Sodium and Potassium in Sports Drinks
With regular sports drinks and gels or energy bars, I can’t seem to get the right amount of sodium and potassium. Any tips for adding it?
It’s difficult to get the 400+ milligrams sodium and 100+ milligrams potassium per hour needed per hour during intense training with standard sports drinks and bars. First, take a look at individual brands and determine which ones will work the best for you – there can be a huge difference in the amounts of electrolytes from one brand to another. For example, Powerbar gels have 200 mg sodium while most other brands contain ~50 mg.
Then, to close the gap, I recommend adding sodium and potassium with electrolyte supplements, electrolyte drinks, salt or sodium/potassium combination salts.
A few to try:
- S-Caps (per capsule): 341 mg sodium, 21 mg potassium
- Hammer Endurolytes (per capsule): 40 mg sodium, 25 mg potassium, 50 mg calcium, 25 mg magnesium
- NUUN (1 tablet): 360 mg sodium, 100 mg potassium, 12 mg calcium, 25 mg magnesium
- Camelbak Elixir (1 tablet): 420 mg sodium, 70 mg potassium, 33 mg calcium, 18 mg magnesiu
- Salt (per 1/8 teaspoon): 300 mg sodium
- Morton’s Lite Salt (1/8 tsp): (145 mg sodium and 175 mg potassium)
You can use these products mixed into, or alongside your normal training foods. I prefer these over really high milligram salt tablets as sodium is retained better, better tolerated, and more balanced with other electrolytes when small amounts are taken consistently rather than a large amount at one time.
Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.