As the heat and humidity of August really creep up these days, it’s a good time to think about staying hydrated during activities. When we sweat, we loose water as well as salt. Losing sodium affects an individual’s ability to sustain high levels of performance.
There are ways several ways to address sodium needs during exercise and racing in order to avoid muscle cramps and dehydration. Sodium loading and salt tabs are just a couple examples. When I first learned about salt tabs, it struck me as odd to take something that would dehydrate you. But, that was really a misunderstanding of how the body interacts with sodium. Working with my nutritionist, Nicci Schock, I’ve now come to realize my body is able to hold on to more water when extra sodium is in place and if I don’t have the extra water, then I become dehydrated. This is different than thinking that the extra salt will essentially dry you out.
I’ve also gone a little more in depth about sodium loading in this post. From salt tabs, sodium loading, and electrolyte drinks, there are plenty of alternatives to ensure you can replenish sodium and continue to perform as expected. Sometimes water isn’t enough and the extra boost of sodium can make all the difference.