With all the nutritional products on the market, we as triathletes are often left confused with what we really need. Between balancing carbohydrate consumption, calorie counting and protein intake, it’s easy to see why sodium can be an tricky monster. Not enough and you’re cramping, too much and you can easily end up in the medical tent.
Let’s look at when you really need additional salt and why SaltStick is clearly genious. Any time you’re racing or training longer than an hour you’re sending your body into some kind of (larger or smaller, depending) salt depletion. Longer than three hours, you’re at a definite depletion. So what’s in a SaltStick Capsule? Isn’t it just table salt? NO. Per Salt Stick’s webpage, it’s the combination of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride which all aide in assisting with crucial roles in muscle contraction, relaxation, and performance. Without them, our muscle function will be inhibited to function properly. So how much salt are you actually losing? A whopping 400-1,000 mg per hour (heat, humidity and body size considering). Salt Stick notes to take 1 capsule every 30-60 minutes. This is very dependent upon how much you sweat. If you find a white residue that seems to be dried on a lot on your training clothing you’re most likely a heavier sweater. Training in harsher weather conditions will most times often warrant needing a higher salt and sodium intake particularly due to heat stress.
I myself was having a very difficult time with fatigue and nausea, and found out I was a heavy sweater and was losing large amounts of salt during my long rides. Once you get up to the half ironman and full distance, SaltSticks are going to become a staple in your nutrition. Please be sure to follow all of their advice with consumption.