I’m new to TR and I’m catching up on all the podcasts. Many times @chad mentions how he’s recently nailed hydration and that plain water isn’t enough, that he adds sodium or glucose to help the water stick. My question is, are we talking a pinch of table salt and a pinch of sugar or something more elaborate?
Hey @gregbuk. It can actually be just that simple. Typically, we’re talking about something more elaborate like Skratch or Osmo or something similar, but Stacy Sims describes here homemade hydration fluid as nothing more than “a pinch of salt and a dash of maple syrup” added to her water bottle which she further clarifies as being 1/16th tsp salt and 1 tsp maple syrup per 20oz water. Just a little of both make water more closely resemble our body water (since no pure water exists inside our bodies) and vastly enhances absorption.
It’s pretty well known that ‘off the shelf’ sports drinks don’t contain enough sodium for the needs of most endurance athletes.
There are quite a few companies that have started offering sweat testing now so that you can identify and dial in your exact requirements. One company over here in the UK is Precision Hydration - a really useful website with loads of good information.
You can make your own mix, but it will always be hit and miss compared to knowing the data…
NUUN, the easiest way to roll…not only do they have the electrolytes you need, 100 calories per tablet and they taste good too. They also have NUUN performance for workouts over 90 minutes along with options with caffeine as well as NUUN immunity .
I can tell you first hand the water alone can end up with really bad consequences, drinking water alone between perspiration and water flushing your system of other electrolytes can have a catastrophic ending. Once your sodium levels drop to bad levels you can easily slip into a coma and die, regardless of how much water you drink, hyponatremia is a bad way to lose a friend.
Hmmm, how about honey in stead of maple syrup? Here in Zambia you cannot find proper maple syrup, but honey is easy to get. I have to find a way to make my own drinks as supplements for endurance sports is non-existent here.
Honey works as well , brown sugar / or palm sugar is tasty as well but only good in the winter , since you have to desolve that in warm water.
My mix depends on the length of the workout and the intensity but I always add at least a little pinch of salt
Add to a liter of water:
heaping 1/3 tsp of salt
3 tbsp of dextrose/glucose
(This is a formula that the CEO of Skratch gave to me except he recommended sodium citrate instead of salt)
There is a limit to how much plain water can be absorbed through the gut. However, as salt and dextrose are absorbed by the gut they also pull quite a bit of H2O along. So adding some low concentration of salt and water to your water will actually enhance the aggregate amount of water your gut can absorb.
And, of course, there is the added benefit of getting some extra calories and electrolytes.
FWIW, NUUN is 10 calories per tablet, not 100 - just want to clarify since it does not serve as a liquid fuel/carb replenishment like many other “sports drinks”. That said, 360mg sodium seems to be pretty well in line with most recommendations for electrolyte intake/hour.