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Electrolyte Replenishment 101

Replenish right to finish strong

Peak Performance Tip: To keep your body functioning smoothly throughout a long workout or race, replenish electrolytes consistently and completely. We recommend starting with 2 Endurolytes/hour, OR 1 -2 Endurolytes Fizz/hour, OR 1-2 Endurolytes Extreme/hour. HEED sports drink provides an excellent base of electrolytes. Read on for details!

Think of electrolytes like the motor oil in your car. They don't make the engine run, but they're absolutely necessary to keep everything operating smoothly. Without the proper levels of electrolytic minerals, your body can't carry out critical functions, including muscle contractions and the transmission of nerve impulses. The consequences can include not only muscle cramps, but also fatigue, swelling, digestive distress, and even bonking.

Here's what you need to know to replenish electrolytes right:

1. Start early. Don't wait for a muscle cramp to tell you to replenish electrolytes. By then, your electrolyte levels have already dropped far too low. We suggest taking a "pre-emptive strike" dose of Endurolytes about 30 minutes prior to the start of your workout or race. This will provide electrolytic support for at least the first hour of the race. After that, replenish electrolytes consistently every hour.

2. Salt tablets are not the answer! Salt tablets are an unacceptable choice for electrolyte replenishment for two important reasons: 1) They can oversupply sodium, thereby overwhelming your body's complex mechanism for regulating this electrolyte; and 2) They provide only two of the electrolytes your body requires - sodium and chloride.

Your body has very effective mechanisms for monitoring and conserving its stores of sodium. If you take in too much sodium (as salt tablets, electrolyte products too high in sodium, or food), the kidneys will excrete sodium, and the hormone vasopressin will cause fluids to be retained. The possible results include swelling of hands and feet, elevated blood pressure, and increased sodium excretion. All inhibit performance.

3. Skip the salty foods. If you're getting more than 2,300 milligrams per day of sodium (the upper-end recommended dose) in your diet, you can be sure your sodium loss rates during exercise will be greater, too. In addition, sodium drives thirst, and thirst drives drinking until excess results. Over-hydration is definitely not performance enhancing; in fact, it can have life-threatening and even fatal consequences.

4. Replenish electrolytes completely. Proper electrolyte replenishment during endurance exercise requires a consistent approach that incorporates all of the electrolytes in amounts that won't override your normal body mechanisms. Your electrolyte intake must avoid detection by your body's natural "radar system," yet be potent enough to support body functions and prevent heat-related issues such as cramping.

Electrolytes done right

Hammer Nutrition's Endurolytes, Endurolytes Extreme, and Endurolytes Fizz are to meet your body's complete electrolyte requirements. Our full-spectrum formula includes the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and chloride. Endurolytes also contains: manganese to help convert fatty acids and protein into energy; vitamin B6 to help metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and protein, and maintain sodium-potassium balance; and l-tyrosine to protect thyroid and adrenal function, which can be lowered by endurance exercise.

Unlike many suppliers of electrolyte replacement products, we do not formulate Endurolytes to replace the amount of electrolytes lost through perspiration, as sweat loss can vary greatly depending on many factors. In addition, your body can replace only about one-third of what it loses during exercise; taking in more than that can trigger problems such as gastric distress, swelling, and cramping.

Endurolytes products are "electrolyte stress support formulas." They help your body perform better under the demands of exercise by providing a full complement of minerals in the proper balance and levels without interfering with your body's normal control systems.

For normal electrolyte replenishment, start with 2 Endurolytes capsules per hour, or 1-2 tablets of Fizz per bottle of water. When higher levels of electrolytes are needed (if you consume a high-sodium diet, sweat excessively, or are exercising in extreme heat), use 1-2 Endurolytes Extreme capsules per hour.

HEED, Hammer Nutrition's complex carbohydrate powdered sports drink, also contains a complete electrolyte profile. Some athletes find that a scoop or two of HEED in their water bottle will keep them going strong for an hour or more. Others satisfy their complete electrolyte needs by consuming both HEED (an excellent base) and Endurolytes products. HN

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