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Old 01-27-06, 02:47 PM   #1
TrailRider
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Salt/Electrolyte Pills?

I'll be making long cycling trips in hot, humid weather. A trainer mentioned in passing at a New Year's Eve party that I should take along some tablets that restore your balance of electrolytes and are simply mixed with water, rather than lugging sport drinks or a camel back with me. I think she said there were called "Nons" or something similar. Anyone know what she was referring to?
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Old 01-27-06, 05:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TrailRider
I'll be making long cycling trips in hot, humid weather. A trainer mentioned in passing at a New Year's Eve party that I should take along some tablets that restore your balance of electrolytes and are simply mixed with water, rather than lugging sport drinks or a camel back with me. I think she said there were called "Nons" or something similar. Anyone know what she was referring to?
Many years ago we used salt tablets in humid weather, but doubt as to whether you can get them now. Isotonic drinks do have essential salts in them and work. They help on salt replacement and have a better effect on thirst than water or "Non" isotonic drinks. I actually use a powder to mix up with water, and this works out a lot cheaper, but a good substitute is 50% water- 50% pure fruit juice- a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt.

A camelback is the best way to carry liquid. May take a little while to get used to but that spout is always handy for a quick slurp whilst riding. You can keep sipping all the time.
Water intake is important so look to taking 1 litre of it per hour. On my big ride we have a back up crew, and they pass us a 500ml bottle of water every hour. We drink this immediately and still sip from the camelbacks. Loo stops are generraly about 5 minutes after being passed the water, but the sure indication of dehydration is yellow urine. If it is clear or faint yellow then no problem. If you get dehydrated even slightly then you will pay for it. Energy will go, legs will get heavy and brain will go. It will then take a litre of water and about 20 minutes before you start to feel better, and by that time another litre of water will be needed.
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Old 01-27-06, 05:59 PM   #3
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On those long hot, humid rides I carry Hammer Gel "Endurolytes" capsules with me. Those are pretty good at providing some quick shots of supplements when you feel you need it. Main supplements are Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium & Potassium. You should be able to find them at a LBS.

Couple of tips-I put mine in a small cylindrical medicine container and make the lid so I could flip it up and close it with one hand (duct tape!!). That allows me to take the capsules without stopping. If you put them in a baggie in your jersey pocket the capsules tend to come apart and leaves you with a mess. I also take them with some food (banana for me). That keeps them from upsetting my stomach. I would not recommend taking more than 2 at a time, but you could experiment to see what works for you.
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Old 01-28-06, 04:45 PM   #4
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many sports drinks have too much sodium. Suggest you check the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association site about hot weather and electrolytes. If the urine is darker, more water. Lighter than straw colored, less water. Learn the symptoms of hyper and hypo natrenia and how they feel in you. Too much salt and you will lose potassium as you pee away the excess salt. I used balanced electrolyte pills once, at night in the summer in Death Valley, at 116 degrees. Pleanty of water and electrolytes; I gurgled as I moved. I still got dizzy from heat stress and had to drop out. Being able to ride hard in hot weather requires gradually increased training in hot weather. And some people just can not adapt to high heat conditions. I saw the truth of that in the deep-hot mines in South Africa.
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Old 01-29-06, 04:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrailRider
. . . A trainer mentioned in passing at a New Year's Eve party that I should take along some tablets that restore your balance of electrolytes and are simply mixed with water, rather than lugging sport drinks or a camel back with me. . . .
Maybe the trainer was referring to this product:

"The electroBlast TM effervescent tablet (Fizz-Tab) energizes your water with electrolytes, natural fruit flavors, and stevia for naturally refreshing rehydration. The unique portability of the compact Fizz-Tab and its ease-of-use truly set it apart from other drink choices-- carry it along with you anywhere and simply dissolve a Fizz-Tab in 8 oz. or more water for use anytime."

I checked Froogle and found a good price here.

I tried it last summer on a charity ride ("Let-Us-Ride"/lettuce ride, Salinas Valley, CA) and it was a big hydration help. It's very convenient, pleasant tasting, and low-carb (which I wanted--there are lots of other ways to get carbs if you want them). Check the first link for testimonials from Iraq in summer.
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