Why Salt Tablets For Runners? Are Salt Tablets Good For You?
As a runner, you probably already know that electrolytes are one of the most important nutrients you can supplement on your quest to increase endurance and speed. But how should you take these supplements? Are there any bad side effects to consuming them in tablet form? Can you take them with other vitamins or medications? And what’s the best way to consume them? We’ve put together this article to help answer all of these questions and more.
What Is A Salt Tablet?
Salt tablets for runners are small, sugar-free tablets that contain naturally occurring sodium, magnesium, and potassium. While salt isn’t necessarily needed for you to be able to run (our bodies already have plenty of sodium and potassium), taking salt in tablet form is usually a good idea—especially if you’re running long distances or at high altitudes. Many runners use them before or during marathons as a way to stay hydrated and ward off muscle cramps.
Most sea-salt tablets have 100 milligrams of sodium, 6 mg of magnesium and 5.4 mg of potassium per tablet. In comparison, a cup of salted pretzels has 896 milligrams of sodium and just 1mg each of magnesium and potassium. Because most runners sweat out a lot more than they can replenish while running, it’s easy to see why they’d want to supplement their natural stores with extra nutrients during long workouts.
Should You Take A Salt Tablet?
Potassium and sodium are both electrolytes that play a role in fluid balance within our bodies, along with calcium, magnesium, chloride, and bicarbonate. When we exercise heavily for an extended period of time, there’s a strong possibility that our levels of these important electrolytes can become depleted. Symptoms include cramping or fatigue—basically your body’s way of telling you to replenish them!
The easiest and most convenient way is through sodium-rich salt tablets. It’s also one of the most effective ways because your stomach absorbs about 90% of sodium (as opposed to 75% of other nutrients). Another benefit: You won’t have to interrupt your workout to go eat or drink anything. This means you’ll be able to stay hydrated more easily, which will make your workout less stressful on your muscles.
Are Salt Tablets Good For Runners?
In general, yes. However, keep in mind that certain medications (such as some beta blockers) can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb salt and other minerals. Before using salt tablets, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take them. Also note that larger doses of salt can be problematic for people with high blood pressure, heart failure or kidney disease. If you have any of these conditions, talk to your doctor before taking a higher dose than normal.
What Are The Effects Of Excessive Salt Intake?
Many people confuse dehydration with salt deficiency, and that is often why they are reaching for a salt tablet. However, when it comes to running and exercise, these two conditions have very little in common. Here’s what you need to know: excessive amounts of sodium will cause you to retain water; your blood volume will rise and you could experience various side effects as a result, including swelling and bloating as well as light-headedness.
Are There Any Side Effects To Taking A Salt Tablet?
There are no long-term side effects from taking a salt tablet, but some short-term side effects have been reported. The most common is heartburn and stomachache.
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