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Old 11-30-2013, 07:35 AM   #1
afnaechiquita
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saltsticks as alternatives to gu/gels?

does anyone have any recommendations on using saltsticks either as alternatives to the gu/gels/etc or in conjunction with them? i've done gu chomps, but they generally give me a stomach ache. i trained with them and used them during a half marathon in june, and it seemed like every time i took one, i got a huge surge of energy and then was back to nothing very quickly.

i've recently seen saltsticks recommended a lot. i live in a high temperature/high humidity year-round climate, where during every run (even the 30 minute ones) i almost always get a side-stitch, or a stomach ache, and after i am covered in the salty-icky ickness (i don't know what else to call it?). anyways, i'm thinking saltsticks might be a better route for me. honestly i'm quite ignorant to the chemistry of it all and maybe saltsticks are no different than gels, or maybe using them with gels would make the gels better, but that's why i'm asking here

any thoughts?
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:30 AM   #2
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Salt Stick or Enduralytes or any other ‘modern’ salt supplement are just a form of electrolytic supplementation. They are used to complement fueling while on the run and really a last piece used in an endurance supplementation puzzle. The three main components are, water, sport drink and fuel.

Water is the most critical component for most any run. Athletes should keep an eye on remaining hydrated daily. The best way to stay on top of hydration is to monitor urine flow and color. It should always be clear and not cloudy. From there, one should understand how much water they should be drinking on the long run. A simple tool is to weigh pre and post run and your weight should be nearly the same. If you weigh more, you are over hydrating; less means under hydrating. Using a conversion of 16 oz of water equal one pound, adjust your intake according to your weight change. Another good rule of thumb is to drink to thirst.

Sport drink supplements hydration. It adds fluids to help with hydration but also carries in electrolytes and fuel. There are many versions of sport drink out there and if you are looking to run in a long race, one should train a few times with the brand and flavor expected in the goal race.

Fuel is used to help keep blood glycogen levels up. It is usually taken on long runs lasting more than 90 minutes and then on a 45 minute interval. These times are a rule of thumb starting point and you may find that you need to bring on fuel a little more often or not as often. Sport oriented fuels bring on around 120kCal per serving as well as electrolytes. Forms of fuel include the many gels/gus, bars, blocks, chewies and beans. There are others as well as dried fruits and candies. Note that the latter two may not bring on any electrolytes at all, depending on what they are.

In addition to the three primary supplements, there are the electrolytic supplements. These are the salt caplets as well as other versions including a fizzy tablet (Nuuns) that one drops into a water bottle. In general, most runners do not need the additional level of electrolytic supplementation. The reasons for taking the additional electrolytes are primarily due to cramping. If one has the white crusty residue you describe and a history of cramping, then adding an electrolytic supplement to the three primary supplements may be in order.

Note that we are all an experiment on one and that you really need to experiment with several types, brands and flavors of fuel and sport drink. Not everything works for everyone; even a new flavor may force a runner to stop in their tracks if they have a negative reaction to the fuel.

Not sure if this helps,

Train hard.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
John VN
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My gel and fuel drink of choice has become http://www.cranksports.com/products/...FTNp7AodmSwAkg e-Gel and e-Fuel.

Not thick like others, greater amount, good taste and easy on the stomach.

McFlurry John
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cewait View Post
Salt Stick or Enduralytes or any other ‘modern’ salt supplement are just a form of electrolytic supplementation. They are used to complement fueling while on the run and really a last piece used in an endurance supplementation puzzle. The three main components are, water, sport drink and fuel.

Water is the most critical component for most any run. Athletes should keep an eye on remaining hydrated daily. The best way to stay on top of hydration is to monitor urine flow and color. It should always be clear and not cloudy. From there, one should understand how much water they should be drinking on the long run. A simple tool is to weigh pre and post run and your weight should be nearly the same. If you weigh more, you are over hydrating; less means under hydrating. Using a conversion of 16 oz of water equal one pound, adjust your intake according to your weight change. Another good rule of thumb is to drink to thirst.

Sport drink supplements hydration. It adds fluids to help with hydration but also carries in electrolytes and fuel. There are many versions of sport drink out there and if you are looking to run in a long race, one should train a few times with the brand and flavor expected in the goal race.

Fuel is used to help keep blood glycogen levels up. It is usually taken on long runs lasting more than 90 minutes and then on a 45 minute interval. These times are a rule of thumb starting point and you may find that you need to bring on fuel a little more often or not as often. Sport oriented fuels bring on around 120kCal per serving as well as electrolytes. Forms of fuel include the many gels/gus, bars, blocks, chewies and beans. There are others as well as dried fruits and candies. Note that the latter two may not bring on any electrolytes at all, depending on what they are.

In addition to the three primary supplements, there are the electrolytic supplements. These are the salt caplets as well as other versions including a fizzy tablet (Nuuns) that one drops into a water bottle. In general, most runners do not need the additional level of electrolytic supplementation. The reasons for taking the additional electrolytes are primarily due to cramping. If one has the white crusty residue you describe and a history of cramping, then adding an electrolytic supplement to the three primary supplements may be in order.

Note that we are all an experiment on one and that you really need to experiment with several types, brands and flavors of fuel and sport drink. Not everything works for everyone; even a new flavor may force a runner to stop in their tracks if they have a negative reaction to the fuel.

Not sure if this helps,

Train hard.
thank you! this definitely explains it all in a much easier way to understand what each one does. my only question is you say fuels should be used on runs longer than 90 minutes. i get cramps and feel exhausted on even 30 minute runs, with proper hydration. should i try a small amount of fuel in addition to a salt supplement (because it seems the salt shouldn't be taken without some kind of fuel)? like i said, i am in a high-temp high-humidity environment. i try to run when the sun is setting, but it still averages 80-90 degrees and 90+% humidity. i'm positive this is what makes me feel that way, because i've never felt like that while running until i moved to this environment. i usually eat a banana before a run.

i am out of gatorade powder mix now, but i usually do that for my sports drink because i can adjust the water level in it to mimic what they give on race day. unfortunately, where i live they prefer carbonated sports drinks (this) to anything else, and that is what is provided at the races here. so, i rely on my own because i know the powder mixes are what i'll get in the states.

thanks again!
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John VN View Post
My gel and fuel drink of choice has become http://www.cranksports.com/products/...FTNp7AodmSwAkg e-Gel and e-Fuel.

Not thick like others, greater amount, good taste and easy on the stomach.

McFlurry John
i haven't heard of those, but easy on the stomach appeals to me! i will look into them. thank you!
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:16 PM   #6
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I only know myself and I'm barely an expert in that, but for me if I were exhausted and cramping in a half hour run I would look to my overall nutrition levels. And hydration too, making sure it really was adequate.

And maybe the banana you are eating doesn't really work for you? For me I have to look at everything. Of course I log everything I eat anyway because of weight watchers (and I had to stop trying to lose, had to call myself at goal, at a higher weight than i intended, because I couldn't manage enough nutrition to fuel my long runs AND eat to lose at the same time, so I feel I've really been there and done this) so looking to see what isn't working is easier for me.

What's easy on one stomach isn't necessarily so on another. As Coach says we are all an experiment of one.

For me I use the 3x salt margarita flavor Clif shotbloks and the jellybelly sports beans. I'm getting a camelbak water backpack because I'm admitting that carrying water in a bottle isn't enough, and dasani is just filtered municipal water, and Orlando water doesn't work for my stomach at all. Those things might not work for you at all.

I bought the salt sticks but frankly have been afraid to try them. Salt is powerful with me. I sweat it out like crazy BUT have also been know to now up like a balloon if I get too much (like with a margarita). Electrolytes are powerful!
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:20 PM   #7
John VN
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FYI, look at the comparison chart on the C-S site. Higher sodium compared to some.

Just an example......http://www.cranksports.com/products/eGel/comp/gu.asp
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afnaechiquita View Post
thank you! this definitely explains it all in a much easier way to understand what each one does. my only question is you say fuels should be used on runs longer than 90 minutes. i get cramps and feel exhausted on even 30 minute runs, with proper hydration. should i try a small amount of fuel in addition to a salt supplement (because it seems the salt shouldn't be taken without some kind of fuel)? like i said, i am in a high-temp high-humidity environment. i try to run when the sun is setting, but it still averages 80-90 degrees and 90+% humidity. i'm positive this is what makes me feel that way, because i've never felt like that while running until i moved to this environment. i usually eat a banana before a run.

i am out of gatorade powder mix now, but i usually do that for my sports drink because i can adjust the water level in it to mimic what they give on race day. unfortunately, where i live they prefer carbonated sports drinks (this) to anything else, and that is what is provided at the races here. so, i rely on my own because i know the powder mixes are what i'll get in the states.

thanks again!
Try having a light snack about 30-60 minutes pre-run. You really should not need additional fuel while on the run. My other thought is that you are just pushing too hard on your sorter runs. Slow up a bit and see how that works.
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