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Electrolyte Tablets and Packets

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  • Electrolyte Tablets and Packets

    Anyone using them?

    I get hyponatremic easily and end up with muscle cramps. I take salty foods with me on my adventures, but am also thinking a supplement in the water bottle might give me a more well rounded assortment of minerals. TIA.

  • #2
    I really dig S-Caps.

    Honestly, though, I think people think Sodium is the elctrolyte they need, when it's often not. Most people don't take in enough Potassium or Magnesium. Dates, Figs, Bananas and, surprisingly, blackstrap molasses are great. I do a mean mix of all three in my Vitamix for a good energy and electrolyte boost on long runs. Works for me.

    S-Caps seem extreme to me. If I ever get into that 50+ mile range then maybe. For 25 and under my mix works fine. For a day of backcountry skiing it's actually more than I need. Good food usually does the trick.


    • #3
      When I was doing ultras and other endurance sports, I needed to watch that stuff. I think I'd go through 3 Succeeds in a marathon, and I'd pop one or two during particularly long training runs. There's also "lite salt" out there on supermarket shelves, which is a mix of sodium and potassium, cheap, and probably works just about as well as S-caps. I think the typical person doing recreational cycling, skiing, etc doesn't need to worry about that too much. Bananas are great, were my most reliable rocket fuel on ultra runs. And there's no reason to spare the salty snacks which you will probably be craving.


      • #4
        I have a bunch of Hammer E-Caps they gave me in a trade last year.
        It's great for long hot days which is my achilles heel. I would get wicked headaches if I spent all day out riding if I didn't get enough electrolytes. These help a ton.


        • #5
          Dave Scott, the prolific triathlete and coach, relied solely on bananas to fuel his six-pete of Ironman championships. Them is good stuffs.


          • #6
            I used to get occasional massive two-day headaches from running but I think it was always due to dehydration causing an electrolyte imbalance. As long as I keep myself adequately hydrated, which means drinking more than I feel like drinking, I have had no problems. I add Emergen-C or similar mixes, or gatorade, or grapefruit juice to my water (about 1:3 when mixing with juice) because (a) it tastes better, (b) it seems to be easier on the system than plain water and (c) at least some of the ingredients are good for you.


            • #7
              This is great stuff especially biking on hot days and sufferfests. Just add to water and drink as you hydrate.

              Calcium lactate and magnesium lactate taken together works great to take day after a big day riding or skiing where you are very sore and need to step up for another day back to back. dosage depends on body weight. I take a supplement called "Sport Legs" and follow their recommendations. This stuff works........
              Last edited by Quadzilla; 13 April 2014, 08:43 AM.
              "Just say no to groomed snow"


              • #8
                I'm not getting why there ought to be any hydration-related concern during backcountry skiing in non-mid-summer temperatures. Except perhaps ski-rando racer searching for optimal performance in some long-distance race.

                Assuming somebody has the sense to take off enough clothing so they're not sweating profusely for hours on end, there's just not much need for lots of hydration. Some people I know have figured this out and stopped using drinking tubes for skiing, and generally carry less liquid with them out skiing than they used to.

                Maybe some true believer in the Hydration religion (I used to be one) could ingest enough liquid through a hydration tube while skiing to run into electrolyte or hyponatremia problems. But myself that only happened on long bicycle rides on hot summer days.

                My understanding is that hydration drinks are greatly insufficient to replace electrolytes lost through sweating. The reason is that any drink with sufficient concentration of electrolytes would taste so salty that no one would purchase it - (because it would have to taste roughly as salty as human sweat).

                So what seems to work for me now is:
                * Not drinking so much out on ski tours (and even less for lift-served skiing)

                * Not going out for such long bike rides on hot summer days.

                * If I break the second guideline, take my electrolytes in solid form - (which for me is just table salt in a little plastic jar, use the cap a the measure of how much, pop the sodium chloride toward the back of my mouth, quickly wash it down with plain water).

                There was a nice summary of recent scientific research on Hydration on NYTimes like two to five years ago. Memorable point is that (in modern Western societies) ... Way more people have died from too much fluid than from too little fluid.



                • #9
                  I have used a widely varied assortment of electrolyte products; selected by the highly scientific method of "whatever was in the entry bag at various events." I have not done any sort of controlled test among them, but they all seem to work OK, and I tolerated them all fine. I found Nuun tablets in a water bottle gave the water a pleasant fizz and taste. Not recommended for hydration systems, as - like all additives - it requires careful cleaning afterwards.

                  Note, I find that excessive electro replacement is easy to do and causes water retention and swelling. This causes trauma to your toes if your footwear it too tight. I have migrated to only using running shoes with a wide toe box, and that are a bit larger than I would normally wear. I mostly take electolytes when running, not skiing, but I gotta think having your feet swell on a long ski outing would be very bad.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KenR
                    I'm not getting why there ought to be any hydration-related concern during backcountry skiing in non-mid-summer temperatures.
                    Who said this was their concern?

                    Anyway, by now a lot of skiing around here is in mid-summer temperatures, at least mid-summer temperatures somewhere.

                    And anyanyway, that's a personal observation, and rather Eastern in outlook. From a personal perspective, I find it very hard to get a good workout without sweating, except maybe in mid-winter. On a two plus hour outing the other day. when I wore light pants and a light long-sleeve shirt (for sun protection), I easily went through 40 ounces. From a regional perspective, dehydration can be a real issue with "spring" skiing in the Sierra, no matter how much clothes you wear.


                    • #11
                      Could probably poke around on the Internets (possibly using heartbleed bug to directly examine server memory) ...

                      1) The percentage of the human body that is composed of various electrolytes (they always have those table and the value of the element that compose the human body.

                      2) Something about sweating (amount/composition)

                      Then analytically determine how much of whatever is lost during some amount of activity and if it would be significant.



                      • #12
                        I found some Nuun tabs and gave them a try today. They taste nice and will work well for me.

                        Thanks for the responses.