Friday, November 20, 2009

Racing in the heat question


Does anyone on the team have experience using salt tabs? I have only used them once in Ironman Canada and have real no experience to draw from.

Yesterday in my training ride my face was covered in salt from the sweat and I am just wondering if it is worth picking up some electrolyte tablets for the race.

If anyone could provide some comments or direction that would be awesome.

Not sure if there is a better way from the prostate cancer foundation to raise money, but I think I have seen the absolute worst collection of mustaches on guys ever. Who thought it was a good idea to raise money by sticking an ugly caterpillar under your nose anyways!

Take care,

Slayer Dan


Thomas said...

I have never used Salt Tabs in particular, but I have used various electrolyte products.

Even though all you see on the outside is salt on your cloths that still means you are losing more than just salt. Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Chloride...etc.

A balanced intake of all of these electrolytes are required when doing any type of intense activity.

This summer I spent 18 plus hours over the course of 4 days riding is 40 degree Kamloops desert, I wouldn't have came back from the desert if it wasn't for my electrolyte supplement.

I have had the best luck with Hammer Endurolytes. They cover all the bases. Make sure to follow the instructions and drink the correct amount of water with any electrolyte or you will be peeing solids at best. I made this mistake on day 4 of La Ruta, fortunately it was within the last 20km of the stage.

Joel said...

I am not a nutritionist but I have done LOTS of research into endurance nutrition and salt on your face, clothes, etc. is a bad sign that you are low on electrolytes. I have done IMC twice, several half ironmans and lots of long snowshoe days and messed this up enough to know I had a problem. I would echo Thomas' comments but I would recommend Saltstick Tabs if you can find them. They pack the most punch per tablet vs. other products. The owner and founder, Jonathan Toker, has a PHD and is an elite athlete himself. I would take one every hour to 90 mins throughout the day, depending on how hot it is and drink at least a bottle of water every hour on the bike and run. From everything I have read, it is better to err on the side of more than less. Hyponatremia (too many electrolytes) can occur with too many electrolytes but when you are doing an Ironman in Arizona, you would have to be on the excessive side of electrolyte intake for this to happen.

Nutrition is a whole other matter but hopefully you have that dialed in so you don't bonk.


Joel said...

Here are two great articles that have helped me immensely in my training and racing (when I don't forget!)

Good luck with the 4th sport: nutrition.

One by Jonathan Toker and another by Dan Empfield:

Joel said...

Looks like those links got cut off:


Dan Sigouin said...

Guys, they have both.

Thanks for the input. I do know what hyponatremia feels like and I would like to avoid that at all costs.

The temperature here is going to be moderate, I think it just might be the whole environment that takes it out of you.


Dallas said...

well a rule of thumb I've used is 300-500mg sodium per hour. This is much more than your average Gatorade. And you'll find the average 'tablet' has about that much. v8 for example has plenty.
Hammer HEED actually doesn't have enough, GU powder has a little more. You gotta shop around.
If you drink and drink and drink, with low Na, you'll just retain the water. You gotta have the sodium to keep you ggoooiinngggg peeee

coachpaul said...

Indeed, sodium-only is a recipe for disaster. More important than the actual quantities of each electrolyte mineral, are the ratios of each. Too much sodium is just as bad as not enough, as it messes up the ratios of magnesium and potassium as well. This causes all sorts of problems, most notably puffy hands n' feet, elevated HR, cramping and other neurological and endocrine disruptions. I too have had good success with Hammer's Endurolytes, most recently putting them to good use in the '09 Cape Epic in South Africa (Africa hot!). That being said, there are equally good products out there from other brands. Just make sure to try it out over many training sessions and race with what works best and is familiar and easiest to use! Oh, and to quell a popular myth that's out there...electrolytes are NOT "energy"! An electrolyte beverage that is purely so, is not a source of fuel; rather, source of electrolytes only. I too often hear people mixing the two up, much to the chagrin of their livers and empty muscle cells!

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