Dr. Wallace:

I read your letter from the mother who quit smoking for the benefit of her children. I also stopped smoking for my soon-to-be-born grandson.

It was difficult for me to break the habit because I had been a tobacco slave for over 37 years. I overcame the urge to light up with the help of a hypnotist. I have now been smoke-free for one year. My habit cost me $50 a week. I now put this money into a bank account, and since I bank online I can see all my money that would have gone up in smoke. When I get the urge, I go online and look at my more than $2,500!

The money I save is for my grandson and any other grandchildren who come along.

— Happy Grandma, Rock Island, Ill.

Happy Grandma: Congratulations! This is truly a win-win solution. You’ve reclaimed your own health at the same time that you’re contributing to your grandson’s future. Just being around longer as a loving grandma is your greatest gift to him. I’m sure your letter will inspire others.

Dr. Wallace: Please end this silly debate and educate your readers at the same time. I do a lot of weight-lifting. Let’s say that I could be addicted to weight training. I enjoy being in good health and also having girls go gaga over me when they see me at the seashore.

My girlfriend also is involved in keeping her body strong, but lean. She is a long-distance runner and has participated in the Boston, New York and Los Angeles marathons. When we work out we sweat a lot. My girlfriend refreshes by drinking pure water. During and after lifting, I quench my thirst by drinking various kinds of sports drinks. She says that sports drinks do more harm than good. I disagree. What’s the story?

— Atlas, Miami, Fla.

ATLAS: Wow, I’m impressed just by your name. Your namesake in Greek mythology carried the world on his shoulders.

Now back to your question. I defer to the expertise of Racquel Murphy, a registered dietitian in New York City, who says, in essence, that you and your girlfriend are both half right. Someone who is active for less than two hours should rehydrate with pure water, because the body will absorb it better than other liquids. But after longer workouts, sports drinks are better because they contain carbohydrates. These provide extra energy and help the body absorb fluids at a faster rate.

Dr. Wallace: I’m 17 and work part-time during the school year. I worked a 40-hour week this past summer. I saved most of my money to help pay for college. My mom has the habit of “borrowing” money from me to support her smoking habit. I keep a log of all the money she has borrowed and never repaid even though she always promises to pay me back — with interest. So far, it’s over $200.

My dad keeps trying to get mom to stop smoking and is not happy that I’m helping her support her habit. I love my mother and find it hard to tell her no when she asks me for “a few bucks.” Should I tell her that I love her and that’s why I’m telling her no the next time she hits me up for money to buy cigarettes? I don’t want to lose her early from lung cancer.

P.S.: I really don’t care if she repays me or not. She is a wonderful human being, my best friend and a terrific mother!

— Kerry, Lake Charles, La.

Kerry: You will be doing your mother a big favor if you stop giving her money to buy cigarettes. Cut out this column and tape it on the refrigerator. It might supply the spark to encourage her to end her tobacco habit. Let’s hope so!

Write to Dr. Wallace at rwallace@galesburg.net.

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