Saltiest sweat ever

Yesterday I got out for a 3-hour ride in ~80 degree (fahrenheit) weather in Seattle. I noticed pretty early on that my kit was showing huge salt stains, to a level way beyond what I normally see.

My food/drink intake for the ride:

  • Homemade carb mix in two bottles (64g of carbs via maltodextrin/fructose, no sodium)
  • One nuun sport tablet per bottle (600mg sodium)
  • Two SIS gels (one electrolyte, one not, 44g total carbs, 130mg sodium)
  • Partway through was craving plain water, and stopped at a park and chugged an entire bottle from a drinking fountain (I almost never have to do this)
  • SIS ReGo recovery drink post-ride (23g carbs, 13g protein)

My questions are:

  • What are the implications of losing this much salt?
  • Is it something I should be addressing in my nutrition (i.e. adding additional sodium to my drinks or doubling up my nuun tablets, perhaps?)
  • Do I need to worry about this at all or is it just a normal and natural indication that I’m a saltier than normal sweater?

Also, not sure if this is relevant, but the ride was harder than normal because I had done my first ever kettlebell workout the day before, and my legs were sore! Ended up going way slower than usual on the last half, and struggled to generate any power over ~50% FTP.

Try out the Precision Hydration sweat test…

I’d say that much salt has more to do with what you did/ate the day before, rather than anything you ate on the ride (especially since none of it was in any way high in sodium). It could be you were just retaining a lot of extra water due to the weight session, and extra water means extra sodium on board.

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Looks like an average Wednesday Z2 ride for me!

I’m a salt monster

Definitely within normal limits. Just make sure you are replacing fluids and electrolytes consistently on the bike, which it sounds like you did on that ride. Replacing electrolytes after your ride can also be important, especially if you are feeling lightheaded or have a headache.

Kettlebell will definitely get you legs, especially hamstrings and adductors. Really underrated aspect of strength training.

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Is caked on your forehead and is it peeling of in lumps? :smiley: Quite common for me.

No one truly knows. They are guessing that it might need replacing, but have no studies on healthy people to support this yet. It may be that your body is dumping extra salt that you don’t need.

If you did kettlebell swings (and I hope they got you to do them properly), even if not sore, you might feel like your power output is governed by some sort of electric motor. I feel that when I have ignored the bells for too long. I get on the bike and I feel fine, but the watts just aren’t what I expect. You’ll rebound fast.

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Listen to your body’s cravings. Your brain is very good at regulating what it needs through cravings, if you listen to it properly.
You were craving plain water, so sounds like you had too much salt, not too little.