Why Endurance Sports Athletes Need Electrolytes?

Hyponatremia is a low sodium concentration in the blood. It is generally defined as a sodium concentration of less than 135 mmol/L (135 mEq/L), with severe hyponatremia being below 120 mEq/L. Symptoms can be absent, mild or severe. Mild symptoms include a decreased ability to think, headaches, nausea, and poor balance.

Common symptoms of Hyponatremia with endurance sports athletes can lead to nausea, fatigue, cramping, vomiting, weakness, sleepiness, and in rare severe cases, even death.

Why swimmers need electrolytes A common myth is that swimmers do not sweat because they are immersed in water, thereby removing the need for perspiration. However, this is not true, and it can deceive swimmers into believing they are not becoming dehydrated as they perform their workouts.

Swimming is an aerobic activity, which raises core temperature. Even though a lot of excess heat is conducted away from your body through the pool water, a rise in core temperature triggers your sweat glands to do what they are meant to do: release sweat, which is composed of water and electrolytes.

Five electrolytes in particular play a pivotal role in maintaining normal human muscle function: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride. A shortage of any of these electrolytes will affect athletic performance through a range a subtle to serious side effects.

Why runners and cyclists need electrolytes Five electrolytes in particular play a pivotal role in maintaining normal human muscle function: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride. A shortage of any of these electrolytes will affect athletic performance through a range a subtle to serious side effects.

Sweat typically has about 1000 mg sodium/litre, a typical sports drink has 440 mg sodium/litre. If, during the course of training, you ingest nothing but sports drinks (or worse, water), you will become hyponatremic at some point. Many sports drinks also do not address any form of supplementation of the other key electrolytes, potentially causing yet further cramping and muscle issues.

Recovery & Endurance - Electrolytes are crucial for energy and muscle movement while you’re on the go. As you exercise, you sweat and lose many of these crucial electrolytes, hence re-hydration is necessary as it avoids muscle cramps, fatigue, and tightening of muscles. Electrolyte drinks and Salt Capsules are formulated to help you recovery quickly and maintain your stamina, while also replenishing your lost minerals.

Runner

How electrolyte drinks tabs help;

Replacing water with a electrolyte based drinks tab will help increase the intake of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Used pre, during or post workout.  Ideal for topping up levels especially during hot weather. Drinking 1 tab per day diluted in water can help the 

Browse the electrolyte collection

How Unived can help

Unived Salt Caps Electrolyte Replacement, are electrolyte capsules with a unique formulation that deliver the full-spectrum of vital electrolytes (sodium, chloride, potassium and magnesium), and vitamin D3 to sustain optimal bone health and immune function during intense endurance activities like ultramarathons, brevets, and triathlons.

Take 1 capsule per hour with sufficient water. During extreme conditions you may take 2 capsules per hour.

How SaltStick can help

Browse the SaltStick collection

What is lost in sweat should be replaced by your electrolyte capsules in a quantity and form which your body can absorb. SaltStick® Caps have been formulated to provide your body with a balanced electrolyte content in the suggested serving of 1 capsule per 30-60 minutes. Two SaltStick Caps in an hour equate to 430 mg sodium, 126 mg potassium, 22 mg magnesium, and 44 mg calcium per hour: The ideal ratio to keep you moving.


About the Author
ANTHONY CLARK
XMiles Founder and Nutrition Adviser
Follow Anthony on Twitter & Instagram
Article