Posted on May 24 2017
Sea water dehydrates but I should hydrate with salt. Wait, what???
Remember the day your mom told you not to drink water from the ocean? Your throat surely got parched. So how come athletes use salt to hydrate?
As we'll see, the body requires specific salts or electrolytes to function correctly. It also needs these delivered with the right amount of water to absorb them properly.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are nutrients in your body such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphate and chloride that allow functions such as regulating your heartbeat and allowing muscles to contract so you can move. (Draxe.com)
Can using electrolytes help me run faster?
Yes! When you're doing any type of physical activity, you lose these essential salts through sweat (which is why sweat tastes salty). The more you sweat, the more you lose, up to the point of getting cramps and other more serious symptoms of the body crashing. Even a 2% drop in hydration results in significant performance loss. The key to proper hydration is replenishing both water AND salts at an optimal level. This gets too scientific, but this is where electrolyte drinks like Nuun and SaltStick tablets come in. They are formulated to deliver just the right amount per serving. This occurs both with runners and athletes in court sports.
An independent study found that athletes raced 26 minutes faster than a control group in a half Ironman distance just by adding salt tablets (athletes were matched for athletic performance against control counterparts).
What else should I know?
"Electrolyte loss impacts performance when an athlete has been exercising for at least 90 minutes. If it is extremely hot, this window will likely shorten to 60 minutes," quotes this article on electrolytes from Saltstick.com.
See this video for more information on Nuun Active Hydration