How do electrolytes tablets hydrate you?
Electrolyte tablets are a great way to keep your body on the right track when you're doing intense physical activity, especially in hot weather. They'll help you maintain a healthy balance of electrolytes—like sodium, potassium, and magnesium—which are essential to keeping your body hydrated.
One problem that a lot of people face when they're working out is dehydration. There's so much going on in your body during exercise that it can be hard to know if you're getting enough water or the right nutrients. When you take in water and electrolytes through electrolyte tablets, it's easier to get the hydration you need while also making sure you don't overdo it on the fluid intake: too much water can actually deplete the electrolytes in your body!
Electrolytes help your cells function normally. If something goes wrong with your electrolyte levels, you could have trouble moving, feeling sick, or even losing consciousness. That's why it's so important to know how to replenish them: along with plenty of water, you can take good care of yourself by taking electrolyte tablets before and after intense physical activity, especially if it's in hot weather.
How do electrolyte tablets work?
Electrolyte tablets help to rehydrate your body by replacing the salt, potassium and magnesium that are lost when you sweat. They also contain bicarbonate, which helps neutralize the acid in your stomach and helps your body absorb the electrolytes. When you take a tablet, it passes through your stomach and into your intestines where it is absorbed.
When to take electrolyte tablets?
Electrolyte tablets should be taken during or after exercise, when you are sweating heavily and need to replace minerals that were lost through sweat. They can also be taken every two hours if you have a stomach virus because of the anti-diarrhea properties of bicarbonate. If you are going into the heat for more than two hours and aren't getting much water, taking an electrolyte tablet will prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
Training / Taper:
We recommend to take on electrolytes an hour before your run, and then depending on the weather and distance to keep a constant hydration plan going throughout the run (every 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how much you sweat).
Once you have finished your run, you will want to rehydrate with another electrolyte tablet. This makes sure your muscles and cells are replenished with electrolytes.
Start taking on electrolytes the night before, and then same again with our training hydration plan. Sip on a hydration drink an hour before you run, and then keep hydrating every 10 to 20 minutes throughout the race.
Once you have finished it is important to take on your recovery drink, which may already contain electrolytes, however if not you can take an electrolyte drink to recover those electrolytes lost through sweating.
Strength & Conditioning:
If you have a strength and conditioning session, you will want to take on one electrolyte drink before or after your session to make sure your muscles and cells are kept hydrated and happy.
What electrolyte tablets should I take?
Any brand that contains magnesium, potassium, sodium chloride (salt), calcium and bicarbonate will work for rehydrating. We have a range of electrolyte tablets available at XMiles but picking out the ones for you may be difficult. With this in mind, we have listed out our range of electrolyte tablets below to aid in your decision:
15 calories per tablet. 300mg of Sodium. 150mg of Potassium.
0 calories per tablet. 250mg of Sodium. 70mg of Potassium.
GU Hydration Drink
10 calories per tablet. 320mg of Sodium. 55mg of Potassium.
11 to 16 calories per tablet. 125mg to 750mg of Sodium. 125mg of Potassium.
SiS GO Hydro
9 calories per tablet. 300mg of Sodium. 65mg of Potassium.
ORS Hydration Tablets
9 calories per tablet. 140mg of Sodium. 97mg of Potassium.
OTE Hydro Tablets
8 calories per tablet. 860mg of Sodium. 22mg of Potassium.
What other options are there?
If you're looking for other options to take on electrolytes, such as energy drinks and gels, there are a few options.
- Electrolyte capsules. These are usually in the form of a tablet or capsule that you dissolve in water or swallow. For example, Endurolytes can be swallowed before a workout.
- Energy Drinks. Some companies have created sports drinks specifically designed to help replenish electrolytes and fluid after a workout (such as SOS Hydrate).
- Electrolyte Gels. Some companies have created electrolytes that can be taken during exercise in a gel form. For example, Science in Sport offers SiS GO Energy + Electrolyte Gels, which contain both carbohydrates and electrolytes to help boost performance during long workouts and races.
Talk to your doctor: If you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications, talk to your doctor before adding electrolytes to your routine. Even though these products aren't intended for long-term.