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Thread: Salt

  1. #1
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    Salt

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    Am I the only one who just can't keep enough sodium in my body? I just hate taking electrolyte supplements all the time, but as liberal as I am with the salt shaker at meals, what processed foods I eat tend to be pretty low in sodium (protein powder and nut/seed milks, primarily), and food just tastes too salty to me way before I'm getting enough. I've tried drinking less water and just wound up dehydrated ... it's just in my nature to sweat a lot. I've read that sweat contains anywhere from 1 to 2.5 grams sodium per liter ... and when you're sweating two liters an hour that adds up. Primarily sodium, but calcium and magnesium too - less so now that I'm eating more vegetables, though.

    I'm probably just whining, but if anyone has any suggestions for more palatable less processed ways to get more electrolytes, help!
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 02-24-2013 at 05:31 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  2. #2
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    Have you considered trying one of the capsule solutions, such as Salt Stick? I use these in the heat of the summer and they work well for me. They've a great profile, according to a couple of sports nutritionists I know. I know this doesn't fall into the "less processed" category...

  3. #3
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    What makes you think you're not getting enough sodium? Is this on a day-to-day basis or just when you're exercising for long periods?

    When I do long rides on hot summer days I bring Power Gel. It has lots of sodium. I think Gu Roctane also has a decent amount of sodium.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    What makes you think you're not getting enough sodium? Is this on a day-to-day basis or just when you're exercising for long periods?

    When I do long rides on hot summer days I bring Power Gel. It has lots of sodium. I think Gu Roctane also has a decent amount of sodium.
    I was wondering this too. How do you know?

    I get very little added sodium in my food, but I've never noticed any ill effects. Of course, it's cold and rainy and I'm not doing any long rides right now, so it probably doesn't matter for me all that much. I suppose if I were doing long bouts of exercise, I'd supplement with some type of electrolyte during the activity as necessary.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  5. #5
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    I spent a lot of years being borderline hyponatremic most of the time, but never really figured it out until I wound up in the emergency room on an IV when I couldn't keep even a sip of water down.

    I've finally learned that whenever I'm nauseous for more than a couple of days without symptoms of something infectious, my first guess is mild hyponatremia. I'm almost always right ... couple of Zenergize tablets in a liter of water, or some homemade electrolyte replacement mixed strong, and I go from not being able to swallow even a half a cup of plain water, to feeling 100% within an hour. This used to happen a couple-three times every year. Now, I'm more proactive about getting more sodium, and that hasn't happened in more than a year.

    The last time I actually had blood chemistry drawn was about a month after my faceplant ... cold weather, two or three months after my last distance race, and as beat up as I was from that wreck, I was just basically running about three or four miles three or four days a week - hadn't yet been able to return to yoga or cycling at all, and the abdominal wall bruising made it too painful to run any farther than that ... even then, my serum sodium was low enough to get flagged on the report, but not so low that it was of concern, and I wasn't symptomatic at all at that time.


    As far as salt stick ... I may just try those leading up to my next race. The dispenser looks handy. I'd used Endurolytes in the past, but they don't have all that much sodium, so I'd typically add a pinch of salt to my gel flask. I DID teach myself to swallow capsules while running, but it's not the easiest thing to do without risking choking or needing more hands than I have ... basically I get the pills out and hold them under my tongue as I approach the aid station, then once water is in my mouth I can swirl them around and swallow them.


    ETA - Gu Roctane has 125 mg sodium per packet ... similar to HEED and other sports drinks. You'd have to eat eight of them an hour to get a gram of sodium.

    I'm pretty much okay with supplementing DURING my long runs and rides, just because IME the portability and ease on my stomach override using "real" food. I use Skratch Labs Everyday on my long runs in my dual bladder hydration vest - or tuck a Zenergize tablet or two in my jersey pocket for cycling. It's having to use electrolyte supplements during the rest of the day that kind of ticks me off. But I guess if I used more "during" I wouldn't need so much "after" - which is kind of the reverse of what I'm discovering about protein, that now that I'm eating meat regularly I don't need so much protein during a long run or ride.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 02-25-2013 at 02:37 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
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    I really love V8 on long hot rides. One little 6 oz can has 290 mg sodium and 320 mg potassium. Interestingly it helps when I'm extremely hungry too.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    ETA - Gu Roctane has 125 mg sodium per packet ... similar to HEED and other sports drinks. You'd have to eat eight of them an hour to get a gram of sodium.
    I used the sodium recommendations in Nancy Clark's book and found that using a combination of regular Gu, Gu Roctane and Gatorade to meet her recommended level made me feel much better during and after long rides on hot days.

    But then I also eat bread on a regular basis, which makes me different from just about everyone else on this forum.

    Soups and dried meats (like beef jerky) are high in sodium. Maybe you could make some yourself with more salt than is in the food you usually eat.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    But then I also eat bread on a regular basis, which makes me different from just about everyone else on this forum.
    This made me laugh. You're not alone NY Biker; I eat bread, too!
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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  9. #9
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    I eat beef jerky and salted nuts on rides.

  10. #10
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    Oak, you could eat salted roasted potatoes during your rides--if that might appeal to you.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  11. #11
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    My favorite thing to drink while riding is orange juice with protein and a little added salt, thinned with water (protein in the form of Bolthouse Farms drinks).

    Very much less processed than an average sports drink. And tastes good.

    You could just add a dash of salt to plain water.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    This made me laugh. You're not alone NY Biker; I eat bread, too!
    #1!!!

    I even make my own. AND, I add gluten.

    Yum.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I even make my own. AND, I add gluten.

    Yum.
    I was thinking about this as I was making bread last weekend (yum, indeed!). I'm fairly happy with my sandwich bread recipe if I keep the flours fairly basic (whole wheat/all purpose/bread, in a roughly 1:1:2 ratio by weight), but I like other things (bran/germ/oat flower/flax meal/etc) in my sandwich bread and I have trouble getting the gluten to develop if I add too many of the weird/non-wheat components. I've always baked bread with my grandma/mom/dad, but tended to stick to all wheat flour recipes and I've never actually seen a recipe that calls for added gluten-- I wasn't even sure there was such a thing until I saw your post.

    So, two questions, if I may:
    1. Why do you add gluten/what kinds of recipes are you adding it to?
    2. Does my situation sound like one that would benefit from added gluten? (if you know?) I know my dough is lacking gluten so it makes sense, but not sure if there are other things to consider....

    This is all why I love baking, it's science (my generally enjoyable job) plus cooking (enjoyable). And the results are way tastier than anything in the lab :)

    (oh, and sorry for the thread drift.... I put salt in my bread though :)

  14. #14
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    If you start with good high-gluten bread flour (hard red winter wheat, preferably Canadian) you shouldn't need to add gluten unless you're combining with a lot of gluten-free grains.

    And, salt is added to bread dough to control the pace of yeast reproduction. So it's true you'll use more in hot weather ... but enough salt to replace electrolytes, would kill all the yeast on contact.

    Wish I could tolerate either wheat or yeast enough to make baking worthwhile ... not that my neck, shoulders or back could deal with kneading right at the moment anyway.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlotta View Post
    I was thinking about this as I was making bread last weekend (yum, indeed!). I'm fairly happy with my sandwich bread recipe if I keep the flours fairly basic (whole wheat/all purpose/bread, in a roughly 1:1:2 ratio by weight), but I like other things (bran/germ/oat flower/flax meal/etc) in my sandwich bread and I have trouble getting the gluten to develop if I add too many of the weird/non-wheat components. I've always baked bread with my grandma/mom/dad, but tended to stick to all wheat flour recipes and I've never actually seen a recipe that calls for added gluten-- I wasn't even sure there was such a thing until I saw your post.

    So, two questions, if I may:
    1. Why do you add gluten/what kinds of recipes are you adding it to?
    2. Does my situation sound like one that would benefit from added gluten? (if you know?) I know my dough is lacking gluten so it makes sense, but not sure if there are other things to consider....

    This is all why I love baking, it's science (my generally enjoyable job) plus cooking (enjoyable). And the results are way tastier than anything in the lab

    (oh, and sorry for the thread drift.... I put salt in my bread though
    Whole grain flour benefits from added gluten. It's more elastic after kneaded. And tastes better.

    I use a homemade pita bread recipe for nearly any mixture or shape I make. I'm on my way out the door, but I'll post later. (Someone remind me if I forget, little forgetful, lately).
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

 

 

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