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Anyone make their own electrolyte mix?

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Anyone make their own electrolyte mix?

Old 07-01-13, 02:13 AM
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Anyone make their own electrolyte mix?

electrolyte is just salt (eg. sodium chloride - table salt). And there are formulas out there that lets you make your own electrolyte mix. Does anyone do this? I'm thinking about buying some lemon juice, or citrus juice, adding some salt, and experimenting with this kind of stuff.


Also, this is completely random. When you bike on a busy interstate, are you catching the drafts of the cars zooming by? Because every time I merge onto the interstate shoulder, my speed goes up by 2 mph.

Last edited by spectastic; 07-01-13 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 07-01-13, 02:31 AM
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No electrolytes are not just salt, but salt is one of the many electrolytes.

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/002350.htm

Common electrolytes include:
•Calcium
•Chloride
•Magnesium
•Phosphorous
•Potassium
•Sodium


With that in mind, have a look at the nutritional information for salted almonds:

https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...roducts/3170/2

Minerals - Amounts Per 100 grams - %Daily Value

Calcium - 266mg - 27%
Magnesium - 286mg - 72%
Phosphorus - 489mg - 49%
Potassium - 746mg - 21%
Sodium - 339mg - 14%



But as for electrolyte beverages, yes, I have made those too. Go look for maltodextrin for a bit of energy and a product called "Half salt" which has a lower amount of salt and a higher amount of potassium.
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Old 07-01-13, 04:42 AM
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I use "lite" salt because it has sodium and potassium.
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Old 07-01-13, 06:02 AM
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given all the options why even bother? Plenty of good tasty stuff out there.
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Old 07-01-13, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog
given all the options why even bother? Plenty of good tasty stuff out there.
Because the good products out there are priced at up to 10X the component costs. Bulk maltodextrin and various salts can be had for pennies compared with what most of the nutrition companies demand. If you're going through the stuff at any rate worthy of mention mixing your own is a cost affective alternative.
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Old 07-01-13, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic
Also, this is completely random. When you bike on a busy interstate, are you catching the drafts of the cars zooming by? Because every time I merge onto the interstate shoulder, my speed goes up by 2 mph.
Intervals have nothing to do with speed and everything to do with all out effort. So whether you catch a draft or not doesn't matter. What matters is that are going as hard as you can for the duration of the interval.
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Old 07-01-13, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic
Also, this is completely random. When you bike on a busy interstate, are you catching the drafts of the cars zooming by? Because every time I merge onto the interstate shoulder, my speed goes up by 2 mph.
My goal is to get away from traffic, not play in it.
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Old 07-01-13, 06:52 AM
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If you're trying to duplicate Gatorade, make sure to buy some artificial dyes to make your home brew pretty colors. Just find an industrial wholesaler and look for the bottle with the skull and crossbones on it. Oh, and you can't forget the Glycerol Ester of Rosin and the Gum Arabic. Mmmmmmmmmm!
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Old 07-01-13, 07:15 AM
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I use equal parts of the following, all the basic food groups, and I don't have to worry about bugs stinging me while I ride...



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Old 07-01-13, 07:26 AM
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I do exactly what you're talking about - mix a bit of salt into homemade lemonade for recovery after work and/or intense rides. It's not a complete electrolyte supplement, but it does help a bunch and it's dirty cheap. Coconut water is also really good.
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Old 07-01-13, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by FatherAlabaster
Coconut water is also really good.
And what electrolytes are you getting in coconut water?
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Old 07-01-13, 07:53 AM
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If the mix is not balanced, i.e. too much salt, it might mess up your body's electrolytic balance. How does one know that proper mix?
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Old 07-01-13, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
If the mix is not balanced, i.e. too much salt, it might mess up your body's electrolytic balance. How does one know that proper mix?
Have you ever tried to drink salty water?
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Old 07-01-13, 08:07 AM
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I kinda do, but it's hardly so fancy to call it an "electrolyte mix." Basically, I carry one bottle of water, but in the other bottle I put like a table spoon of honey and a couple grinds of the sea salt grinder. Fill the rest with water and it's actually pretty good. I don't have much by way of science to back it up, but at first glance, it seems reasonable. Helluva lot cheaper than brand-name mixes too. I'd also heard a lot about something called "pink salt" from my roommate - https://www.livestrong.com/article/26...yan-pink-salt/ - but I can't attest to it and honestly don't know a whole lot about it. Still, I'd give it a shot if I had the chance.

Garfield, usual blood salinity is 0.8% to 0.9% by mass. Ideally, your mixes should be around this or less so as not to dehydrate you, but most athletes usually run low on electrolytes before water, so I'd do about a 0.1% solution and carry straight water separately to adjust on the go. my two cents.

As for the highway thing: From my knowledge of fluid dynamics, which is actually pretty good, I don't think the passing cars would affect you that much. More likely is that highways are built to be especially straight and flat, which, as you know, is a nice boost on the speed.

EDIT: see adjusted concentrations below. Thanks hhnngg1 for catching as well. Adjusted in this post just so as not to confuse.

Last edited by PiLigand; 07-01-13 at 08:29 AM. Reason: Incorrect info
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Old 07-01-13, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by PiLigand
I kinda do, but it's hardly so fancy to call it an "electrolyte mix." Basically, I carry one bottle of water, but in the other bottle I put like a table spoon of honey and a couple grinds of the sea salt grinder. Fill the rest with water and it's actually pretty good. I don't have much by way of science to back it up, but at first glance, it seems reasonable. Helluva lot cheaper than brand-name mixes too. I'd also heard a lot about something called "pink salt" from my roommate - https://www.livestrong.com/article/26...yan-pink-salt/ - but I can't attest to it and honestly don't know a whole lot about it. Still, I'd give it a shot if I had the chance.

Garfield, usual blood salinity is 0.8% to 0.9% by mass. Ideally, your mixes should be around this or less so as not to dehydrate you, but most athletes usually run low on electrolytes before water, so I'd do about a 1% solution and carry straight water separately to adjust on the go. my two cents.

As for the highway thing: From my knowledge of fluid dynamics, which is actually pretty good, I don't think the passing cars would affect you that much. More likely is that highways are built to be especially straight and flat, which, as you know, is a nice boost on the speed.
Wrong on all accounts.

- Cyclists almost always dehydrate WAYYY before losing too much sodium. Sweat is HYPOtonic, meaning very low in salt.
- Losing too much sodium is almost never a problem in anything less than 5 hours of effort, if you're in shape way longer than that. Has been studied to death by Tim Noakes PhD in South Africa (university professor), look him up. Strong athletes take more because they lose more fluid at higher intensity, but even if you ask them, they're doing it mostly on 'just in case' rather than knowing the exact salt quantity and duration of effort that they will otherwise crash with.
- Because you lose so much more water than sodium, best replacement is either all-water or water spiked with very little salt, wayyyy lest than plasma sodium. If you drink saline solution (like the ones in IV bags in hospitals), you'll find it shockingly salty - that's your body telling you "too much salt!"

And in response to Garfield cat-
- Your kidneys are smart enough to keep your electrolytes rock-solid despite a huge range of dietary intake (or losses). If you have kidney disease, then you have a big problem and actually do have to very closely manage your salt in/outtake. People with failed kidneys (on dialysis) are a good example of this. People with functional kidneys don't go into spasms even if they eat huge amounts of salt (chinese buffet) - kidney shelp you pee it all out after you drink a ton to offset the salt.

Gotta watch out what you read/learn on the interwebs.

Last edited by hhnngg1; 07-01-13 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 07-01-13, 08:27 AM
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I was actually coming back to edit this when I read what you posted. That is awfully salty. My bad, I was off by an order of magnitude. So please note before trying to drink that. What you actually want is about 0.1% by mass solution. Then adjust to taste if necessary. That should keep you on par with what you lose.

Wrong on ALL accounts? Like the other two things I discussed? I don't think so... but if you've got a point, then by all means.
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Old 07-01-13, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
And what electrolytes are you getting in coconut water?
Potassium. And, it's yummy.
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Old 07-01-13, 09:29 AM
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Most of us probably don't need any extra salt or other electrolytes. However, on long, hot rides I just take along one of the Heed fizz tablets. Tastes good too. I picked up a couple on sale for about $3 (13 tablets). Can't imagine it being worth it to make your own.

Originally Posted by PiLigand
I'd also heard a lot about something called "pink salt" from my roommate - https://www.livestrong.com/article/26...yan-pink-salt/ - but I can't attest to it and honestly don't know a whole lot about it. Still, I'd give it a shot if I had the chance.
I've become a bit of a salt snob lately. A while back I discovered the Celtic sea salt, the Himalayan stuff, Hawaiian black salt, etc. I use different ones for different foods and given all the trace minerals in these I'm hopeful that I'm getting a good mix of everything.
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Old 07-01-13, 09:58 AM
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I've been using Emergenc. It's relatively cheap, is almost always on sale, not overly sweet, and seems to contain all the electrolyte players.
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Old 07-01-13, 10:01 AM
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It gets hot and humid here in SE Texas. That's the reason I'm looking into this. I don't want to cramp up. at the same time, I don't want to screw up my salt intake and dehydrate or something
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Old 07-01-13, 10:38 AM
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My recipe is one cup of orange juice, teaspoon of salt and the rest enough water to fill the bottle.
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Old 07-01-13, 11:04 AM
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what about urine?
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Old 07-01-13, 11:16 AM
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I tried making this, once. It should be named "Vomit Induction Solution."

Measure all ingredients precisely. Small variations can make the drink less effective or even harmful. Mix the following:

1 quart (950 mL) water
½ teaspoon (2.5 g) baking soda
½ teaspoon (2.5 g) table salt
¼ teaspoon (1.25 g) salt substitute (potassium-based), such as Lite Salt or Morton Salt Substitute
2 tablespoons (30 g) sweetener

When you bike on a busy interstate, are you catching the drafts of the cars zooming by?
I often bike on a non-busy interstate. When a big truck goes by I get a bit of push for about five seconds, nothing dramatic.
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Old 07-01-13, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
And what electrolytes are you getting in coconut water?
Potassium, sodium, magnesium and more. Perhaps there has been some over-hyping especially with the big name brands which I have never tried.Works great for me.
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Old 07-01-13, 12:33 PM
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People overthink the salt thing. Seriously, unless you're doing really long events (4hr+) or really hot out and you're out for hours, drinking water to thirst is the best bet. For multiday events, you can get your salt in whatever form you want - tabs, drinks, even food.

Look up the studies by Tim Noakes - seems about every year he puts a bunch of S. African military guys who are pretty fit, through some 5-6 hour crazy workout where they sweat like hogs the entire time in a 95-105F environment and he gives them no salt (but ample water), and they ALWAYS do fine. No dropoff in performance, and no deranged electrolytes on blood draws after all that exercise.

I think more likely is people like the idea that marketers put out there that electrolytes are suddenly going to make you ride faster/longer/better, where in 99% of cases, it's not true - it's all about the training.
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