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Salt water?

Old 05-13-22, 01:47 PM
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Dreww10
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Salt water?

Please tell me if I'm wrong in this assumption.

If you're hydrating properly (1/2 gallon+ of water a day, every day), you're drowning out your electrolytes throughout the day (I experienced the worst of this on a ride once after drinking over a gallon the day prior and it was awful). Then, you're sweating out even more of your sodium on your ride, making the electrolyte situation worse. So, if you're a frequent water drinker AND you sweat out lots of salt, shouldn't you be dropping a decent amount of salt in your water bottles to keep the sodium levels up?
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Old 05-13-22, 02:18 PM
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This is why plants crave electrolytes.
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Old 05-13-22, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
Please tell me if I'm wrong in this assumption.

If you're hydrating properly (1/2 gallon+ of water a day, every day), you're drowning out your electrolytes throughout the day (I experienced the worst of this on a ride once after drinking over a gallon the day prior and it was awful). Then, you're sweating out even more of your sodium on your ride, making the electrolyte situation worse. So, if you're a frequent water drinker AND you sweat out lots of salt, shouldn't you be dropping a decent amount of salt in your water bottles to keep the sodium levels up?
Sounds like pretty solid bro science to me.
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Old 05-13-22, 03:17 PM
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Do a web search for electrolyte drink mix. (Electrolytes are mostly salt.)

Or stop for lunch and order french fries, add lots of salt and ketchup. That tastes better.
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Old 05-13-22, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
Please tell me if I'm wrong in this assumption ...
In short: everything in moderation ... and, increased effort and intake has effects.

One of the effects of increased efforts can be higher water consumption, sweating. That'll certainly expel some electrolytes.

One of the effects of increased fluid intake can be increased flushing through urination. Which can also expel increased levels of electrolytes.

Can either add electrolytes to water and/or can get electrolytes via food intake.

I would think it's reasonably obvious that if effort goes up then the intake of fluids, electrolytes and foods need to go up. IMO, if engaging in athletics or hard training, particularly if enough to dramatically boost one's need for fluid intake, the electrolyte intake also needs to be considered. (Can get that through foods or via electrolyte additions to fluids.)

Used to do hard distance running, back in the day. Had to be well aware of the electrolyte levels throughout training season, if I wanted to avoid cramping up or having my performance ditch me in the latter stages of runs. Particularly during hotter weather, and particularly if having to dramatically increase my water intake to deal with a tough (of hours' long) session. Standard practice was to ensure electrolytes were a solid part of food intake through the prior ~18hrs, if knowing a hard run or two were coming up, and to ensure electrolyte got added to fluids if knowing the planned run exceeded a couple of hours. On the handful of occasions I glossed over this, I tanked ... and in at least a few instances I strongly suspected lack of electrolytes despite the increased fluid intake. Should have popped a couple of tablets into the bottles, beforehand.

Doesn't necessarily mean that increased fluid intake will flush everything out to the point of being deficient. But increased consumption and efforts do provide increased opportunity for the body to get rid of fluid and electrolytes along with it. So, adjust accordingly.
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Old 05-13-22, 04:32 PM
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You drank a gallon of water the day before your ride? Over and above your normal water consumption or was that your total water consumption over the entire day and you were also working or otherwise pretty active?

I've never done any such thing in preparation for a ride. In fact other than making sure I'm not thirsty before I leave for a ride, all my hydration, electrolyte and nutrition for a ride are taken care of during the ride and briefly after the ride for recovery.

Most people are going to naturally eat more salt that the recommended daily amount. So they'll get plenty of electrolytes for normal activity. It's only when you consume large amounts of water in a short time and don't have any source of electrolyte to go along with it that you'll have a problem.

If you only consume one or two bottle of water on a ride in a 1 - 2 hour period, probably not any issue. But 5 bottles of water in a short time and nothing else might be an issue. Or even 5 bottles of just water and nothing else in any amount of time.

Last edited by Iride01; 05-13-22 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 05-13-22, 05:01 PM
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I don't drink salt water, but if I am going out for a longer high effort ride in hot weather, I will eat a heaping scoop of Gatorade mix powder before heading out the door. I am a super salty sweater and I find this helps me from feeling sick to my stomach after an exhausting ride.
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Old 05-13-22, 08:53 PM
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There's lots of literature and there are lots of products that will help you replenish electrolytes. It's easy to figure out with a little googling.

Endurolytes are one way to go.

As to adding, "salt", um, no.
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Old 05-13-22, 10:36 PM
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One of the tricks to getting a good electrolyte balance is eating less salt in your daily diet. It turns out that the more salt you eat, the more salt you sweat and thus have to replace. And salt isn't the only electrolyte you need. You also need calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. On a hot day, I'll take about 80mg of sodium an hour and about same for the others, except for manganese, only .5mg. To make this all very easy, I take Hammer Endurolyte capsules. I carry them in a little coin purse up my shorts leg. Most rides of even 4 hours, if it's not warm, don't need them. If it's hot, maybe 2 an hour if I'm doing a lot of climbing. Anyway, that's not a lot of salt or anything else. There are 2325mg of salt in 1 tsp. So mostly, you don't need anything except water as long as you don't drink too much of it!

I don't drink to thirst, not reliable. I drink to pee, that is once every 3 hours on the bike. If I can't pee after 3 hours, I drink water and take Endurolytes until I do. Also if my HR gets higher than it should for my effort, that also means I need to drink. If it's too low, I need to eat. It's not that complicated if you follow rules like this. It helps that our bodies are really good at regulating all our electrolytes all by themselves.
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Old 06-14-22, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreww10 View Post
Please tell me if I'm wrong in this assumption.

If you're hydrating properly (1/2 gallon+ of water a day, every day), you're drowning out your electrolytes throughout the day (I experienced the worst of this on a ride once after drinking over a gallon the day prior and it was awful). Then, you're sweating out even more of your sodium on your ride, making the electrolyte situation worse. So, if you're a frequent water drinker AND you sweat out lots of salt, shouldn't you be dropping a decent amount of salt in your water bottles to keep the sodium levels up?
Iíve always cramped more than others, and Iíve learned it helps immensely to manage my sodium intake. I donít add salt to my water, tho; I carry Saltstick capsules and pop a couple every 20 miles or so. (Note: I donít have blood pressure issues, where salt could be a problem.)
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Old 06-17-22, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
. And salt isn't the only electrolyte you need. You also need calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese..
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Old 06-17-22, 05:00 PM
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And cramping isn't due to lack of electrolytes or dehydration. It's due to insufficient training for the what's being attempted. It's not complicated.
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Old 06-18-22, 05:20 AM
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I don't drink sport's drinks, even on my 3+ hour rides in the Florida heat. I only drink water and eat a very balanced meal, which replenishes all I lost while sweating. Much of the nutrients I replenish comes from my yard/garden, so I know it's healthy.
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Old 06-19-22, 05:17 AM
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I've only taken salt in tablet form when I worked construction and would finish a 5-gallon cooler of water a day by myself. In that situation if we didn't take salt, we would quit sweating and overheat. Sometimes, I like to mix a little Himalayan salt and lemon juice in my water just to make it taste better, and it seems to sit on my stomach better. I do think that if you are ingesting salt, it is very important to make sure you are drinking enough water to flush out any excess.
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Old 06-20-22, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
.... And salt isn't the only electrolyte you need. You also need calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. ...
The term "salt" or "salts" is general. We often associate it with "table salt" which is sodium chloride, but all of those other minerals also have salt forms, like potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride. But those aren't all the salts formed with these minerals. There are also the sulfates like calcium sulfate. And then there are the carbonates like calcium carbonate. These are all "salts." Just adding sodium chloride to your water could be a bad idea because not only does it fail to replenish the other necessary electrolytes, it also increases your intake of sodium which is probably the least necessary given the abundance of it in most people's diets.
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Old 06-20-22, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
The term "salt" or "salts" is general. We often associate it with "table salt" which is sodium chloride, but all of those other minerals also have salt forms, like potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride. But those aren't all the salts formed with these minerals. There are also the sulfates like calcium sulfate. And then there are the carbonates like calcium carbonate. These are all "salts." Just adding sodium chloride to your water could be a bad idea because not only does it fail to replenish the other necessary electrolytes, it also increases your intake of sodium which is probably the least necessary given the abundance of it in most people's diets.
I think you're in violent agreement with CFB, since his post was in response to the OP very obviously asking about table salt.
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Old 06-20-22, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I think you're in violent agreement with CFB, since his post was in response to the OP very obviously asking about table salt.
Yes, his point was right on. Now as to how to obtain the necessary salts besides sodium chloride, there are electrolyte replacement powders and tablets that are helpful when losing and replenishing massive amounts of water over a short period. For many people that are not sweating or transpiring huge amounts of water and replenishing it by drinking similarly large volumes in a short time, the water itself often contains some electrolytes, and mineral salts unless it is distilled or deionized, and a normal diet replenishes many more.

One inexpensive way to get sodium chloride, potassium chloride, and magnesium carbonate in a drink mix, is to use Morton Lite Salt. I think this can be effective to boost the electrolytes in an otherwise watered-down Gatorade or Tang solution when the sugar-to-electrolyte ratio of those is too high. In other words, add some Morton Lite Salt to your water so you don't have to add so much Gatorade that you gag on the sugar.
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