Sodium - talk to me

Hi guys,
I’ve a 330km spin in a few days. How do I get the salt in? I currently just take tailwind in my bottles which has 100mg of sodium and I really just focus on the carbs but ive only ever done 160km spins to date so it hasnt been an issue.

Temperatures are cool (16 c) and I wont be going far over zone 2. Its not a race. Im a big lad so will likely be at threshold for most climbs to stay with a fast-ish group. Circe 2300m climbing so not too hilly.

There will be stops every 50 to 75km so should i just take peanut butter sambos, crisps (chips), or may a few bacon rolls at the stops? Or throw a sachet of salt into a bottle? Too late now to buy much. Last

Newbie question but thanks anyway.

Try the Saturday app for fueling recommendations. And you may want to consider sodium citrate vs salt.

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@JohnnyMcG in Zone 2 @ 16 C, you won’t need to supplement Na during the ride; you probably won’t be sweating a crazy amount.

[As in, not 1.5 - 4L / hour.]

Make sure your diet is salt balanced [as in, has enough salt] in the week before the event, and you should be GTG!

If for any reason [personal, genetic, etc] you will be sweating a lot, then yes, as long as there is a stop every 50 - 75 km, just some kind of extra salty treat… any, really… should do you. Then just drink water to your thirst, and you can count on the water being water, and don’t have to mess around w the Na balance, are you actually dehydrating yourself more w the solution, etc. The treats will make your thirsty, and the water will quench it, and your bod will figure it all out, naturally! :slight_smile:

Adding salt or Sodium Citrate to bottles adds a whole extra level of complexity. It’s a fantastic tool, if you need it, but if you don’t… leave it in the shed, and just enjoy the ride!! :slight_smile:

EDIT: AKA; you only want to start messing w Na if you have to; if you’re going to be losing an amount that is medically uncool, and your bod just won’t be able to keep up. To me, doesn’t sound like you will… but take that advice with a…

:boom: :boom: :boom:

:microphone: :droplet:

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I’m an extremely heavy sweater even as a little guy. I knew this and many years ago, I used Precision Hydration’s sweat test. I believe Gatorade now has a test. Based on that, I was given parameters to follow with regard to sodium, potassium, and magnesium. I used their special formulas, but due to the expense, I now use other really high sodium mixes. My favorite is LMNT which has 1,000mg of sodium. There are other less expensive options with high levels of sodium (Mortal Hydration and SalTT, but I’d suggest getting a starting point as to what your needs are. I do not drink these year round due to my sweat rate changing during cold weather months. I live in the USA (south) and it is hot and quite humid.

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There’s this company called precision hydration. I think I sweat a lot, and my sweat is probably above average in salt content.

Anyway, you can get a sweat test, or they have a survey to give you approximate recommendations. For a hot century ride, they recommended I take in - and maybe sit down for this one - 1,500mg sodium per hour. Man, I don’t think I even take in 1,500mg sodium in an entire century ride.

You could just consider adding some salt to the drink mix to cover the bases, although try it out beforehand. 1 tsp table salt has 2,320mg sodium, so maybe don’t put a full tsp of salt into each bottle. Of course, you do you.

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Which tailwind do you use and how much per bottle? Endurance Fuel is 300mg per scoop. I use 4 per bottle, which is 1200mg obviously.

As a heavy very salty sweater, Tailwind has been good enough if I’m on a heavy carb load. If you are lighter on the carbs then something like the LMNT may be the trick.

But as mentioned, pre loading is critical during the week leading up

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I’ve always wanted to do an in-person sweat test but never got around with it, I did get one of these while they were on pre-order discount and it’s been very helpful to me so far:

I don’t know how accurate it is compared to a lab test, but it seems accurate in my use. There’s a Garmin connectIQ app that gives me live hydration status on screen and there’s an app to do post-ride analysis that track very close to how much I drank and how I feel during the ride.

To the OP’s question, after tracking my sodium loss levels through sweat tests I realized that Tailwind does not have nearly enough sodium for my sweat concentration and rate. I add the correct amount of Precision hydration tabs to my Tailwind now to get the right concentration, so far so good.

I have no affiliation with hDrop but I’ve been really surprised so far how useful of a tool it has been.

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I just carry a small bottle of himalayan salt and sprinkle some in every time I refill my bottles :person_shrugging:

Pretty sure electrolytes got debunked properly quite recently, especially for anything amatuer.

Skratch stuff seems to have a lot of sodium in it. At least tastes a little saltier. :person_shrugging:

I agree. One thing that is enlightening, is that if I have drinks with more sodium like LMNT, the sodium concentration in my sweat spikes. So in some ways I might not be a salty sweater, but my body does a good job of getting rid of surplus via sweat.

You are correct in that observation. when I use Never2nd I have to boost the sodium by adding sodium citrate or a shot of LMNT every so often, not so much with Skratch.

Here’s what I’ve got logged on my spreadsheet.

Hydration mix Calories Carbs g Sodium mg
Skratch hydration mix (1 scoop) 80 21 390
Tailwind (1 scoop) 100 25 310
Never2nd C30 (scoop/packet) 120 30 200
Never2nd C90 (packet) 360 90 200
Maurten 160 160 39 160
LMNT Mango Chili 5 1 1000
Skratch Everyday (scoop) 10 1 400
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G650 yeah your right and that actual explains why I haven’t been bonking too bad when im still drinking tailwind.

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Hey guys,

Thanks for the input above.
I ended up going to LBS and getting some electrolyte tabs and having 1 prior to event and 1 during the event.

Worked really well along with some hi5 isotonic gels, cliff bars and loads of tailwind endurance. I’m not sure how much I took but I defo stayed much better hydrated than on a usual long long ride.

I managed 340km IF 75 in 15hrs or so, with a headwind all day. Happy enough with that. Mid pack mediocrity but thats ok with me for an event over twice my longest ride.

Lessons going forward. N+1

I like pre loading before the event, I barely needed to pee in those hrs leading up to start (unusual for me) and it was easy to drink. Tailwind endurance is good for me but I can only manage 1 per 2hrs.
Things weren’t hot but I’ll take these little lessons into the summer. Its 21c here in ireland today so we’re getting excited now. :blush: :smiley:


Good stuff!!!

One more hit: Unsure what all these tabs, powders, gels, etc. cost.

But 1,000 mg = 1 g, of course, and you can get an American Weigh Scales 1 kg by 0.01 g scale for like $30… my last one lasted me like 8 years, and only died bc I dropped it. If you want to do your own sodium mixes in bottles, w either salt or sodium citrate…

[Don’t forget to get the 500 g calibration wgt.]

I’m going to have to disagree with Chris1982 that you’ll be GTG without supplementing. This is a 12-15 hour event, I’m assuming. No matter what you’re doing, you will be at a deficit of everything, calories, sodium, magnesium, everything you need to have fuel and stay hydrated. Your daily recommended dose is about 2000mg and your event will literally last you an entire waking period of a day. And I don’t care how hot it is, you will still excrete sodium, somewhere between 500mg and 1300mg an hour. Many bonks are due to lack of sodium rather than calories. I’d suggest bring a several LMNT packets and filling those bottles to match as you go.

@russell.r.sage just to be clear; I wasn’t saying flat out don’t supplement / take in any Na. Just that if your Z2, temps are cold, and sweat rate is low / near zero, and stopping about every 50 km for a snack, be it chips, etc, you’ll be getting a good 300 - 1300 mg in each of those, so should cover it. :slight_smile:

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One Tailwind serving (100 calories, 25g carbs) has 310mg of sodium.