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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 04-14-14, 07:35 PM   #1
CanadianBiker32
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consume high quantity of sodium to big event

would it be a good thing to consume a large amount of salty foods just prior to a large and long endurance cycling event? to retain water?

An event that involves 6 to 8 hours of riding?

would the days prior be a good thing to increase the levels of salt?
thanks
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Old 04-14-14, 08:44 PM   #2
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Took me 13:31:28 to complete my Ironman and I did not consume any extra salty foods before the event.
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Old 04-14-14, 11:24 PM   #3
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Absolutely not! In fact the opposite. Restrict sodium during your prep. You only need a total of about 3/4 teaspoon of table salt/day. Try to hold it down to that for the weeks before a hard event. The more sodium you use, the more you'll need, not the other way 'round.
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Old 04-15-14, 05:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
would it be a good thing to consume a large amount of salty foods just prior to a large and long endurance cycling event? to retain water?

An event that involves 6 to 8 hours of riding?

would the days prior be a good thing to increase the levels of salt?
thanks
No.

For 6-8 hours of riding you shouldn't have to do anything special ... 6-8 hours isn't that "large and long".
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Old 04-15-14, 06:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
No.

For 6-8 hours of riding you shouldn't have to do anything special ... 6-8 hours isn't that "large and long".
Unless, of course you rarely ride that much. Big workouts are relative to your normal workout. If someone rides 5-10 miles once or twice a week, a 6 hr century is a HUGE ride. If they ride 20-40 miles 3-4 days a week and knock out a metric on the weekends, then a 6-8 hr ride isn't that big a deal.
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Old 04-15-14, 08:01 AM   #6
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Unless, of course you rarely ride that much. Big workouts are relative to your normal workout. If someone rides 5-10 miles once or twice a week, a 6 hr century is a HUGE ride. If they ride 20-40 miles 3-4 days a week and knock out a metric on the weekends, then a 6-8 hr ride isn't that big a deal.
He tells us he does long rides ... or maybe he's just hoping to do long rides ... hard to tell what's going on with him. He never responds to threads he starts. But he's looking for the "magic beans".
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Old 04-15-14, 10:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
would it be a good thing to consume a large amount of salty foods just prior to a large and long endurance cycling event? to retain water?

An event that involves 6 to 8 hours of riding?

would the days prior be a good thing to increase the levels of salt?
thanks
No, not before -- but during...

Your body is marvelous at maintaining it's "homeostasis" -- meaning that it keeps electrolytes such as sodium in a "balanced" tight range. It will try to keep sodium in the 135 - 145 range -- and your kidney's will filter out any excess (which it doesn't do quickly enough to prevent a blood pressure spike after say a can of Campbell's soup and ham & cheese sandwich).

But, as you probably know, your sweat contains a LOT of sodium. So, on a long, hard, hot ride where you are sweating (even if you aren't dripping with it) your body is losing sodium and can become depleted. So, replenishing during the ride may be required because the muscles (including the heart) require the correct level of sodium to function properly.

That was one of the primary purposes to the original "sports drinks" -- to replenish the sodium, potassium and other electrolytes lost through sweat. They weren't designed to improve performance but rather to prevent a deterioration of performance due to an electrolyte imbalance. Unfortunately, many of those have been overwhelmed with the highly marketed "energy drinks" -- which are not the same.

On short rides you may not need anything.
On longer rides you may need to replenish fluids.
On even longer rides that produce a lot of sweat you may also need to replenish electrolytes...
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Old 04-15-14, 12:53 PM   #8
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"Less is best." Replenish, don't replace.
Less is Best - The right way to fuel | Hammer Nutrition
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Old 04-15-14, 02:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
...For 6-8 hours of riding you shouldn't have to do anything special ... 6-8 hours isn't that "large and long".
Paris Roubaix finished in 6:09:01 this past Sun. A stroll in the park?
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Old 04-15-14, 04:30 PM   #10
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Paris Roubaix finished in 6:09:01 this past Sun. A stroll in the park?
I don't think he's talking about the Paris Roubaix.
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Old 04-15-14, 05:45 PM   #11
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I think that as long as the person is getting enough salt in their daily diet, there is no need to increase salt intake just because of some event...BTW for years and years medical science has been preaching that our daily salt intake should be no more then 2300 mg which is about 1 teaspoon per day. Now they saying they've been wrong and it's ok to increase your salt intake to more then the recommended amount.

CDC: Salt Intake Guidelines Were Wrong; For Most People, No Great Benefit In Dramatically Reducing Dietary Salt
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Old 04-16-14, 07:28 AM   #12
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I think that as long as the person is getting enough salt in their daily diet, there is no need to increase salt intake just because of some event...BTW for years and years medical science has been preaching that our daily salt intake should be no more then 2300 mg which is about 1 teaspoon per day. Now they saying they've been wrong and it's ok to increase your salt intake to more then the recommended amount.

CDC: Salt Intake Guidelines Were Wrong; For Most People, No Great Benefit In Dramatically Reducing Dietary Salt
No they didn't.

The first paragraph of that linki is all you need to read.

"A study commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — performed by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies — has found that there is no benefit of reducing salt intake to below 2,300 mg per day"

Translation: A single study did not find that reducing an already reduced salt intake helps...

The fact is: high salt diets have been quite positively proven to increase fluid volumes and blood pressure -- and high blood pressure kills and maims...

In addition, some believe that salt increases and promotes inflammation -- but the science behind that is not as solid.
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Old 04-16-14, 09:49 AM   #13
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I don't think he's talking about the Paris Roubaix.
Probably not, but he didn't say the type of event or how strenuous it would be for him or what the temperature would be. A 6 hr event can be extremely strenuous and demanding. Most would consider a marathon to be quite demanding and they can be run in under 3 hrs and it's not that uncommon for a significant fraction of participants to wind up either with hyponatremia or dehydrated. However, AFAIK, prior salt loading is not a recognized or recommended no matter how long or strenuous an activity.
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Old 04-16-14, 06:31 PM   #14
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"Less is best." Replenish, don't replace.
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That's interesting -- and, to me it sounds perfectly reasonable...
... Thanks
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