Hydration: Is it really SALT easy?

Unveiling the truth about hydration and electrolytes, this guide focuses on the specific needs of athletes to enhance performance and debunk common misconceptions.

Seems like a simple advertising ploy doesn’t it… read on and see it’s the truth.

Today I want to speak to you as athletes. When I say athletes I am assuming that I am discussing hydration with fit, healthy people who consume a nutritionally balanced diet. I am assuming that your diet is predominantly comprised of fruit, vegetables, nuts, grainy breads and cereals, low fat dairy products and lean meats and poultry. I am assuming you do not fall into the 60% of Australian men and women who are classified as overweight or obese. Finally, I am assuming that you fall into the niche market of athletes and not the mass market of… other.

Okay, now that I have set the scene, let’s talk about hydration and how we can maximize YOUR performance. I am making the distinction between you- the athlete, who has specific requirements, and your neighbour… the other. Hydration is a topic that is discussed to the nth degree, and rightfully so. It is vitally important. Along with training and nutrition, the hydration status of an athlete can markedly influence your performance. Whilst hydration is super important it is also super simple: replace what you lose.

So what do you lose? We all know that there are two main components of sweat that are essential to replace. The first is water. The amount of water that each of us should drink varies considerably. You can measure your individual fluid requirements by weighing yourself both before and after a training session. A loss in weight is a direct reflection of fluid loss eg. 1kg reduction body weight is equivalent to 1L fluid loss. Sweat losses between athletes will vary significantly from approximately 400ml up to 2.5 litres per hour. The gut can only tolerate approximately 1L of fluid per hour or 130-225ml every 10-15 minutes.

Drink early and often to avoid gut irritation.

Now for the second component- ELECTROLYTES! PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!!

The aim of this section is to help YOU reach YOUR goals. I want to clear up all the misconceptions about what you need and why you need it. I am not trying to sell a product to the mass market, but rather supply you with the electrolytes you need.

Here are the facts. In one litre of sweat, an athlete will lose anywhere between 800mg to 1200mg but has been known to exceed 1800mg. In this same litre of sweat, an athlete will lose between 0 and 10mg of magnesium.

The first thing I notice is the whopping amount of sodium lost. Makes sense doesn’t it? When you’re admitted to hospital with dehydration the first thing the doctors will hook you up to is a saline drip- sodium and water.

So why is sodium so important? Sodium is the only electrolyte that is extracellular (meaning in the blood stream). Its role during activity is to assist in delivering carbohydrate, oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles. With insufficient amounts of sodium in the blood stream, your working muscles won’t receive the nutrients they require to function optimally. This will be the catalyst for cramping and fatigue.

That’s why we have made the Shotz electrolyte tablets predominantly Sodium (you can add the water).

It’s right now that you may be surprised to see the tiny amount of magnesium lost in sweat. You may ask yourself why did I just buy a magnesium supplement to help with cramping whilst exercising. It’s straightforward; these products are targeted at “others”. They are targeted at people who have excessively high sodium diets and limited magnesium. But you are not the “others”. Your diet is most probably high in foods containing magnesium. All it takes is a cup of oats, a banana, milk and a handful of almonds and you have reached your daily requirements. Put simply, if you go into an event with sufficient levels of magnesium, you are going to finish the event with sufficient levels of magnesium. If you’re still concerned, we have chucked in a little magnesium as well, enough to match your losses.

Now for the disclaimer: If you suffer from cramping, light headedness, fatigue and confusion or if you just want to be adequately hydrated, drop a Shotz electrolyte tablet in a bottle of water today!