Happy FYI Friday! Last week I talked about choosing a protein powder so in keeping with that theme, today I am talking about choosing electrolyte supplements.
In my Nutrients for Active People Series, I discussed the importance of water & electrolytes. There are no shortage of electrolyte supplements available to an endurance exerciser. You can get electrolytes in the form of salt tablets, prepared beverages, drink mixes or dissolvable tablets. So which is the best?
My answer is, there is no best supplement, there is only the supplement that is best for you. A few factors to consider when choosing the right one for you are:
Some products such as Gatorade or Powerade contain electrolytes & carbohydrates. Whereas other supplements such as NUUN contain only electrolytes. Choosing the electrolyte supplement that’s better for you depends on your fuelling strategy. Carbohydrates are needed when exercise exceeds a hour in length. If you are taking in carbohydrate sources in other forms such as gels, gummies or fruit, the carbohydrates in gatorade may not be necessary. Therefore, choosing an electrolyte only supplement would be appropriate.
Similar to protein powders, you may want to take a look at the ingredient list of electrolyte supplements to determine if you are comfortable with them. A lot of supplements contain artificial colours, imitation flavours and preservatives.
Tolerance to supplements during endurance sports is very individual. Some people get stomach upset from certain supplements either due to their ingredients, their concentration of electrolytes or the volume consumed. It’s important to trial multiple different types of supplements to find the one that gives you maximum performance without any stomach upset.
Runners or endurance athletes often have to worry about carrying a lot of things with them during their activity. Keys, phone, fuel, etc. Electrolytes are one more thing to carry so considering convenience and what method works best for you when choosing a supplement.
What do I use for electrolyte supplements?
I have struggled with electrolyte supplements for a while now. The practice of carrying electrolytes in addition to my water is a daunting task. I run with a hydration pack and I only like to put water into it to prevent any bacterial growth and because I don’t like to drink electrolyte solutions during my entire run.
My second problem with electrolytes has been tolerance. I love NUUN tablets but found the fizziness upset my stomach during a run so I now only use them post run for rehydration. As for Gatorade or Powerade, it leaves an aftertaste in my mouth that I really dislike.
So when I was approached by Replace SR to try out their sustained released electrolyte tablet, I jumped at the opportunity.
Replace SR is an electrolyte tablet in a sustained release tablet, which allows electrolytes to be released during exercise for 4-6 hours after taking it. The sustained release has less incidence of stomach irritability due to the lower concentration. Additionally, it allows athletes to take tablets once before exercise rather than taking it ongoing during activity. This product completely solved my electrolyte convenience problem.
I take the tablets (1-3) 30 minutes before I head out for a run. There is no taste to them and I haven’t experienced any stomach upset what so ever since taking them. They also have a fantastic ingredient list. The product contains no sugar, starch, artificial flavours, sweeteners, colors or preservatives. You get what you are paying for, electrolytes.
Full Disclosure I did receive this product free to review, however, this is truly one of those products that I am so excited about. As soon as I tried it, I knew I had found my perfect electrolyte solution. If you are interested in trying, you can get a free sample on their website.
How do you choose an electrolyte supplement?