…Dehydration: Endurance Athletes kryptonite…

As an avid endurance runner, one of the  first AND last things that are on my mind when I am getting ready for a race is nutrition.  How will I nourish my body to ensure it has the nutrients it needs before/during/after my race AND how can I prepare my body to obtain/maintain hydration.

What is dehydration? 

Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated.

Dehydration also can occur in any age group if you don’t drink enough water during hot weather — especially if you are exercising vigorously.

You can usually reverse mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic 

How to tell if you are dehydrated:

In Adults

  • Extreme thirst
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

Infant or young child

  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • No tears when crying
  • No wet diapers for three hours
  • Sunken eyes, cheeks
  • Sunken soft spot on top of skull
  • Listlessness or irritability

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic 

If dehydration is not taken care of, the side affects can cause some severe body issues.

There are several things that can be done to help someone stay hydrated for normal day-to- day activities OR for those that are getting ready for athletic activities.

  • Drink water before, during, and after any physical activity that you do
  • Avoid or limit alcoholic beverages (studies have shown that consuming alcoholic beverages actually dehydrates your body MORE than it hydrates your body).
  • If you are on a high protein diet, make sure that you are drinking additional water to help aid your body with digestion and processing the food that you consume.
  • You can use electrolyte tablets, salts, or drinks to help maintain your hydration during vigorous events

I was lucky enough to get to try SaltStick chewable tablets.

When I get the chance to try a product like this, I like to put it to the test. I used and tested this product while I completed several different races:

  • 5k (3.1 Miles)
  • 10k (6.2 Miles)
  • Half Marathon (13.1 Miles)
  • 25 K Ruck March (15.5 mile Hike with my weighted ruck sack on)

Typically I get slight dehydration issues when I complete a half marathon or during my 15 mile ruck. Typically around mile 10 is when I start to notice some slight issues and I take measures to hydrate more (in addition to already drinking water).  I also did these events in weather that was not above 60 degrees. So, the heat was not a major factor for me.

I consumed two tabs before the start of each of the above events which I found to be helpful (from my own personal expedience).  I took two more tabs around mile 8 and also at mile 10 to hopefully prepare myself for my usual dehydration symptoms. To be completely honest… I did notice a positive difference in my overall hydration AND my pace was slightly faster than normal.

Believe me… I was somewhat skeptical of this product being able to aid in my hydration AND increased pace for my longer races.  But, then I stumbled upon an article and research about SaltStick (CLICK HERE TO READ IT)  

Now, to be honest I have been training and pushing myself to become a more efficient runner leading up to these races.  BUT, I was not expecting my pace and speed to increase as much as it did (I ran my half marathon 12 minutes faster than normal AND I completed the 25 K Ruck March 15 minutes faster than normal).

Overall Comments: 

I was excited but also skeptical to try this product. But, from the times that I tired the product I did not find anything negative to say.  The chew-able tabs had a taste similar to the sweet tart candy tablets.  They were not overly bitter and they did not cause me to have dry mouth.  I also had some tablets on a empty stomach and the tablets did not seem to cause me any issues. The product is sweetened with stevia and is said to be non-GMO, gluten-free, vegetarian, fat-free.

Quality for Price: 

These capsules and chew tabs can be purchased online and in stores.  Be expected to pay around $22 for a bottle of 100 capsules. The 60 count chew-able tabs are about $15. You can also get individual packs to make them easy to pack/carry during events. In my opinion this is a great price for this quality of product.

Ranking Scale: (on a scale from 1-5)

Price: 4.0

Overall Quality: 4.5

Quality for Price: 4.5

Overall Ranking: 4.33

Closing Remarks: 

I would say that I would recommend this product. I enjoyed it and I did notice a slight difference while using this product. I would for sure suggest trying it out on your own to see if it indeed is something that you can regularly incorporate while you endure athletic activities. For more information about SaltStick please CLICK HERE and you will have access to their website and the other products that they offer.

 

**NOTE: Please make sure to note my product review disclaimer that can be found HERE***

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