electrolytes may save your life
While it’s important to drink enough to remain hydrated during a marathon, triathlon or other endurance activity, over hydrating by drinking too much can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, which is serious and sometimes deadly. What you eat and drink during exercise also plays a critical role in hyponatremia, and the Electrolyte Energy formulations of e-Gel and e-Fuel can help you avoid this serious condition.
what is hyponatremia?
who's at risk of hyponatremia?
Anyone who drinks too much and does not adequately replace the sodium that is lost in sweat risks hyponatremia, but certain athletes should be especially careful:
- Endurance athletes that exercise for more than 4 hours
- Athletes on low-sodium diets
- Beginning marathoners and triathletes who tend to be on course longer and are hyper-vigilant about hydration
- Athletes who over hydrate before, during and/or after exercise
- Salty-sweaters – those athletes whose skin and clothes are caked with white residue after exercise
energy gel users and hyponatremia
Most endurance athletes today rely on energy gels because they are a quick and convenient source of energy that can be taken during exercise. Energy gel users have learned that it is critical to drink water and not a sports drink in conjunction with their gels (more info). Traditional energy gels (GU, Powergel, Clif Shot, etc.) only have incidental levels of sodium and are not designed to be electrolyte replacement products. This being the case, traditional energy gel users run the risk of hyponatremia if they drink too much water with their gels. Only e-Gel’s Electrolyte Energy formulation is designed to replace critical electrolytes lost during exercise (even GU says so). With any product it is still possible to suffer from hyponatremia if you drink too much water, but with e-Gel your risk is reduced because each packet of e-Gel contains 220mg of sodium compared to approximately 50mg in traditional gels.
symptoms of hyponatremia
Watch for a combination of these symptoms, especially if you or somebody you know is at high risk for hyponatremia:
- Rapid weight gain
- Swollen hands and feet
- Throabbing headache
- Severe fatigue
- Lack of coordination
- Wheezy breathing
- Bloated stomach
Seek emergency care for hyponatremia. In most cases, they will be treated with an intravenious solution of a concentrated sodium solution, a diuretic medication to speed water loss and an anti-convulsive medication in the case of seizur.
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