Post by Adam Clark
‘To salt or not to salt? ‘is a question more often heard in the kitchen or in health debates. But for athletes sodium is an element that is critical for the functioning of their muscles and nerves, and their ability to train and race well. Sweat can easily account for up to 1500mg of sodium lost an hour, (this is 75% of your ministry of health recommended intake of sodium for an entire day!). This level of loss over consecutive days can quickly lead to sodium depletion in your body.
Sodium lost through sweat varies from person to person, and this variation makes it difficult to find standard ‘off the shelf’ hydration products that can satisfy an athlete’s individual requirements. A UK based company has taken technology, originally designed to diagnose people with cystic fibrosis, and applied it to solving sodium requirements in athletes.
Rehydration is a continuing problem for all athletes. Consuming too many electrolytes leads to bloating as the stomach absorbs water to dilute excess solutes. Inadequate electrolytes, especially over long events like ironman, may lead to hyponatraemia which will have an immediate effect on your performance (nausea, muscle cramps, confusion, disorientation, slurred speech), but more worryingly a serious impact on your health through the potential for pulmonary oedema, brain injury and resultant mortality if unchecked.
That’s where Sodium sweat testing comes in to take the guess work out of your hydration strategies.
Using unique technology, the “Sweat Inducer”, you can collect and analyze a sample of your sweat without having to lift a finger. In fact, no exercise is required at all. The only thing required from you is the skin on your forearm where the sample is collected from. Once sweating is induced you fit a Macroduct Collector to your arm, collect a sample and analyze. The simple, pain free process is generally completed in less than an hour.
The biggest advantage to the test is that you only have to do it once. The concentration of sodium in your sweat is genetically determined and therefore changes little in a wide range of conditions and fitness levels. So no matter if you’re racing in the lava fields in Kona or cross country skiing in the mountains, the sodium concentration in your sweat will remain relatively stable. This test gives you a clear understanding of the composition of your sweat and we will teach you the best ways to use this information to effectively rehydrate yourself.
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