- Full-spectrum, balanced formula
- 3x the sodium and potassium per capsule as original Endurolytes
Designed for harsh conditions, high heat, the unacclimated, and those with elevated salt needs, this formula offers three times the sodium chloride (salt) and potassium content of standard Electrolytes. Despite the salt increase, the Extreme formula maintains a complete blend of electrolytes.
What are your thoughts on sweat tests?
Q: I recently did a sweat test, with the results showing that I need 1,000 mg or more of sodium per hour during my workouts and races. What are your thoughts?
A: While there may be some interesting information to derive from a sweat test, we at Hammer Nutrition are not a fan of them, mainly because that information is limited and only reflects a small part of the entire picture. Simply put, the results from a sweat test are not representative of what happens during prolonged bouts of exercise.
In a sweat test, the athlete rides a bike or runs on a treadmill in a controlled environment, with their sweat captured to determine fluid and electrolyte loss. That’s all fine, but how long is the test? Maybe an hour? That may be accurate in determining fluid and sweat loss during that first hour or so, but it’s not indicative of what will happen each hour following that initial test hour.
When we begin exercise, we generally lose a lot of fluid and electrolytes, especially salt (sodium chloride), in that first 30-60 minutes. That’s not unusual at all. The problem with going "all in" with sweat test results is that you're basically assuming that these losses are going to occur in the same amounts and volume hour after hour; you're not taking into account the many built-in mechanisms in the human body that regulate fluid and electrolyte use.
It's important to understand that we already begin exercise with massive, double-digit gram amounts of sodium already in our bodies. Once exercise commences, we usually lose a fair amount of fluid and sodium during that first hour or so. However, the human body, the marvelously designed machine that it is, recognizes this and a number of hormonal mechanisms that help monitor and regulate fluid and mineral loss (especially the latter, and particularly sodium) become actively engaged.
Regarding sodium loss, there is a hormone called aldosterone whose primary responsibility (in layman’s terms) is to monitor sodium levels in the body. And when aldosterone senses that sodium losses are becoming too great to maintain normal bodily functioning, it orchestrates a complex process by which sodium is recirculated back into the system via the kidneys. In doing so, aldosterone helps conserve our stores of sodium. Now, this recirculation/conservation process cannot take care of all our requirements hour after hour after hour; we need to supplement with electrolytes to work with aldosterone and help maintain adequate electrolyte status.
The mistake that many athletes commit is that they overdo it with the salt/sodium. They oftentimes look at these sweat tests and notice (for example) that perhaps 1-2 grams of sodium has been lost. NOTE: 1-2 grams of sodium equals 2.5 – 5.0 grams of salt (40% sodium, 60% chloride). That is a TON of salt! Forgetting that the body will not automatically and repeatedly lose this amount hour after hour after hour—and not taking into account aldosterone’s actions to monitor, recirculate, and thus conserve sodium stores—athletes will start consuming 1-2 grams of sodium every hour, which is far too much. Once the body detects an increase in sodium from exogenous sources (food, salt tablets, or products too high in sodium), aldosterone signals the kidneys to stop filtering and recirculating sodium. Instead, the body will excrete even more sodium than before.
When the normal function of aldosterone is “shut down” due to excess sodium intake, another hormone, vasopressin, will predominate and cause unpleasant/uncomfortable and performance-inhibiting fluid retention in the form of swelling (edema) in the extremities. Consequences of excess sodium intake also include elevated blood pressure and, as mentioned earlier, an increased rate of sodium excretion. Elevated blood pressure, excess sodium excretion, and dramatically increased fluid retention not only inhibit performance; they can also be harmful to your health.
If you've ever finished a workout or race with swollen hands, wrists, feet, or ankles, or if you have experienced puffiness under your eyes and around your cheeks, or if your body and clothing is covered in excess amounts of salt stains, your sodium/salt intake was most likely too high.
BOTTOM LINE: When you consume too much sodium/salt—in your diet, prior to exercise (sodium loading), or during exercise—you're actually doing much more harm than good. Too much of anything—water, salt/sodium, calories, etc.—will result in performance-inhibiting issues ranging from as minor as stomach distress to as serious as hyponatremia.
As discussed earlier, while there may be a small amount of useful information that a sweat test can provide, the results do not reflect how the body responds during long-duration exercise. Relying on the results of a sweat test—meaning trying to replace in equal amounts what the sweat test says you’re are losing mineral-wise—will result in negative, performance-inhibiting-to-ruining outcomes.
Take 1 capsule 10–30 minutes before the start of exercise.
Take 1–2 capsules per hour as needed to maintain electrolyte balance.
Take 1 capsule immediately following exercise.
NOTE: We include ginger root in the Endurolytes and Endurolytes Extreme capsules because it is very soothing to the stomach and can help protect against nausea and other stomach issues. However, some of ginger's naturally occurring compounds - zingerone and capsaicin - can have a burning effect on the mouth and throat if the powder comes in contact with them. We therefore recommend that you DO NOT open up the capsules and swallow the contents. Consume the capsule whole for best results.
First published on ENW June 23 2021
BY BRIAN FRANK
There has been a debate going on in the sports nutrition industry for the past 25+ years. The opposing sides consist of the high sodium advocates and the low-sodium advocates. Until 1996, high sodium advocates had the stage all to themselves with an abundance of sweat studies to point to as evidence to support their side. Leading the low sodium side, we had a lot of anecdotal information from athletes, but not much more. That’s all changed, and I’m happy to share this exciting new data today. You significantly improve your ability to tolerate heat stress by lowering dietary sodium intake!
With the introduction of Hammer Nutrition’s Endurolytes® formula in 1997, a full-spectrum, all-chelated, proportionately balanced electrolyte replacement supplement, athletes finally had an alternative to the “salt pills” and the idea of consuming massive amounts of dietary sodium.
Being an innovation- and education-centric company, we introduced this innovative and revolutionary product in 1996 and began educating endurance athletes about the perils of a high sodium diet and high sodium replacement during heat stress exposure. The science supporting the myriad health benefits of eating a low-sodium diet, as well as the negative health consequences of eating a high sodium diet, is overwhelming and convincing: High sodium diets have long been associated as direct or supporting causes of high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other medical conditions prominent in this and most other western countries.
Despite all of this data, high sodium advocates somehow reason that if you are an endurance athlete exercising in heat stress environments, somehow magically sodium is now your friend, and you should consume it freely all the time. Wait, what? Perhaps it’s my bias, but I’ve always found this illogical argument to be laughable and totally indefensible.
The sodium debate also brings a whole series of questions with it such as: Are some athletes naturally prone to high sweat rates when exercising in heat? Are some athletes also naturally prone to hemorrhaging large volumes of sodium during exercise in heat, when others do not?
More importantly, can an athlete who has historically shown excessively high perspiration rates and sodium losses change these tendencies through dietary intervention or any other means? To me, this is the “$64,000 question!” And surprisingly, one that not very many people are interested in answering.
Historically, if you did an event in the heat and you had cramps or other heat stress related illness, conventional wisdom said you didn’t drink enough and you didn’t consume enough sodium, so the next time just take more!
This vicious cycle of confusion around the cause and effect of high sodium intake caused more than a few athletes to suffer terribly during and after their hot events—the pain and suffering of cramps and GI distress as well as IVs in arms and trips to the hospital for hyponatremia.
Amazingly, this is still what some so-called experts in the high-sodium camp, which includes most competitor sports drinks and products, are still telling athletes today.
Conversely, we have argued since the 90s that an athlete’s sodium losses and perspiration rates during exercise are nothing more than a reflection of their recent dietary sodium intake habits—high sodium diet begets high sweat rates and large sodium and therefore high losses during intense heat stress exercise. Just like they used to say at IBM, “GI-GO: garbage in garbage out.” I like the IBM analogy for sodium because it puts it in proper context, the more you consume, the more you will excrete.
Over the past 25 years, we have worked with thousands of athletes and have seen the universal reports coming back—lower dietary sodium reduces perspiration rates and electrolyte losses during intense heat stress events, allowing the athlete to perform to their true potential despite intense heat and humidity. “But where’s the data?” the skeptics ask, as they munch on a bag of salty chips.
Unfortunately, in the 90s and up until very recently, no data existed to support our position. No study that I have found sought to prove or disprove this hypothesis. One would need to take a group of athletes, establish baseline data, go through significant dietary modification, reducing sodium and sugar intake, and then post testing.
On the other hand, the high sodium camp can refer dozens of sweat studies in which perspiration rates and sodium concentrations were measured in athletes performing tests to exhaustion in laboratories. What did the athletes eat for days or weeks before they did the tests? Doesn’t matter according to the high sodium camp.
Quite possibly an even bigger flaw in these studies than not recording or even considering an athletes dietary sodium intake prior to the test, is that they conclude that just because you lost X amount of sodium during a one-hour heat stress test, that you will continue to lose that same rate of sodium on an ongoing basis during multiple hours of competition. Wait for it…And thus, your sodium intake during exercise should match this number!
Ricky Taylor’s Post 12 Hours of Sebring race report
“During the race, the intensity of the race was high, the car wasn’t very easy to drive, all drivers were struggling with the car balance. However, physically, all of us felt very strong. I started with three stints and could’ve gone for a fourth but our strategist made the call for a change. Every driver took a ‘bomb’ on each stop and all reported they felt surprisingly fresh in the car and we all ended up doing more stints per cycle than anticipated. This meant we had more recovery time and less times cycling through the car with less driver changes. It was actually so few driver changes that we cut out almost an entire cycle and for my first time ever in Sebring, we each only drove the car two times. Normally we could mark down the lower fatigue levels to the car being easy to drive or the conditions being colder or the race being low pressure, but none of those were the case and all three drivers felt as fresh as ever. We even spoke to each other during the race, surprised how we were feeling in the car that we were going so much longer than previous years.” – Ricky
TESTING SODIUM CONCENTRATION WITH ENDURANCE RACERS
Enter the Wayne Taylor Racing IMSA team which competes at the highest level of endurance racing in the United States in events such as Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 hours of Sebring, and the 10-hour Petit Lemans event. Being the most innovative and forward-thinking team in the paddock, they have a driver science program. It took a racecar team with big budgets and lots of technology to open the door for us to address our position with scientific data. In their pursuit of victory, nothing is left to chance, everything is examined under a microscope to remove any variable or weakness that may make them less competitive. Which is why WTR has had a formal Driver Science program in place since 2016. Part of the program uses patented technology a company called CoreSyte. According to their web site, “CoreSyte designs, develops, and manufactures real-time, non-invasive digital sweat patches which measure total fluid loss, sodium loss, and potassium loss for an athlete.” You can read further about this technology and company on their website.
This finally gave us the opportunity to gather empirical data to verify what we have been seeing anecdotally with athletes for decades. One of their drivers, Ricky Taylor, is an extremely gifted athlete and race car driver. However, when I met him in 2019, he was having severe difficulty with the heat stress situation during these endurance races. Primarily, suffering excessive fluid and electrolyte losses.
As is the case with all athletes I assist, Ricky and I spoke for a long while and I asked him quite a lot of questions about his diet, training, and hydration practices to understand exactly what information he was pivoting from and his mindset. Once I explained everything to Ricky in great detail, he was fully committed to my idea of rebuilding his diet without excessive sodium and sugar. After all, the high sodium approach he had been following up until now then was certainly not working.
As Ricky will concur, it took him several months and much dedication to learn, practice, and enjoy this new way of eating. However, the results he began noticing within a short period of time provided him the necessary encouragement and reinforcement to continue with his new diet.
In addition to anecdotal feedback, we had the opportunity to use CoreSyte’s technology that allowed us to measure the sodium concentration in his perspiration. This was coupled with a somewhat low-tech method of measuring and tracking his pre-and post-driving stint body weights: getting on a scale wearing just underwear (their driving suit and helmet absorb most of the water being lost). Since they had already begun accumulating this data prior to introducing any Hammer products or diet modification, we had baseline data. This allowed us to measure the change in his fluid loss and sodium concentration in his perspiration after over a year of using Hammer products and consuming a low sodium diet.
Shortly after winning the 24 Hours of Daytona in January 2021 the results were in: fluid loss was reduced up to 25%, while sodium losses were reduced up to 40%!
Specifically, Ricky recorded a 20-25% reduction in fluid loss, and a 33-40% reduction in sodium concentration in his perspiration! The reason for the range in numbers is due to the continuous monitoring and accumulation of data over a period of hours in the car.
This is not small or insignificant by any means and affirms what we have been saying for decades: You can and will improve your ability to withstand heat and humidity during endurance exercise by reducing your daily sodium intake! Consider all the health benefits of a low sodium diet to be just the “side effects,” if you like. Just another really, really good reason to adopt this wisdom.
Salt lovers can argue (and will) that this is just one, non-double-blind controlled study and doesn't prove our position. This study is directly supportive of all scientific discovery regarding the long-term negative health effects of consuming a high sodium diet.
Full-Spectrum Electrolyte Profile – This complete profile contains the following minerals:
Sodium – Sourced from salt, which is comprised of 40% sodium.
Chloride – Sourced from salt, which is comprised of 60% chloride.
Calcium – Supplied in the “as chelate” form, meaning it’s calcium bonded to one or more amino acids, usually glycinate (glycine) or asparate (aspartic acid).
Magnesium – Included in the “as chelate” form, it is magnesium bonded to one or more amino acids. These forms are used for maximal absorbability.
Potassium – Included in the citrate form, it is bonded to citric acid for maximal availability.
Manganese – This trace mineral is necessary for optimal muscle cell enzyme reactions and for the conversion of fatty acids and protein into energy.
Ginger Root –A natural anti-inflammatory and digestive aid.
|Endurolytes Extreme Capsules
|Serving Size: 1 capsule|
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Calcium (as Chelate)||40mg||3%|
|Magnesium (as Chelate)||20mg||5%|
|Manganese (as Chelate)||1mg||43%|
|Chloride (as Sodium Chloride)||170mg||7%|
|Sodium (as Sodium Chloride)||110mg||5%|
|Potassium (as Citrate)||75mg||2%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.|
|Other Ingredients: Vegetable Capsules (plant cellulose and water), Rice Concentrate, Ginger Root.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The very best product and service is always fast and accurate
It’s hot and humid in SE Texas. This product helps keep me in training. No side effects no problems. If you train and race in the heat and humidity you need this product.
Using thise as perscribed eliminates cramps! I've been using these for over 6 years, and will continue to do so...
Works against cramps for me. Will use again.