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Advice Larapinta - Water vs Electrolytes vs Sodium Tablets

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jul, 2021 12:46 pm
by adventuremum
Advice on Water vs Electrolytes vs Sodium Tablets on Larapinta (forecast 28-31 degrees)
I always bushwalked just with water (except maybe once on a 35 deg day)
Very diverse views on forum, so I'm confused! Options:
    electrolytes in first aid (for dehydration or diarrhea)
    Add electrolytes to water, once it heats up to 28 deg?
    Take an electrolyte capsule daily?
What's do people recommend electrolyte wise? (eg balance of sodium etc)
Brand/s with least additives etc?
Main issue is 14 yo never drinks enough, despite my reminders and don't want him to get dehydrated...

I cycle with electrolytes on 80-150km rides (but that's as drinking is easier than eating on bike, so calories good, rather than hydration) Use Pure Sports Nutrition Electroltye Hydration Power Cycling (because it's not sweet, can dilute to what I like) but way too heavy for hiking. They do electrolyte capsules
    Sodium chloride 440mg
    Potassium citrate 150mg
    Magnesium citrate 100mg
    Calcium citrate 50mg
Is an electrolyte capsule an OK option? Does that sound an OK mineral balance?
Will aim to walk early, hydrate well before leaving camp etc

Re: Advice Larapinta - Water vs Electrolytes vs Sodium Table

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jul, 2021 6:36 pm
by ChrisJHC
I used the “pill” form of powder that you can find it hiking shops. GU brand.
One pill per day - with my water at lunchtime.
I figured the evening meal would replace the electrolytes I used during the afternoon.

Why don’t you stick with the one you currently use?
I don’t understand why you say its too heavy - surely all the powders will be similar weights?
Just put what you need into a Ziploc bag.

Re: Advice Larapinta - Water vs Electrolytes vs Sodium Table

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jul, 2021 8:36 pm
by icefest
Double posted :(

Re: Advice Larapinta - Water vs Electrolytes vs Sodium Table

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jul, 2021 8:50 pm
by icefest
Good question!

I'm going to go out on a limb here and presume that both you and your son have a normal kidney filtering capacity and no other medical conditions and are not taking any medication (if incorrect, avoid this advice)

The primary electrolyte disturbance in long distance athletes is sodium.

The evident for prevention is not the greatest but these are the recommendation's I've been able to find in my main medical resources:
--2019 Wilderness Medical Society Clinical Practice Guidelines and the 2015 Third International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference, which concluded that endurance athletes should drink according to thirst during the race. A prospective study in eight female marathon runners found that such an approach replaced most of the sweat losses with no evidence of overhydration.
--American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has recommended an intake of 500 to 700 mg of sodium (22 to 30 mEq) per liter of water ingested as the appropriate level of sodium intake to replace the sodium lost in sweat during endurance events. However, there is insufficient evidence that ingestion of sodium prevents or decreases the risk of Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia, and consumption of carbohydrate/electrolyte-containing sports drinks does not provide much protection, since most of these drinks are markedly hypotonic to plasma, although they contain roughly the same concentration of cation (sodium plus potassium) as recommended by the ACSM.

Anyway, both of these only apply to people running 40km+ or doing triathlons, and are not really the same type of thing as you and your son....

My medical recommendation would be to drink to thirst, and to rely on your kidneys to maintain the right level of salts in the blood. Feel free to eat a salty snack and dinner during the day, and then your kidneys will be all set to keep things at a happy level over the fortnight.

But you really should have oral rehydration solution for if you get gastro during the trip - that does require a lot of oral supplementation! (because the kidney can't conserve that salty water that you are dumping in the dunny).

Re: Advice Larapinta - Water vs Electrolytes vs Sodium Table

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jul, 2021 9:28 pm
by adventuremum
Thanks both. I'll combine the advice...
    add extra electrolytes to first aid kit
    walk with water & see how it goes in heat
    take electrolyte tablets or capsules & use at lunchtime if finding sweating a lot walking in heat
GU tablet looks ok, 4.5g (Sodium 320mg, Carb 3g, Potassium 55mg)
Will see if I can find in Central Vic tomorrow (or something similar)
Cycling electrolyte power I have (with carbs/fruit/sugars) weighs 24g to make up 250ml, so if use at 1/2 strength that's 48g/litre!
I tend to react to many electrolytes (eg gastrointestinal discomfort) & no time to try out first...