Run: 2M TT
Row: 2k TT
Post results to BTWB.
Electrolytes (from Power, Speed, Endurance by Brian Mackenzie)
Electrolytes–which include sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium–are minerals that are not only responsible for water retention, but also allow nerve transmission, muscle contraction, muscle relaxation, glycogen formation, ATP production, bone health and more.
As a general rule, each pound lost from sweat also results with the following loss in electrolytes:
- 220mg sodium
- 63mg potassium
- 8mg magnesium
- 16mg calcium
Electrolyte balance is critical for performance and proper body functions. These minerals help retain water throughout your body, including your muscles.
Electrolyte management can be very personal and can vary dramatically from athlete to athlete. However, as a general guideline, drinking just water during the first hour of training or a race is fine. After that, you need to start supplementing with electrolytes. This will prevent hypernatremia, nausea, and cramping.
Hypernatremia is caused when sodium in the blood reaches extremely high levels. While overconsumption of sodium can be the main factor in this condition, it is usually associated with dehydration. As water leaves the body, sodium levels increase, causing dehydration. Hypernatremia can also be a result of eating something extremely high in salt or ingesting massive quantities of electrolytes, which is why you get thirsty after eating salty food–your body is instinctively seeking balance.
Hyponatremia is caused by sodium loss in the blood from underconsumption of electrolytes, usually as a result of drinking too much water. Put simply, if you haven’t maintained a healthy electrolyte balance, your body has a tough time absorbing water. This is characterized by what is commonly referred to as “slosh gut,” which is when your stomach is full of water but your body can’t absorb the fluid as fast as you’re taking it in. This sodium-free blood travels to the brain, saturates brain cells, causing the brain to swell. In extreme cases, this can be fatal. Although this condition is rare and limited to novice endurance athletes, you still have to be careful. To prevent this from happening, be sure to add salts to your real food diet and supplement with electrolytes/salts for any effort longer than an hour.