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Salt Needs of Ultra-Endurance Athletes By. Elizabeth Quinn. Elizabeth Quinn is an exercise physiologist, sports medicine writer, and fitness consultant for corporate wellness and rehabilitation clinics.
Learn about our editorial process.For years, the FDA has recommended Americans take in no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. But endurance athletes can easily exceed that amount when they gulp electrolyte capsules.Salt intake during intense training can also help prevent hyponatremia, or low sodium in the blood. Hyponatremia has become more prevalent in endurance events, especially ultra-endurance events or those who are on the course for longer periods of time.
Learn more about why athletes need more sodium. Studies following football players and tennis players found sodium losses ranging from 800 to 8,500 mg over two hours and 2,700 to 12,000 mg over one.Spanish researchers found that triathletes supplementing with salt-laced water finished a medium-distance race 26 minutes faster than a control group and a more recent randomized, double blind.Every endurance athlete knows that sweat is salty. That’s why sports drinks contain salt (i.e. sodium).
By replacing both the water and the salt you lose in sweat, sports drinks do a better job than plain water of keeping your body temperature down and your performance level up.Current dietary guidelines recommend healthy adults get 2,000 to 2,300 milligrams of sodium, with runners and endurance athletes taking more as.Most active people consume adequate sodium, even without adding salt to their food. For example, you get sodium from bread (150 mg/slice), cheese (220 mg/oz), eggs (60 mg each), and yogurt (125 mg/8 oz). Athletes who are extreme sweaters probably need more sodium.
Couple that fact with the mountains of anecdotal evidence from real athletes who say that salt intake is beneficial to them in extreme endurance events such 100-mile runs and you get the following sensible prescription: Consume salt in the normal amounts contained in sports drinks and energy gels during prolonged endurance exercise, but don’t knock yourself out to get more salt in the form of salt tablets or salty foods.Oral sodium supplementation has been shown to assist in maintaining hydration balance during ultra-endurance events [ 39 ]. An increasing proportion of athletes develop either hypernatremia or hyponatremia in ultra-endurance events that last 6 hours or more [ 40 ].Ultra-endurance athletes, even those who are not considered big salt sweaters, may require additional sodium during long-duration training sessions and competitive events. Sodium losses are estimated at 50 mmol per liter of sweat, or 1 gram per liter, during exercise, with a range of 20–80 mmol per liter.Sweating is usually a good thing for runners–especially those who use running to help them lose weight.
But your sweat contains sodium, which you need to maintain your blood pressure–the way water travels through the body. When used as.This athlete would need only about 3.5 g of sodium or 8.6 g of salt, which could easily be replaced with normal dietary salt intake; however, the losses in the first athlete would likely result in a severe deficit in total body exchangeable sodium.
It is difficult to assess when a.Both sodium and potassium are important electrolytes to endurance athletes. Electrolytes aid the interchange and flow of nutrients into and out of cells, and are responsible for nerve impulses and muscle contraction.
They are commonly lost in sweat, making a greater demand for them to ensure optimal performance in athletes.As too much sodium in your diet can have negative health consequences, doctors advise against consuming more than about 1 tsp. Salt, or sodium chloride, is the primary dietary source of sodium, an essential electrolyte mineral needed to maintain fluid balance within the body.
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