Electrolytes, salt tabs, cramping

Hola,

I’m wondering what people use to prevent cramping?

I’m definitely a heavy sweater and one of those people whose clothes and face ends up crusted in salt.

I’ve tried Hammer Endurolytes with varying success.

  1. Anyone have good luck with other electrolyte supplements? I picked up some Saltstick Fastchews the other day to try.

  2. Is there such a thing as getting too many electrolytes?

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  1. I did a sweat test with Levelen but get electrolyte tablets from Precision Hydration that replaces what I lose during a workout. I haven’t gotten cramps since I started taking these.

  2. No idea although I have heard of a pro cyclist whose performance suffered on an overload of sodium because they guessed required intake versus using a sweat test. This was discussed on a Flo cycling podcast.

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Hydration is a tricky one since there are so many factors at play, such as the type of exercise/sport, duration, intensity, body composition/genetic factors, temperature, humidity, sweat rate, etc.

I think the general consensus in the literature is to drink ad libitum , or as desired in general, and to replace fluid with electrolyte containing drinks like sodium and potassium with a bit of carbohydrate. There’s also not great evidence supporting the link between dehydration and cramping, but instead that it’s linked to extreme muscle fatigue and breakdown of muscle fiber crossbridges.

For me, I’m always self experimenting with what I’m drinking on the bike and how much. I’ve found a pretty good sweet spot with Skratch on hot days and long rides, but self experimentation is critical! Just don’t drink plain water all the time…