Why too many electrolytes can be a waste

[00:00:00] You’ve been seeing suggestions around the Internet. More electrolytes. More electrolytes are better. They’re of course, what plants crave, but they’re what your body craves, too. And if you have more, you’re going to be faster, you’re going to be more energized, and you’re going to feel better than you ever had before. Unfortunately, I’m here to break it to you today that you may actually be taking in too many electrolytes and what’s happening to them??

[00:00:34] I’m Jesse Funk, the founder of Solpri.com and the host of this show Runner’s High, where we talk about everything running and endurance related. So if you like running, you like triathlons, you like endurance stuff, you’re going to want to stick around the subscribe button. More episodes come out every Tuesday and Thursday here on the Channel.

[00:00:51] Now, today, I want to talk about electrolytes. I want to talk about why more is not better. And full disclosure, Solpri, my company, we do produce a sports drink. We’re going to be talking about that or really our series of sports drink and why we came up with what we did. So this is a little bit of a plug for us, but even if you don’t decide to pick up our solution, I want to help you figure out what works for you.

[00:01:20] Because each of us loses a different amount of electrolytes in our sweat, meaning that it is definitely possible that you can take into many. And when you’re doing that, you’re flushing money right down the toilet. So let’s get into it and figure out how do you personalize electrolytes for you? Why would you do this? And how do you avoid a case where you’re spending too much money and probably hampering your performance?

[00:01:49] So there’s actually this really cool study that we based a lot of what we do on actually several studies, not just one study, a whole series of studies, but the basic premise is the idea that people lose different amount of electrolytes in their sweat.

[00:02:06] And there’s this study, this peer-reviewed study of roughly 700 athletes that shows people’s perception of how much salt they lose in their sweat and the actual measurable amount of salt they lose in their sweat is closely correlated. So we’re just pretty neat because it backs up number one, something that I kind of believe in […] which is like rate of perceived exertion and being in tune with your body.

[00:02:33] So knowing that “hey, just asking the question, how salty do you think your sweat is?” That can get you close to how much you need. The trick is there are companies and people pushing the idea that more is better. Now, historically, people with a low sweat salt concentration like me have been served perfectly fine. People with higher concentrations have not been served to what so well.

[00:03:04] So there are more and more products on the market that are starting to serve these people. But some are going to extremes for what I believe just to be marketing purposes, and they don’t really fit for the vast majority of people.

[00:03:16] So when you ask that question, “how salty do you think your sweat is?” You have to answer low, medium, high, or sometimes you’re getting very high. I like to phrase it as not salty, somewhat salty or very salty. And those will give you a rough distribution of where you lie on the spectrum. The vast majority of people are going to be in that somewhat salty category. That’s roughly a loss of 1000 milligrams per liter of salt in your sweat, which is why we made the SYNC 1000 is for people that lose about 1000 milligrams per liter.

[00:03:57] And we also have two other versions, the 500 and the 1500, and they serve the other two answers to that. So not salty, around 500 milligrams per liter, somewhat salty, about 1000 milligrams per liter. Very salty, around 1500. There are outliers. People can go up to even 3000.

[00:04:15] But from what we’ve measured, what we’ve seen, those are going to be people that really know that they lose lots and lots of salt or sweat, but also they are the exception, not the rule. So that’s why we made three drinks to accommodate a series of people. The vast majority of people, really. And again, most people are going to sit somewhere in that 1000 range.

[00:04:41] Now, at the beginning of this video I talked about, if you’re taking in too many, you may be flushing money down the toilet. And that is because what happens when you take into many electrolytes is your body starts to filter them out and will you will literally use water to pull them through your body and then pee them out.

[00:05:01] So you’re flushing money down the toilet when you’re taking in too many electrolytes. Getting something more accurate for yourself is a more, in my opinion, cost-effective way. But also you prevent yourself from having problems performance-wise because two things.

[00:05:20] One, you take in too many electrolytes. You can potentially cause the same kind of symptoms as you find in dehydration, which is confusing because you’re taking in all of this liquid and you feel like I’m taking it enough. But the problem is you upset the balance of electrolytes versus water and then you kind of your body’s signaling to you where you feel like you need to take in more and it becomes a whole thing headaches, dizziness, vomiting, potentially diarrhea, so on and so forth. It can be a bad situation. You do have to take in a fair amount to get to that point, but that’s not great. 

[00:05:57] On the more often situation. That is, if you’re taking in too many, your body’s filtering it out. I’m going to make you pee it out. You’re now wasting the electrolytes that you bought, paid for and mixed in your water. But also you’re wasting that water that you took into trying to stay hydrated, which means your performance is going to suffer. And that’s kind of the whole premise of our drink series is to try to get you matched up correctly to your particular concentration of salt.

[00:06:28] So it came from me where I was taking in twice as many electrolytes as I needed, and that left me being thirsty. I suffer really badly on hot runs at the end of races. This is when I was racing triathlon. It was a bad situation because my body was not taking in the water like it should have. The imbalance got high. And then there’s a point again, when you think about rate of perceived exertion and that kind of intuitiveness of “Do I want more salt? “Do I want more drink where it’s too salty?” And you go, “I don’t want anymore.”

[00:07:02] But the truth was I needed more water, just less electrolytes. But that’s not what I had in my bottle. Now, most people could answer that question. “How salt did you feel your sweat is low?” Medium, high or not salty? Somewhat salty. Very salty. If you want to pick up our sports drink go to Solpri.com/shop or there’s a link right down in this description, they’ll take you straight to the shop page for our drink.

[00:07:27] But before you go, I want to show you one more thing you can do that’s really cool with our drink in particular that nobody else is doing. It helps make this more personalized fit to you. So I’m going to jump over to the computer. We’re going to jump on the screen so I can show you this calculator that we’ve got going on.

[00:07:47] All right. So here we are on our website. This is our serving size calculator for a better term. And the cool thing that we did about this that nobody else is doing is, again, we’re trying to personalize to your particular needs. So we did that first by coming up with a series of sports drinks to try to dial in what you need.

[00:08:08] And we also offer a sweat test. So if you want to know your exact number of what you’re losing your sweat, you can grab a sweat test from us and do that. But what you can do with our calculator is take our drink mix and then dial it up or down based on your taste. So if you said, “Oh, somewhat salty, got that 1000,” and then you go, “Hmm, maybe not quite enough. I want a little bit more.” You come here to the calculator and then you adjust. 

[00:08:37] So this is sweat your number. Remember I was talking about your sodium loss or your sweat salt concentration in terms of milligrams per liter. This is our first field. So you bought the 1000, let’s say, and then you want to dial it up. My particular suggestion is 25% up or down so that the flavor is still palatable.

[00:09:00] So let’s say you want to go all the way up. You go 1250 milligrams per liter. You got the 1000, and then your bottle size is 20 fluid ounces, and then you’ve adjusted your teaspoon size. Everything is in teaspoons because we do reusable teaspoons for our particular mix instead of doing plastic. But you can do that, and you can dial that in however you want. You want to do 1150. Dial it down. And everything’s going to be rounded down.

[00:09:30] So 20 ounces. 20 fluid ounces bottle. So you probably get one and a half. And then again, if you have 1000, you said it’s too salty, but it’s close. You can go down to 750. And you’re going to do, I’ll say, just shy of a teaspoon here for 20 fluid ounces. And you can adjust this for any given bottle size you want, and it’ll adjust your serving size so that no matter what it is, you can tweak it and dial it in based on your preferences after you’ve answered that question.

[00:10:03] So I think the thing to remember is you want to do what’s right for you. You can’t use our calculator for any other drinks than ours, but you can take the information that I’ve given you even if you don’t want to try our drink and apply it. So remember that. Not salty, somewhat salty, very salty. Kind of gives you a range of 500 to 1500 ish milligrams per liter. You compare that up to whatever sports drink you like.

[00:10:30] But if you want to try ours out, again Solpri.com/shop or down in the description, there’s a link directly to the page. I’d love to be able to help you out and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out or leave a comment. Anything, that kind of stuff. I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.

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