Electrolytes & Hydration

I was searching on the internet for electrolytes, and I found that there are three types: Hypotonic, Hypertonic, and Isotonic. According to one website, they differ as follows:

  • Hypotonic solutions have a lower concentration of fluid, sugars, and salt than blood.
  • Hypertonic solutions have a higher concentration of fluid, sugars, and salt than blood.
  • Isotonic solutions have a similar concentration of fluid, sugars, and salt to blood.

How do you use them?"

For me electrolytes mix should have no sugar. Energy drink mix can have both sugars and electrolytes to combine both fuelling and electrolyte replenishment.

To me hypertonic will mean you also need to be taking enough extra water on because if the balance in the gut is to high the body will then need to pull water from the body into the gut so that concentration is correct to allow for it to be absorbed into the body.

Hence why you now get a lot of gels which are isotonic so that you don’t also have to consume water with them so the fuel can be absorbed.

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Toooo many stuff in the market! i did sweat test at precision hydration they said i lose around 1290mg of sodium per liter , now i’m trying to collect data of my sweat rate test to see how many liter i lose per session and try to hydrate well not over or less!

None of which tells you how much you can afford to lose or even absorb. Be very warey of data for data’s sake. Or did you go because you have a cramping problem?

Yes Mainly for cramps !

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There are 4 electrolytes involved with muscle contraction and release. Sodium and Calcium are involved in contraction and Potassium and Magnesium are involved in release. I would start with checking your normal levels of these in your blood. If you are underlying low in either potassium or magnesium I would fix these first.

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I will undergo a blood test to check levels of Sodium, Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium. Based on the results, I will determine which one is suitable for me ?

Something I’ve been hearing more is that it is how muscle fatigue and also muscle flexibility can be factors as well.

I think you get results and see if there is a health problem first. Assuming nothing you need medical treatment for, you start with dietary supplements. Check after 2-3 months whether they have any impact on your blood results. And only then look at in ride adjustments.

On a separate note, and kind of supporting what Kevin has written, my physio believes passionately that cramp is to do with supply of nutrients to the muscles and overloading certain muscles. Best way to impact is to maximise range of movement and flexibility and strength.

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Good info. Thank you fort that.