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I rode my first double century this past weekend and ended up dehydrated at the finish line. I have ridden a lot in the past, but never for 200 miles in a single ride. It was warm, but I had massive salt stains in all of my clothing which leads me to believe that I lost a lot of salt and other things along the way. I was really strong (average speed in the low 20's...gotta love tandems!) until mile 187 and then started to feel the dehydration kick in.

They gave us some Nuun and other electrolyte drinks but I'm not sure that they helped. I started out drinking water only which I think was a mistake. I don't like the syrupy taste and sugar spike that Gatorade gives me and the Nuun tore my stomach apart. I had to pour it out because I felt like I could puke after driking 1/2 bottle. What else is there out there to help me keep my fluids topped off? Any ideas?

Thanks for the help!
 

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You could always take some...*gasp*... salt! I use Endurolytes from Hammer - get the powder and mix in a bit with your water, or take the tablets - but I seem to do better with the powder form. Also, the more doubles you do the more your body knows how to handle it - so keep on going! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
wipeout said:
You could always take some...*gasp*... salt! I use Endurolytes from Hammer - get the powder and mix in a bit with your water, or take the tablets - but I seem to do better with the powder form. Also, the more doubles you do the more your body knows how to handle it - so keep on going! :)
Ok, thanks for the heds up on that. I went to the Hammer website and they seem to have something for nearly any type of situation. I'll give the Endurolytes a shot. Oh, I'm not giving up. I have back to back centuries in Sept and I'm going to do this double again next year! Yee-haw! :thumbsup:
 

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Salt intake

tyro said:
I rode my first double century this past weekend and ended up dehydrated at the finish line. I have ridden a lot in the past, but never for 200 miles in a single ride. It was warm, but I had massive salt stains in all of my clothing which leads me to believe that I lost a lot of salt and other things along the way. I was really strong (average speed in the low 20's...gotta love tandems!) until mile 187 and then started to feel the dehydration kick in.

They gave us some Nuun and other electrolyte drinks but I'm not sure that they helped. I started out drinking water only which I think was a mistake. I don't like the syrupy taste and sugar spike that Gatorade gives me and the Nuun tore my stomach apart. I had to pour it out because I felt like I could puke after driking 1/2 bottle. What else is there out there to help me keep my fluids topped off? Any ideas?

Thanks for the help!
There is no need to go to expensive "sports electrolytes" to solve this. In essence, since your body sweated out so much salt, it was no longer able to retain water. Your blood and cells need to keep the salt concentration within certain limits, and so if you are low on salt, your body has to eliminate water to keep the salt concentration up. So, you can just use table salt. You can also buy really cheap salt tablets at any drug store. I add both table salt and "lite" salt (potassium chloride) to my food on long bike rides, plus I take a couple of generic antacid tablets (calcium and magnesium source) with the food. The table salt makes you thirsty (a good thing) and keeps your electrolytes in balance. The sports electrolytes are just high priced versions of these simple and VERY cheap salt sources.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
There is no need to go to expensive "sports electrolytes" to solve this. In essence, since your body sweated out so much salt, it was no longer able to retain water. Your blood and cells need to keep the salt concentration within certain limits, and so if you are low on salt, your body has to eliminate water to keep the salt concentration up. So, you can just use table salt. You can also buy really cheap salt tablets at any drug store. I add both table salt and "lite" salt (potassium chloride) to my food on long bike rides, plus I take a couple of generic antacid tablets (calcium and magnesium source) with the food. The table salt makes you thirsty (a good thing) and keeps your electrolytes in balance. The sports electrolytes are just high priced versions of these simple and VERY cheap salt sources.
Ok, I'll try that too. I've got some salt around here somewhere. :wink5:

I'll get some lite salt too as well as some antacid tablets. Maybe that will help my stomach settle too, as it got a little upset as well.

Do you add the salt to your water? If so, how much?
 

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tyro said:
Do you add the salt to your water? If so, how much?
I add salt to gatorade. I don't think I could get salted water down. About 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp lite salt per qt of gatorade. The amount of salt isn't based on anything other than taste -- if its too salty it just isn't drinkable. I did try to apply a little science to the ratio though. The lite salt is 50% NaCl and 50% KCl so the mix ends up with about 75% NaCl and 25% KCl which is roughly about the right ratio. I also throw a scoop of protein powder in which gives it the "patented" 25% of calories from protein that some expensive sports drinks tout.

To my taste, blue, red and orange gatorade are least offensive with added salt. A big YMMV on that.

Like Kerry, I also supplement this with CaCl antacid tablets.

This is a problem I've been dealing with for 30+ years and this formula seems to be working better than anything else I've ever tried
 

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Cytomax has four electolytes. Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, and Chromium.
They are claiming that the other two are also important to avoid cramping, although
certainly to a lesser extent. Then there is the maltodextrin/dextrose/sucrose argument.
Tell me about salt sweating. When I put on my helmet the other day, I thought snow
was falling! Time to clean up the helmet.
 

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I have also found a lot of salt dried on my body lately. Yesterday, it was a much less humid day here in central Alabama, with a pretty stiff North breeze, something we just don't get in July. When I got in from 1.5 hour ride, my arms, legs, and black cycling bibs had visable salt dried all over them! Not the first time, but I'm definitely on the high end of salt content I guess. I believe just drinking more water and eating a bit more salt on my food would alleviate any drop in those levels.
 

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Salt water

tyro said:
Do you add the salt to your water? If so, how much?
I add the salt to my Fig Newtons and my cookies/mixed nuts that I eat at the break. The sweetness of the figs and cookies sort of overcomes the salty taste. I like to have my water free of additives both to prevent junk accumulating on the frame from the drink splashes drying out and so I can pour it over my head as needed.
 

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You can try snacking on pretzels during the ride. Also, I have read in a few places that some racers snack on salted boiled potatoes during races.
 
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