Ask Scott: How Can I Replenish Electrolytes Appropriately?

Photo: Scott Draper

Q.

Hey Scott,

My question is, what has worked for you or others to make sure the electrolyte loss during a long race gets replenished appropriately so that a strong finish is certain?

Thanks for any advice, and thanks for the inspiration.

Doug

A.

Photo: Scott Draper

Hi Doug,

Electrolyte loss and replenishment for long training runs and races is highly individualized and affected by many factors such as runner body weight, sweat rate, acclimatization to temperature and humidity, age, pharmaceutical drugs, altitude to name a few, but certain steps can be taken to balance electrolyte loss.

I like to eat a few more salty foods the few days leading up to an event while hydrating properly. During the event I use electrolyte capsules (popular products are Succeed Caps, Endurolytes-E-Caps and Salt Stick) every 60 minutes or less to ensure a steady flow of electrolytes no matter what foods or fluids I am consuming. This is especially important in races where I have access only to water aid stations or I am craving plain water. In most races I will use a higher sodium electrolyte like Clif Shot Electrolyte Drink interspersed with water, while still using the electrolyte capsules every hour. In addition, I will sometimes incorporate higher sodium Clif Bloks. Experiment with the higher sodium gels and drinks to find those that work for you. Adjust your electrolyte intake based on the previously mentioned factors and make sure you practice in training runs totailor the amount of electrolytes for your individual racing needs.

Scott

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