Replacing sodium is one of the most important aspects of a good hydration strategy.  Typically sodium is not a concern in events shorter than 4 hours.  However, extremely hot conditions can affect sodium levels during shorter distances.  Sodium will move from the gut into the blood stream causing an osmotic gradient that effectively allows water to follow.  Sodium is also important in muscle contraction and relaxation.  People who experience low sodium levels may also notice muscle cramping.  Sodium is easy to underdo but quite difficult to overdo.  In events lasting longer than 4 hours a good rule of thumb is to consume 500-1000mg per hour of activity.  Most sport drinks and/or sodium specific energy nutrition products will allow you to reach these numbers by consuming their products alone.  However it is always important to “do the math”.  There are a number of products available that are designed to replace sodium as well as a number of other electrolytes.  Salt stick is perhaps the best product on the market currently and can be found here

Posted in: Nutrition