Inquiring minds want to know...
S! Caps Buffer/Electrolyte Caps
- How often should I take S! Caps during a run?
- A rule of thumb is one per hour, but that can vary for different runners and temperature/humidity conditions. Larger people lose more sweat and will need sodium than a smaller person. Hotter and more humid conditions will increase sweat rate. If you are coming out of Winter, you will not be heat acclimated and need more sodium than in late Summer when your body is better adapted to the heat. In cold conditions, you will sweat very little and need electrolyte replacement infrequently. So, there’s no simple predictor. However, there is a simple method to deal with all this while running - consult your stomach. One of the problems encountered with low electrolytes, particularly sodium, is that absorption in the stomach and small intestine is degraded. That can lead to a “sloshing” of fluid in the stomach, or a queasy feeling. If your stomach is not happy during a long run, take an S! Cap and see if your condition improves. If you were low on sodium, it probably will. You can take too much electrolytes, and that leads to weight gain from water absorption. You can correct that by slowing down on fluid intake, but it is better to not get into that condition in the first place. Take S! Caps when you need them and not more frequently. Even under the most extreme conditions of heat and humidity, it is unlikely that you will need more than 2-3 per hour.
- Can I add them to my Sports drink?
- Yes, but they will make the drink taste bitter and salty. It will work fine in your body, but you may not enjoy the taste.
- What’s the best container for them during a run?
- You can carry them in any container that keeps them dry and is easy to open while running. A Ziploc bag works fine. Another good container is an empty 35m film canister with a wad of cotton in the bottom as a cushion.
- What causes weight gain in an ultra?
- Weight gain comes from three possible sources:
- As a part of the body’s reaction to stress, Anti-Diuretic Hormone ADH ( Arginine Vasopressin for the biochemist ) increases and water is retained. That is more likely late in an ultra than early.
- Too much sodium causes the body to transfer sodium from the blood plasma to extra-cellular spaces, and water goes along for the ride. This is easy to avoid by not over-consuming sodium.
- Too little sodium causes the body to transfer water from the blood plasma to extra-cellular spaces. If you aren’t drinking much, this can mimic dehydration even though total body weight doesn’t change much. It’s very bad for a competitive runner because dehydration of any sort leads to lower performance. You might ask why the body does this if it makes performance suffer. The reason is that there is no alternative except death. Blood plasma concentration of sodium must remain within a given range or the result will be death. Concentration is [ total plasma sodium ]/[ total plasma water ]. The body will transfer sodium and/or water as needed to keep that ratio in a survivable range. If you have high ADH ( can’t pee ), low sodium, and too much water, you’ll inflate like a balloon and risk death from dilutional hyponatremia. If you have high ADH, low sodium and low water, your body weight may only go up a few pounds, but your performance will be the pits from effective dehydration.
- Why don't you put magnesium in your electrolyte caps? Why isn't there more potassium in your product?
Sports Nutrition: Fluid, Electrolytes, and Minerals by Timothy D Noakes MB ChB, MD, FACSM (Report from the World Forum on Physical Activity and Sport, Quebec City, Canada 19th 21st May, 1995.) Potassium is the major intracellular ion and is lost from the body in sweat and urine during exercise. However these losses are small ( < 1 gm even during very prolonged exercise) and are replaced by the normal daily dietary intake of 2-4 g. There is no evidence that potassium supplementation is required by the physically active.
Magnesium is another intracellular ion that, like potassium, is lost in sweat and urine during exercise. But the losses are trivial. There is no published evidence showing that magnesium deficiency is either common amongst the physically active, or that magnesium supplementation can either increase the intracellular magnesium stores, or enhance performance (15).
Energy Drinks - CLIP2, AMINO, ULTRA
- Can I get all my water, calories and electrolytes from just my sportsdrink?
- That can work in a short run, but in an ultra it's not a good idea. The amount of water, calories and electrolytes can vary with the conditions. If you get them only from a drink, you don't have independent control over what you're getting. If you consume the calories you need, you might get too much water and over-hydrate. In the Spring, you probably aren't heat acclimated and will need more electrolytes than you would later in the Summer. Using only a drink locks you into a specific solution. If you can independently adjust fluids, calories and electrolytes, you are better able to meet your needs for the run you are doing.
- What’s the best way to store the dry drink powder?
- If you reach the end of your running season with left-over powder that you want to store for a few months, just put the can in the freezer. The powder will last a long, long time if dry and cold.
- Can I use the drinks with other foods or products?
- Yes. You may like to take gels, or food from aid station tables or crew for extra calories. The drinks should be compatible with other foods.
- When is the best time to take Pre Race Pack?
- Thirty minutes to a couple hours before your run. It’s not critical.
- When is the best time to take a Recovery Pack?
- Your body does most of its repair in the hour or two after you fall asleep, so it makes sense to take a Recovery Packet 30 minutes or so before going to sleep.
- Should I take Pre Race more than once in a very long event?
- If you are running in a 100 mile event, or 24 hour event, it would be useful to take another PreRace packet after 20 hours of exercise. Taking more than that would not be beneficial.
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