Why Sodium is Crucial to Performing at Your Best

 

  • Everyone loses a different amount of sodium in their sweat, from as little as 200mg per 32oz of sweat to as much as 2,000mg per 32oz!
  • This is largely genetically determined. So, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to hydration just doesn’t work.
  • Most sports drinks (Gatorade etc) contain 200-550mg of sodium per 32oz, whereas the average athlete loses about 950mg per 32oz!
  • Maintaining the sodium levels in your blood is crucial to performing at your best when you’re sweating for long periods.
  • Sodium helps you absorb and retain fluid, which keeps your blood volume up, reducing cardiovascular strain and fatigue.
  • It can also help you avoid cramp.
  • Just drinking water when you’re sweating over long periods dilutes your sodium levels, which can really impact your performance and could lead to hyponatremia. A recent study found 10% of athletes had hyponatremia at the end of an Ironman!

Getting hydration right has been proven to improve performance, with one study showing athletes taking in the right amount of sodium finishing a half Ironman an average of 26 minutes faster than those who didn't!