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Electrolyte Hydration Packets

Old 11-07-22, 11:47 PM
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Senathon
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Electrolyte Hydration Packets

What types of packets do you dump in your water bottles to keep your electrolyte levels up? or do your make your own mixtures?
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Old 11-08-22, 10:16 AM
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Unless you are riding long and very hard, I'd question if you even need any supplementation of electrolytes. However they can enhance ever so slightly your performance if you are doing a shorter stuff. But again, not really needed as you'll get electrolytes from many things eaten or drank.

I use to just put a pinch of NaCl in my bottles. Salt. Plain old table salt. It's generally considered the main one you need.

I do put Hammer Nutrition's Enduralytes Extreme Powder in my bottles. Just a half scoop or tad more if I'm using their Heed, as it already has some electrolytes. And 3/4 to a full scoop if using my own maltodextrin mix. Their product is a little pricey. Might could just get by using some Morton's Lite Salt as it has several electrolytes in it's composition.

Last edited by Iride01; 11-08-22 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 11-09-22, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Unless you are riding long and very hard, I'd question if you even need any supplementation of electrolytes. However they can enhance ever so slightly your performance if you are doing a shorter stuff. But again, not really needed as you'll get electrolytes from many things eaten or drank.

I use to just put a pinch of NaCl in my bottles. Salt. Plain old table salt. It's generally considered the main one you need.

I do put Hammer Nutrition's Enduralytes Extreme Powder in my bottles. Just a half scoop or tad more if I'm using their Heed, as it already has some electrolytes. And 3/4 to a full scoop if using my own maltodextrin mix. Their product is a little pricey. Might could just get by using some Morton's Lite Salt as it has several electrolytes in it's composition.
Yep. Sodium is the only electrolyte requiring repletion during exercise.
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Old 11-10-22, 03:01 PM
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Nuun.
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Old 11-11-22, 01:49 AM
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I carry DripDrop for emergencies. It's formulated to WHO standards for emergency Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS). It's nothing magical, just the optimal blend of salts and sugar to aid osmolarity. Check the DripDrop website for details.

The problem with salt is many folks can't absorb orally ingested water quickly enough to do any good. They tend to bloat and vomit up the water, and whatever was on their stomachs. Saw it often in military training, particularly long marches and uphill runs. And I've seen it on summer bike rides when folks used only salt, especially swallowing salt tablets without some form of sugar. I've given them a bottle with DripDrop and they recovered within 15 minutes.

But at a dollar or so per packet, it's kinda pricey, although in the same price range as NUUN and most major label electrolyte/energy drinks.

So I usually buy cheap stuff like Propel, Kroger no-name stuff, most of which is marketed as "sugar-free" which is *not* a good thing for preventing or relieving dehydration. So I add a bit of plain sugar to the bottle. That's what I drink during a bike ride or long run in hot weather. I'll carry the Mylar packets of DripDrop for emergencies to add to plain water.

Tests of ORS by the WHO and other organizations indicate the type of sugar doesn't really matter. Table sugar is fine. If you prefer fructose, glucose, honey, whatever you like or have on hand, us it.

And it doesn't take much sugar. I'd guesstimate maybe half a teaspoon per bottle. So little you'd hardly notice it's there. But it helps get the water where it's needed quicker.

You could mix your own from scratch. But it'll get clumpy and gooey after awhile in whatever makeshift packet you carry. Same problem with NUUN. I used to carry those plastic tubes of NUUN tablets, but after the tube has been opened the tablets quickly absorb humidity and get gooey and resist dissolved in water when you need 'em. Mylar packets of single serve electrolytes are better for carrying on the bike or in a jersey pocket, or left in the car.

These are all pretty much just updated versions of Roman posca and variations of farmer's punch, most of which had a bit of sugar either through diluted wine, vinegar or added honey, cane sugar, whatever sweetener was available during that era and climate. Through trial and error they figured out it worked quicker to quench thirst and relieve dehydration.

Last edited by canklecat; 11-11-22 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 11-14-22, 10:55 PM
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I never put anything in my water bottles except water. I carry a food bottle with highly concentrated stuff, like 750 calories/bottle, a separate water bottle or hydration bladder, and a squeeze purse with Enduroyle caps. I separate out my food, water, and electrolytes because conditions change and one will need a different combination of those three depending on conditions. I might not use the Endurolytes at all or I might take 2/hour. Depends. I use the Endurolytes to create thirst if necessary. That's what they're for.
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Old 11-20-22, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Unless you are riding long and very hard, I'd question if you even need any supplementation of electrolytes.
I've wondered the same. I'm by no means an expert in the area of sports nutrition but have had to make some changes to what I put in my water bottles this year.

I started adding an electrolyte mix to one water bottle after experiencing awful leg cramps at night after a long ride. The night after my first relatively long outdoor ride this past Spring, nearly every muscle in both legs cramped up at the same time while sleeping and that's not an experience I want to repeat! I'm now 48 years old and have always used just water in my bottles in my 35+ years of cycling but aging certainly changes things.

It's my understanding that plain water, especially purified water in my case, pulls minerals out the body like sweating does. I.e., if your water isn't full of minerals to put into your body, it'll pull them out.

If one doesn't mind the taste, simply adding salt to one's water is certainly the least expensive path to adding minerals back into the water and hence your body. I personally prefer Himalayan pink salt over sea salt (table salt) as it's less likely to contain microplastics. Unfortunately, we've polluted our planet with plastic and sea salt contains plastic, whereas pink salt was created long before we introduced plastic into our environment... or so I've read.

I've started using electrolyte powders from Skratch Labs for the reason that they put an emphasis at using more natural ingredients and don't put things into their products that aren't needed, like food coloring. Their electrolyte powders are very lightly flavored so one's water doesn't taste like you're drinking syrup on a hot day. I can't say as though their powders have helped improve my performance at all, but I've had far fewer instances of leg cramps since I started using their product. The one thing I don't like about their electrolyte powders or any powders for that matter is that they're a mixture of sugar and salt. While the sugar is a quick-burn fuel source for my body while riding, my teeth always feel awful after a ride from dumping all the sugar in. I guess everything has trade-offs.
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