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Can someone clear up how much to drink each day. I train on avaerage three times a day mon to Fri. Cycle to work, train lunch time (swim or run) and cycle home. I also sweat alot during the night when sleeping. I get up and have a homemade isotonic drink (fruit juice, water and 0.5g salt) during my moring cycle as its low intensity and 1 hr long, I also have one of these lunch time after/during training this is only half hour. Any serious training long or high intensity I use SIS go. The rest of the day I drink water. On average i could drink up to 4 to 5 litres of fluid as well as eat 3500Kcal and 550g carbs a day. I take in about 7 to 8 grams of salt with my food. I got to the point that in the evening I dont know wheather I need fluid or just drink for the sake of it and when I get up in the morning i feel rough and am dehydrated and it takes a long time to get hydrated and feel ok.

Am I drinking to much water in the day that all my salt/nutriants are being flush out or am i simply not drinking enough. do i need any more salt.


  • jibby26jibby26 Posts: 261
    Fluid intake is a very personal thing, you should be able to tell if your hydated or not (are you thirsty in the evening?). I'm no expert but your salt intake is reasonable if you take it throughout the day (i.e. 1g/L drink) plus a bit on food, if it is all in the evening then maybe that is what is dehydrating you?

    I had the same problem, which fortunately has calmed down a bit. I consume much less salt and also drink 4-5 litres per day, and have no "thirst" for salt, I drink 500ml of water soon after getting up and that seems to sort things out. It may be worth seeing your doctor if it is a problem, just to check it is not something more serious.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Hmm.. That's a lot of salt. Far more than you need. 3g is probably about right. 6g (a heaped teaspoon) is the recommended MAXIMUM daily allowance (i.e. not to be exceeded, rather than about the right amount). Your body needs some salt, but it is a naturally rare substance, which is why we crave it, and aren't good and detecting when we have too much.

    How old are you? The older you get, the less efficient your body is at coping with extra salt. And it is a really significant factor in C/V disease/problems etc (assuming you don't smoke that is!).

    Night sweats aren't a good thing either, and worth looking into. How bad are they? Do you wake up drenched? Do you sleep badly in general?

    Are you stressed?
    Do you get fatigued a lot?

    I went through a phase of suffering quite badly from night sweats - however, it was stress related for me, and part of the reason why I've taken up active sport again - as an outlet for the stress. Otherwise, nightsweats, especially bad ones, can be symptomatic of more serious illnesses, so it is worth following up with your GP in case you haven't done so.

    It terms of what you drink, it will vary - depending on what you do and your own preferences. A good guide is to check the colour of your wee. If it is a nice pale yellow/straw colour, then that is fine. Any darker then you are dehydrated, if it is clear all the time then you may be drinking too much.

    You don't really need to be drinking isotonic drinks all the time - there is a huge amount of marketing hype around it, it simply isn't necessary.

    Bananas are quite a good thing to eat as the potassium counteracts the salt (and helps you body to get rid of it).

    I would ditch the isotonic drinks for a bit and see how you get on. There is a school of thought that says that allowing your body to get exhausted/out of energy/etc. etc. is a good thing. Obviously, keep drinking water though!

    You probably hardly need to have anything to drink if your morning cycle is low intensity. A glass of water in the morning before you set off. Keep the fruit juice, but bin the salt. Drink some water after your ride if you are thirsty.

    If you look at the ingredients of the "Go" drink, you will find that there is far less salt in a portion than you are using in your home made one.

    But with the levels of salt you have at the moment, you will be building up problems for later life! If you are anywhere near 40 you are probably poisoning yourself!!!!

    Checkout http://www.actiononsalt.org.uk/forms/index.htm for some information, it's quite a good starting point for salt and diet.
  • Im 28 and very active. I us table salt. I do not add any salt to my food and I don't eat any processed food either. All pasta, oats, rice and wholegrains. The reason i add salt to my drinks is the more i sweat during exercise and lose fluid, i thought drinking just water would flush out valuable salts and minerals I suffer from cramp alot when swimming also. Am i better added a electrolyte mix like Dioralyte. Im thinking of upper my triathlon distance from sprint/oylimpic to half ironman.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Cramping is usually more about muscle strength that salt loss. The idea that cramp is solely caused by salt is rather old fashioned and discredited now. Yes, it can be a cause, but only in extremes.

    You want to look at some specific exercises to target the areas that are causing problems in the swim.
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    I bow to the vastly superior kmnowledge that is Conehead's... but... in an attempt to simplify things...

    aside from hypo-wotsit concerns ...

    I try to carry/have a squirt bottle with me all day and drink water from it constantly. (This obviously depends on your work scenario of course... easy if you are office based, or a driver for incstance, not convenient oif you are a bricky, say). Keep your pee pretty clear. If you urine is deep coloured every morning, salts replenishments aside (see above and I endorse the nuun comments) you are simply not drinking enough water. Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate you so that may be a factor if you enjoy a wee dram before bedtime, or you drink a gallon of coffee a day.

    natch lots of water after training (1.5 times the sweat lost/weight loss during exercise). You can also (i am sure you know already) work out your sweat loss during exercise by weighing yourself before and after exercise, 1 Kg = 1 litre of water, then add to that how much water you have drunk during the excercise. So if you sweat 1 litre an hour whilst cycling (ie you lose 1 Kg in weight in a hour) but you also drink 500 ml then you know during cycling you lose 1.5 litres of water... so after cycling drink 1.5 x 1.5 litres = 2.25 litres (!!).

    Good luck ;-)

    caveat: received wisdom alert. CH and jack will be along shortly to tell you the real story I am sure
  • Jack Hughes wrote:
    Cramping is usually more about muscle strength that salt loss. The idea that cramp is solely caused by salt is rather old fashioned and discredited now. Yes, it can be a cause, but only in extremes.
    I think not actually.............. What is your experience (other than google :roll: )

    Cramp can be caused by numerous different things, and there is not only ONE type of muscle cramp, there are several. So you need to pinpoint which type you have, it can be a mineral inbalance (and not ONLY in "extreme cases", this IS credible because I and many others have suffered from this for years) since using an electrolyte drink on the bike, and a shed load of tests, I no longer suffer.... coincedence?? ......no.

    It does make me chuckle when people google "what causes cramp..." and immediately subscribe to the first search they find. No-one can realy pinpoint the main cause for cramp because everyones bio-mechanics differ from the next.
  • I don't see that you are disagreeing with me!

    Cramp is incredibly complex, with many different types. Even if you just look at exercise induced cramps (avoiding things like nocturnal cramps), there is still a whole range of different causes.

    There isn't a lot of evidence that taking salt has any bearing on reducing cramp. If it goes, there are often lots of other reasons. Exercise related cramps usually occur in pre-season - before fitness builds up. There is possibly some evidence that when running in extreme conditions of high temperature and so on, then taking salt might have a bearing. Your electrolyte drinks contain a lot more than just salt. They are a lot more sophisticated than someone making their own home made versions. If you look at the amount of salt in them, you'll see it is actually very low, especially when compared to the amounts in, say, a sandwich from Marks and Spencer.

    The specific case as presented above seems to be:

    Cramp when swimming
    Consuming a _dangerous_ amount of salt (12g+).
    Drinking a lot of water.

    It may well be that drinking too much water is a factor in the problem. It may well be that the cramp when swimming is caused by lack of strength or whatever. It is extremely unlikely that salt, in the way that it is being consumed, is the answer to the problem.

    Yes, you do need to understand your own body, and the type of cramp you are suffering from.
  • Conehead wrote:

    You could be the GB elite performance director
    How dare you, I dont think Heather would appreciate getting muddled up with me............
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