear Creek Campground put-in.
      N 40.78912 W 122.60983 - Trinity Mountain Road take-out.
  Clear Creek, Whiskeytown to Sacramento Valley (class IV, 8 miles).
      N 40.50936 W 122.38049 - Whiskeytown Dam put-in.
      N 40.51125 W 122.52331 - Placer Road bridge take-out (A).
B. Cottonwood Creek (B).
C. Elder Creek, Lowrey Road to Paskenta Road (class III, 17 miles).
      N 40.01565 W 122.53910 - Lowery Rd put-in.
      N 40.03261 W 122.29217 - Paskenta Rd Bridge take-out (C).
D. Thomes Creek, Above Paskenta (class IVp, 22 miles).
      N 39.87418 W 122.82483 - nr Willow Ck confluence put-in.
      N 39.88313 W 122.54734 - Paskenta take-out (D).
E. Stony Creek/Grindstone Creek (E).
F. Cache Creek Wild & Scenic/Bear Creek (Colusa County) (F).
G. Putah Creek (G).

North Side Tributaries, Listed north to south:

H. Sacramento River (H).
I. McCloud River Wild & Scenic. (I).
J. Pit River (J).

East Side Tributaries, Listed north to south:

K. Bear Creek (Shasta County), Upper Run (class IVp, 10 miles).
      N 40.53363 W 121.96305 - nr Inwood put-in.
      N 40.53011 W 122.10857 - Hwy 44 bridge take-out.
  Bear Creek (Shasta County), Lower Run (class III, 5.1 miles).
      N 40.53011 W 122.10857 - Hwy 44 bridge put-in.
      N 40.48606 W 122.15261 - Dersch Rd Bridge take-out (K).
L. Battle Creek (L).
M. Antelope Creek (M).
N. Mill Creek Wild & Scenic (N).
O. Deer Creek Wild & Scenic (O).
P. Butte Creek (P).
Q. Feather River Wild & Scenic/Indian Creek/Spanish Creek (Q).
R. Yuba River Wild & Scenic/Lavezzola Creek/Pauley Creek (R).
S. Bear River (Nevada/Placer County) (S).
T. American River Wild & Scenic (T).
U. Cosumnes River (U).
V. Mokelumne River (V).

Sacramento River Tributaries map for paddleboaters.

Instructions for online interactive topographic river maps & road maps.
Full-Screen River Map - landmarks on the Sacramento River valley.
• To see the names of landmarks displayed below (A, B, etc.) - DoubleClick or point on the red markers.

Sacramento River Valley Printed Guides for Paddle Boating.

Paddling Northern California by Charlie Pike, 2001. (American River, Bear River, Cache Creek, Cosumnes River, Feather River, Mokelumne River, Sacramento River, Yuba River.)
Ann Dwyer's Easy Waters of California North, 2000. (American River, Bear River, Butte Creek, Cache Creek, Feather River, Pit River, Sacramento River, Stony Creek, Yuba River.)
Best Whitewater in California, Third Edition 1998. (American River, Bear River, Butte Creek, Cache Creek, Clear Creek, Cosumnes River, Deer Creek, Feather River, Grindstone Creek, Indian Creek, Lavezzola Creek, McCloud River, Mill Creek, Mokelumne River, Pauley Creek, Pit River, Putah Creek, Sacramento River, Stony Creek, Yuba River.)
California Whitewater - A Guide to the Rivers, 3rd Edition 1995. (American River, Cache Creek, Cosumnes River, Deer Creek, Feather River, Mokelumne River, Sacramento River, Stony Creek, Yuba River.)
Western Whitewater From the Rockies to the Pacific, 1994. (American River, Feather River.)
Paddler's Atlas of U.S. Rivers West, 1993. (American River, Feather River.)
The American River: North, Middle & South Forks, 1989. (American River.)
West Coast River Touring - Rogue River Canyon and South, 1974. (Cache Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Elder Creek, Grindstone Creek, Putah Creek, Stony Creek, Sacramento River.)
Sierra Whitewater - A Paddler's Guide to the Rivers of California's Sierra Nevada, 1974. (American River, Bear River, Cosumnes River, Deer Creek, Feather River, Mill Creek, Mokelumne River, Pit River, Yuba River.)
Down the Wild Rivers- A Guide to the Streams of California, 1972. (American River, Cosumnes River, Feather River, Mokelumne River, Yuba River.)

Sacramento River Valley Online Guides for Paddle Boating.

• Online guides for paddleboating: California Rivers Rafting, Canoeing, River-tubing & Kayaking Directory.

Sacramento River Valley paddleboating reports NEEDED !!

Please send your trip reports from whitewater paddleboating trips on Sacramento River valley creeks & rivers. Stories, pictures & videos from boating trips will be linked here.
Clear Creek Kayaking - Kim and Geoff jan2009.

Outdoor Activities & Environmental Protection in California River Canyons.

California River Watershed Directory - Conservation & Recreation. Websites for California river valleys. (Click on the desired river, display options alphabetical 100. Section 1=kayaking, 2=rafting, 3=environment-conservation, 4=fishing, 5=hiking-camping, 6=local-websites)

More About California Rivers, Creeks & Streams:
How to use whitewater river paddleboating guides - BRT Kayaking.
California Whitewater River Guides for Kayaking, IKing, River-tubing, Canoeing & Rafting.
• Some California rivers & creeks have been protected in the USA National Wild & Scenic Rivers Program and/or the California State Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009


Hydration Fruit-Ade Natural Sports Drink - Oct. 2009 Update.

Homemade sports drinks help prevent dehydration and maintain your best muscle performance!

Here are my results from testing a wide range of juices for use in the Hydration Fruit-Ade Natural Sports Drink recipe.
I'm drinking a lot of Hydration Fruit-Ade both at home and on whitewater paddleboating trips. When their sugar contents are diluted to the necessary level some juices still taste fine, although the flavors are of course more subtle and less sweet. Other juices are bland to awful when correctly diluted, but all of the ones I've tried so far turn out OK with addition of a little stevia for sweetening and flavor enhancement. Be sure to follow the recipe exactly to end up with the correct sugar concentration that is critical for rapid absorption of the drink into your body. DO NOT dilute your fruit juices based solely on taste or color because you will probably end up with the wrong sugar concentration and defeat the purpose of the sports drink.

Fruit & vegetable juices that still taste great after dilution.

• V8 Splash - Berry Blend or Tropical Blend.
• V8 V-Fusion - Acai Mixed Berry.
• R.W. Knudsen - Just Black Cherry.
• R.W. Knudsen - Just Tart Cherry
• Ocean Spray - Cran-Raspberry.
• Northland - Cranberry Raspberry.
• Dole - Paradise Blend.
• Dole - canned Pineapple Juice.
• Santa Cruz Natural - Red Tart Cherry.
• Arizona - Pomegranate Green Tea.
• Arizona - Half Tea & Half Tropical.
• Eating Right - Peach Mango Vegetable.
• Welch's - 100% Grape Juice, and Grape/Cherry Blend.

Fruit & vegetable juices that need flavor enhancement after dilution.

• orange juice from frozen concentrate.
• V8 V-Fusion - Peach Mango.
• Kern's - Mango Nectar or Guava Nectar.

• Also see: Adding tea to the Fruit-Ade recipe makes PowerT Hydration Juice - a healthy, homemade energy drink!!

Tart Cherry Juice may be valuable as a natural sports drink.

Some preliminary evidence suggests that drinking tart cherry juice may help to reduce muscle pain after vigorous exercise.
Cherry juice as a sports drink eases pain after running - Telegraph newspaper 30may2009.
Cherry juice may reduce exercise-induced muscle pain - NutraIngredients news service 21june2006.
Tart cherry juice: A lip-puckering pain remedy? - Los Angeles Times newspaper 06july2009.
Tart Cherry super fruits are packed with antioxidants - health benefits - CherryPharm.
Cornell Univ food scientists create sports drink using tart cherries - Cornell Chronicle News.

(Update: A number of colorful fruit juices decrease muscle soreness in athletes. Natural pomegranate, cherry, blueberry and grape sports drinks may be useful both for hydration and for recovery after extreme exercise.)

If you use these colorful fruit juices during exercise as a sports drink, then they should be diluted as described in the Hydration Fruit-Ade natural sports drink recipe. As a recovery drink for use after exercise you might want to continue hydrating with the sports drink throughout the day, or possibly drink a smaller amount of the undiluted juice.

Please post a comment to say what you think of Hydration Fruit-Ade Natural Sports Drink.

What commercial fruit juices have you used in the Hydration Fruit-Ade recipe? Let us know if you have a modified recipe or a different sports drink recipe that you like better.

More about:
Hydration Fruit-Ade natural fruit sports drink - BRT Insights.
Paddle boaters need good hydration for optimum performance - BRT Insights 09sept2009.
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.

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