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2007-08-15 2:04 PM

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Subject: When to take salt tabs?
How do I know if I need salt tabs? It is really hot here in Texas, and so far I just do Gatorade on the bike except longer rides (2+ hours) where I'll eat a Clif bar or Fig Newtons or something. How would I feel if I needed salt tabs? I'm more concerned with the run off the bike. Lots of people swear the salt tabs help, but I don't know that they would help me. I know why you take salt tabs, but I'm not really familiar with the symptoms you might have if you aren't getting enough salt. FYI-- I did a 20 mile bike/2 mile run brick with 30 oz. Gatorade on the bike and temps. in the upper 80s, and I felt great on the run. Don't know if that helps, but that's just some info about me individually. I'm doing my first Oly on Labor Day, so I want to get this all worked out before race day. The less I have to carry, the better!

Kelli


2007-08-15 4:53 PM
in reply to: #927132

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Subject: RE: When to take salt tabs?
i also would like an answer on when to use salt tabs. thanks
2007-08-16 6:02 PM
in reply to: #927132

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Subject: RE: When to take salt tabs?
try endurolytes from hammer, they have more then just salt in them. salt is just a one of the few electr. you need..
2007-08-16 7:25 PM
in reply to: #927132

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Subject: RE: When to take salt tabs?

When you sweat you sweat salt water, thus you need to replace what you lose. So drinking just water will make you have not enough electrolytes in your body.

I'd suggest first determining your sweat rate. Basically you weigh yourself naked before you work out and again after you workout after drying off any sweat. Check the difference in weight, and record how much you drank and if you urinated. Then you know total oz of sweat and can calculate how much you need to drink per hour.

Here is a link to a calculator...

http://www.trihardermultisports.com/THM_SwRate.aspx

Gatorade Endurance has twice the salt as regular gatorade.

I used to cramp really badly in longer races due to not having enough salt/electrolytes. Through practicing while I train and trial and error while racing, I know I need 1000 mg of sodium and hour and I sweat 46 oz an hour biking and 56 oz an hour running in normal MA weather. When I train I need at least 700 mg of sodium per hour. Yes there are other things you need but the big thing is sodium. The more you sweat in general the more you need electrolytes as you lose more. For a women I sweat a lot.

Endurolytes lots of folks use made by Hammer but they only have 100 mg of sodium; I take Lava Salts which have 255 mg of sodium and drink Gatorade Endurance which has 200 mg of sodium per 8 oz. So if I drink 24 oz of GE I get 600 mg of sodium plus 1-2 Lava Salts I'm at 850-1100 mg per hour.

Do you have crust on you after you workout...that is usually a sign that you need electrolytes.  

 

2007-08-17 8:21 AM
in reply to: #927132

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Subject: RE: When to take salt tabs?
Thanks Kathy. That helps some. Yes, I sometimes have the salty crust on me after a long run, but only when it's hot (which is most of the year here!). I know I don't sweat a lot, but when it's hot it seems like a ton. I've never had issues with cramps or anything. Do you get muscle cramps or side cramps? I'll try to figure out how much I sweat and then use the calculator. I know I need to replace the electrolytes, including salt, because I sweat it out, but I just never knew what my symptoms would be if I wasn't getting enough. Drinking purely Gatorade on the bike seems to really help, plus I drink whatever sports drink is available at a race during the run and pour the water over my head. Doing sprints is no problem, but I haven't tackled the Oly distance yet, so I want to make sure I have what I need when I get to the run. I think I'll try just drinking the Gatorade Endurance and see if I notice a difference. That may be enough for me. If not, I'll try salt tabs, but I don't think I'll need them since I don't sweat a whole lot.

Kelli
2007-08-17 9:58 AM
in reply to: #927132

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Subject: RE: When to take salt tabs?
I have made it a habit to always add a little natural sea salt to all me drinks that I use on the bike.  Add a pinch when you fill up your bottles, its alot cheaper than Hammer electrolites and its natural.


2007-08-17 11:11 AM
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Subject: RE: When to take salt tabs?
oopsie got a little cramp in my pinkie!

Edited by Chris Tree 2007-08-17 11:11 AM
2007-08-17 1:50 PM
in reply to: #929299

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Subject: RE: When to take salt tabs?

aluminum1 - 2007-08-17 10:58 AM I have made it a habit to always add a little natural sea salt to all me drinks that I use on the bike. Add a pinch when you fill up your bottles, its alot cheaper than Hammer electrolites and its natural.

It is, but the Hammer electrolytes are not just salt (as was previously stated).  They also have potassium and calcium, which are really important to not developing cramps.  I've had more problems keeping levels of calcium and potassium high than salt, so I take these any time I'm going to be out an hour or more in the summer. 

2007-08-19 2:19 AM
in reply to: #929164

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Subject: RE: When to take salt tabs?

3chilipeppers - 2007-08-17 9:21 AM Thanks Kathy. T Do you get muscle cramps or side cramps? That may be enough for me. If not, I'll try salt tabs, but I don't think I'll need them since I don't sweat a whole lot. Kelli

When I get cramps due to not enough electrolytes they are in my legs most often in my calves but when I got them very badly at a race, they would move up and down my legs with every step. I think side cramps are different and due to stomach issues ie to much fluid in your stomach.

Check your sweat rate. Gatorade Endurance is designed to replace salt as folks sweat. I think regular Gatorade in general is to light on salt. The idea of adding sea salt to your Gatorade is a good option as well if sodium is just what you ened and it is much cheaper. I can't recall how much to add to a water bottle but check the sodium content..it isn't much...

 

 

2007-08-19 11:21 AM
in reply to: #927132

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Subject: RE: When to take salt tabs?
Hi - I'm a heavy sweater who takes electrolyte caps. (have run marathons & ultra marathons & several v. long events in heat of summer) There are several brands - but it is important to know that you need both sodium and potassium - without potassium, your body can't use the sodium.

When to take them:
Take 1 or 2 right before you start going. Take about 1 an hour during exercise, 2 if you are sweating very heavily. Take one as part of recovery.

How you'll feel if you need them:
Muscle cramps during & after workout. Feel dehydrated but you know you've been drinking enough (water sloshing in stomach). Light headed, tired, heart racing. Maybe like you've got beginning of heat exhaustion. Crave salt. Headache & salt cravings after run. Nausea, diarrhea after the workout.
(any of these things could be caused by any number of things, but electrolytes are an easy & safe place to start)


It's hard to take too much (possible, but not very likely).

Here is one brand & description:
http://www.ultrafit-endurance.com/sueldr.html

These are the ones I use - I've used them for over 10 years and been very happy - i like them because they are buffered to reduce stomach acid and don't contain any extra ingredients that I'd rather get from my other energy sources.

I found that Gatorade & sports drinks don't contain enough electrolytes for the long haul. If they did, they'd be too salty to drink. I've also found that Gatorade, specifically, and some other drinks have way too much sugar, which increases stomach issues during and after the run.

I'm not saying don't check your sweat rate, but I never have & never had a problem. I noticed an immediate improvement after switching to the caps from Gatorade & other drinks - one week I was miserable, next run w/e-caps I was feeling groovy. Experiment conservatively. Don't over do them. Don't try too many new supplements/drinks/bars in the same workout - if you find that something didn't work for you it's hard to find out what if you changed too many things.

Here are some articles on electrolytes in general, if you really want to know the nitty gritty.
http://www.medicinenet.com/electrolytes/article.htm
http://www.ultrunr.com/sodium.html <- very good site for practical knowledge from the trenches of ultrarunners.

Hope this helps.


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