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Post breakfast hydration?

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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:30 am

I think it makes a difference if you are exerting at an athletic pace, or just walking. Even on hills, just going slowly cuts down on the hydration need. Pack weight also matters. If carrying 50 pounds uphill you will sweat a lot more that a 20 pound pack. I normally do not "push" very hard when backpacking but when I do, I need more water. For me heat is the factor that bumps me into needing electrolytes. As the season wears on, I also get much more efficient- probably use many less calories to do the same amount of work than the first trip out.

I notice that I breath through my nose when hiking. I rarely breath with an open mouth, and when I do, I get much more thirsty.

When I started climbing (and the backpacking associated with mountaineering) I was trained in conservation of energy while moving; the rest step, the concept of pacing, exerting the least effort to put one foot ahead of the other, pacing your walking to a desired heart rate. This is not a competitive athletic pace, but an all-day pace. So I think you can mitigate the need for a lot of water or electrolyte replacement with hiking technique.

But, having electrolyte pills or whatever in your first aid kit is a good idea, even if you do not use it all the time. You cannot always control your environment and sometimes have to really push it, and then, I really appreciate having a cup or two of electrolyte drinks. I am not a fan of simple salt pills, though, because they do not give you a balance of electrolytes.



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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby longri » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:35 am

powderhound wrote:I really do require more electrolytes and more water than most people...

How do you know this? I wonder if taking a placebo instead of a salt pill might do the same thing for you.

robow8 wrote:I too need more electrolytes than a normal person, and I really like Nuun Active tablets for electrolytes with no calories.

Or you could eat a power bar and a handful of cookies and get more sodium and potassium than a Nuun tablet.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby powderhound » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:23 pm

longri wrote:
powderhound wrote:I really do require more electrolytes and more water than most people...

How do you know this? I wonder if taking a placebo instead of a salt pill might do the same thing for you.


I've never heard of a placebo curing uncontrollable diarrhea, especially when the max dose of Imodium won't even help. I've had issues with overheating my whole life, and long hikes were giving me some pretty serious issues even when I made sure to drink plenty of water. I got desperate and was willing to try anything, and the electrolyte capsules solved my problems instantly.

I don't understand why anyone would argue against the benefit of electrolyte supplements during strenuous activity. The Boyscouts lectured us about electrolytes before every hike, and every Lacrosse coach I ever had lectured us about it too. Doctors usually tell me to take some sort of electrolyte supplement when I tell them I'm a backpacker even if they have no knowledge of my medical history. I do hike at a fast enough pace for it to be aerobic, but I start feeling sick long before anyone else does if I don't watch my electrolyte intake.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby powderhound » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:28 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:I am not a fan of simple salt pills, though, because they do not give you a balance of electrolytes.


Modern salt pills give you a balanced blend of sodium, magnesium, and potassium, or at least the ones marketed towards runners do. They all have an ingredients list that tells you how many mg of each salt is in there. Salt Sticks is the most well-known brand, but plenty of competitors make products that are just as good. Rehydr8 is cheaper and more concentrated, so that's usually what I use.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby longri » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:27 pm

powderhound wrote:I've never heard of a placebo curing uncontrollable diarrhea, especially when the max dose of Imodium won't even help. I've had issues with overheating my whole life, and long hikes were giving me some pretty serious issues even when I made sure to drink plenty of water. I got desperate and was willing to try anything, and the electrolyte capsules solved my problems instantly.

So taking salt tablets cured you of uncontrollable diarrhea on multiple occasions? And it has also reduced or eliminated other symptoms consistent with hyponatremia?

Maybe your specific physiology predisposes you to hyponatremia -- assuming your self-diagnosis is correct.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby longri » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:29 pm

powderhound wrote:I don't understand why anyone would argue against the benefit of electrolyte supplements during strenuous activity.

Because I don't believe that they have benefit in the vast majority of cases. Just because the Boy Scouts or your doctor recommends something doesn't mean it's correct. Word of the day: "iatrogenic".

Here are two excerpts from a 2007 review of the literature on exercise induced hyponatremia that was published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology:

"Because EAH (exercise-associated hyponatremia) primarily develops by consumption of fluid in excess of urinary and sweat losses, most efforts at prevention have been focused on education about the risks of the overconsumption of fluids (14,95). In many respects, EAH can be viewed as an iatrogenic condition because of the prevailing view that exercising athletes should drink as much fluid as tolerable during a race...

"Currently, there is insufficient evidence to support the suggestion that ingestion of sodium prevents or decreases the risk for EAH..."
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby powderhound » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:08 pm

longri wrote:So taking salt tablets cured you of uncontrollable diarrhea on multiple occasions? And it has also reduced or eliminated other symptoms consistent with hyponatremia?


Yes, it has completely cured me of all symptoms consistent with hyponatremia. This thread got me wondering though, so I decided to ask a medical doctor. Hyponatremia can cause water to collect in the gut, and low potassium or calcium levels can cause muscle spasms, including in the gut, which together may cause terrible and powerful diarrhea. A more appropriate diagnosis would be an electrolyte imbalance, although hyponatremia is not necessarily incorrect.

I agree with your suggestion that my condition may have been iatrogenic, or was at least exacerbated by drinking too much water when I started feeling ill. I'm curious about the study you quoted though. It states that adequate evidence was not found that would indicate that increased sodium intake would decrease the risk of exercise induced hyponatremia. Sodium is not the only salt your body needs, and unless the article says the same thing about other salts like potassium or calcium, then I don't think the statement is regarding anything other than sodium specifically. Still, there is a wealth of information online that correlates an increased sodium intake with the treatment and prevention of hyponatremia. A single article like that should be taken with a grain of salt, even if it was published in a scientific journal. The standard medical treatment is to administer a saline solution, regardless of how the patient acquired the condition.
Last edited by powderhound on Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby longri » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:24 pm

powderhound wrote:A single article like that should be taken with a grain of salt...

An unintended pun?

It is a literature review not a single study.
But you can read it and arrive at your own conclusions.

Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia
MH Rosner, J Kirven
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2: 151–161, 2007. doi: 10.2215/CJN.02730806

Also:
Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Hyponatremia: Expert Panel Recommendations
Verbalis JG, et al
Am J Med. 2013 Oct;126(10 Suppl 1):S1-42. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.07.006.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby robow8 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:56 pm

longri wrote:
powderhound wrote:I really do require more electrolytes and more water than most people...

How do you know this? I wonder if taking a placebo instead of a salt pill might do the same thing for you.

robow8 wrote:I too need more electrolytes than a normal person, and I really like Nuun Active tablets for electrolytes with no calories.

Or you could eat a power bar and a handful of cookies and get more sodium and potassium than a Nuun tablet.


I need the extra electrolytes, not the calories.
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Re: Post breakfast hydration?

Postby SSSdave » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:04 am

Normally do not eat any breakfast at all nor even drink any water mornings. Work week or days off or on trail. Friday drove an hour down to Pacheco Pass to day hike and stopped at Walmart for lunch supplies and bought a cinnamon roll then ate it right then as am a sugar fiend. About the only situation I eat early haha. Hiked 7 miles, little on trails often on soggy grassy hillsides while lugging a usual Nalgene bottle 3/4 full. Sweated a bit too though temps in 40s low 50s so cool.

Lunch stop ate a strawberry Yoplait. Back at trailhead 6 hours gone had never opened my water bottle once as never was thirsty nor suffering. Felt wonderful. Have a high sweating threshold but if it is warm and or humid enough will drink as much as everyone else. Backpacking I often hike miles in cool weather not drinking at all. Not advising others do so but an example of someone having trained their body so over decades.

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