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Electrolytes??(8 posts)

Aug 16, 2002 12:51 AM
What electrolyte (& carbohydrate?) replacements do people use?? eg. isostar, Hi5, etc. This hot summer weather plays havoc with your hydration and salt levels.

I recently had quite a disturbing event involving my heart and went to see the sports doctor from my rowing days. She blamed it on a drop in potassium. (I didn't eat enough bananas that day!) I've been making every effort to look after myself better for the last few weeks. I've always just used dilute cordial with some salt in it before but I don't think that's good enough. I'm trying Hi5 carb drink.

Are pills/gels such as Hammers E-caps better? (Anyone know of anywhere in the UK to get some of these so I can try them?)


re: Electrolytes??pmf1
Aug 16, 2002 4:05 AM
Last winter I bought a bunch of Hammer gel that was on sale for $10 a jug. On a whim, I also bought a bottle of Hammer Endurolytes. I'd never used electrolyte pills before. I'm really pleased with these. I recover much quicker after long rides in the heat. And its been smokin hot here in DC this summer.

If you don't want to do mail order from Hammer, I bet GNC or some other vitamin store has some type of electrolyte pill.
Me too.dzrider
Aug 16, 2002 11:13 AM
I had two incidents with cramps in my lower legs and feet and decided that I should try something. I like hammer gel better than Gu or Power Gel so I tried the Endurolytes. I can't prove that they solved the problem, but I've had no cramps and much less muscle twitching in my calves since I started using them on long runs and rides.
re: Electrolytes??Galibier
Aug 16, 2002 4:51 AM
To add potassium to your sports drink, you can try Morton Lite Salt -- it's approximately 50% sodium and 50% potassium. I add a quarter teaspoon to each of my bottles, and it does seem to help prevent cramps.
KCl, NaClChen2
Aug 16, 2002 5:51 AM
Lite Salt is an excellent idea, or a combination of regular table salt and "Salt Substitute" or "No Salt", these are straight potassium chloride. From what I've read we don't need a lot of potassium chloride but we do need to add some to our diet as an electrolyte replacement for when we are sweating a lot. If I take in too much KCl it upsets my stomach a little. It's bitter. Plain old table salt makes a big difference in avoiding cramps. This stuff is available at your local super market. Check the labels for NaCl (common table salt) and (KCl) potassium salt.
Or Morton's salt substitute ...Humma Hah
Aug 16, 2002 5:00 PM
... which is ALL potassium chloride. Just a little, about 1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 gal bottle, converts the sodium-rich Gatorade to about the equivalent of PowerAde.
On long rides I use Gookinade ERG ...Humma Hah
Aug 16, 2002 4:58 PM
... "electrolyte replacement with glucose", a sports drink mix I've only found in outdoor outfitter stores. Been around since the 1970's, invented by a runner.

Gookinade contains more variety of electrolytes in better proportions than typical sports drinks. It has lots of potassium, some calcium, some magnesium, and some carbonate. These last ones can help prevent cramps, and carbonate may adjust blood pH slightly, which may increase blood oxygen capacity (although I don't know if this drink contains enough to cause the effect).

However, looking at the label, I've discovered that lemonade drink mix, such as "Country Time", is quite similar to ERG in a lot of ways, and is working for me on shorter rides.

I use "Lite Salt" instead of table salt in my normal diet. It boosts my potassium intake. I also eat fruits and veggies that contain plenty of electrolytes.

A Tums or similar calcium-carbonate antiacid tablet gives a big dose of calcium and the carbonate. Calcium may interfere with magnesium uptake, so don't take it with your meals.
On long rides I use Gookinade ERG ...Rich_Racer
Aug 17, 2002 4:00 AM
What I'm trying is Hi5 carb drink with some added low sodium salt - it's about 70% KCl, 30% NaCl. Seems to be working so far but it's hard to tell with these things really!

Would like to try some Hammer endurolyte gel/e-caps but don't know where to get them.

Thanks for the help.