As temperatures rise and longer workouts and races fill up the calendar, it's time to asses your hydration needs beyond the cup of water (and possibly sugary sports drink) offered up at your next race or training session.Here are our Top 5 ways to get a proper mix of electrolytes during exercise.
1. Nuun: A staff and customer favorite for years, nuun electrolyte tablets are convenient (store them in their tube, a baggy or even in a pocket and plop them in a bottle or cup as needed), taste great (you've go to try the Cherry Limeade) and effective. Nuun Active tablets have only 12 calories but pack 359mg of sodium, 101mg of potassium and 25mg of magnesium.Nuun Energy tablets add caffeine to their composition while Nuun plus adds carbs for a complete liquid fuel source.
2. Skratch: An incredibly popular product with cyclists for years, Skratch has also become a staple for runners and walkers as long as they carry their own bottles: Skratch requires some mixing but does come in convenient single-serving sachets in addition to multi-serving bags. Skratch is a potent source of electrolytes and also carbs via cane sugar and dextrose. Skratch has a satisfyingly sweet and salty taste and is a nice alternative for those who dislike the "fizziness" of Nuun.
3. GU Roctane Electrolyte Capsules: For situations where you don't carry your own fluids or for those who just don't want to drink their electrolytes these are perfect. We like both GU and Hammer Nutrition's version (Endurolytes) of these tasteless capsules for a convenient way to supplement our electrolyte intake. Note that it takes about 2 pills to equal a serving of Nuun or Skratch.
4. Huma Plus: Adding 240mg of sodium via sea salt to their famously delicious and natural flavors makes for a winning electrolyte and carbohydrate option. We love Huma's less viscous texture (with coconut water) and fruity flavors as an alternative to the classic syrupy gel.
5. Pickle juice, pretzels, soda, candy: Hey, when it's 4 hours in to an event, the sun is scorching, and you just want to get to the finish line these options can sometimes taste better than a gourmet dinner. We're all about unconventional options when your stomach just can't do another gel or cup of sports drink - but start with the scientifically-formulated products, pickle juice just doesn't go down as easy at 2 miles as it does at 22 miles.