The other day an article on Scott Dunlap’s blog caught my attention. Scott raises the question, about electrolytes and how we throw around the word without really knowing what they are 😉
If your training sessions last longer than 1 hour, choose a sport drink with adequate electrolytes as part of your fluid replacement program
Acclimatize to the heat by exercising in heat. Exercising in the heat will allow your body to adapt accordingly by improving its cooling mechanism
Test different levels of electrolytes during training in the heat. In order to do this, it is important to test different products available during different training conditions to determine what amount is appropriate for you and the type of training you do.
Weigh yourself before and after a long training session in the heat. Subtract the total fluids you drank from your weight difference (pre-post). The remaining difference will be your hydration deficit
Do not make any drastic changes to your diet for the days leading up to the race and on race day
He also links to an interesting article about electrolytes that spells it out quite thoroughly.
Some interesting points with regards to exercise and electrolytes with some practical application, I found are:
During races in extreme heat, consider cooling your head and neck at aid stations where ice is available
Choose a hydration beverage to drink during exercise and recovery that contains adequate levels of all 5 electrolytes
If you were ever curious about electrolytes, check out Scott’s blog and point your browser to the complete story about electrolytes.