Ironman Training Considerations - Electrolytes
Nutrition, September 02, 2022
Electrolyte Replacement trend - In the last few years the sports nutrition industry have been pushing really hard all their drinks bars and gels as we know it. The Problem is that one of the selling point used by these companies was having high level of sodium due to the “we lose a lot of sodium when training” trend.
Electrolyte Replacement trend
In the last few years the sports nutrition industry have been pushing really hard all their drinks bars and gels as we know it.
The Problem is that one of the selling point used by these companies was having high level of sodium due to the “we lose a lot of sodium when training” trend.
The problem, most don’t see, is that because we have a very smart machine - Human body , some adaptations will occur.
We all have our sodium level “number” that it can go up and down depending on how much salt and water we consume. The more water we drink the more we will flush the sodium out of our body. If you go to a Brazilian steak house (I’m here at the moment and inspired me to write this ) where the meats are heavily salted, our “number” will go up but all we need to do is to drink a lot of water and we will flush it out eventually.
If we start to do that very often, like taking drinks, bars and gels with a lot of sodium in every training session, independently of weather (like most people do), we will be “training” our body to be efficient eliminating the extra sodium so, we can be back to our “normal” levels.
Basically we will be very bad at sodium retention because our body “knows” we will always add more!
If you train in a moderate climate, you might not have any issues because in reality you don’t really need to replace much sodium because you don’t sweat as much but if you are racing in hot climates like Cozumel, Hawaii , Asia, Brazil , etc where you will sweat a lot, the crazy thing can happen :
You will have muscles not working properly (ability to contract) and worse, cramps!!!
Then you get desperate and take salt tablets and now you are also having stomach issues !!!
To avoid all this to happen, I recommend you to ONLY train with plain water (unless you are fasting so ask me that later ) and on a very warm days, have your electrolytes bottle at the end of the session.
Also one thing I highly recommend for being amazing recovery but also the best way the body absorbs magnesium - Epson Salt baths as often as you can!
For potassium nothing better than getting from food so the trusted and old friend banana will do the trick !
Start doing this now and also we go back old school before the race doing the “salt load” trick. This we used when we had no electrolytes or salt tablets and guess what?? It worked !!!