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Recommended SaltStick Fastchews Usage Guide

Jonathan Toker, Ph.D.

General usage

Fastchews Provide Tasty and rapid delivery of critical electrolytes to the bloodstream.
Fastchews Provide Tasty and rapid delivery of critical electrolytes to the bloodstream.

SaltStick Caps and Fastchews contain a balanced and buffered mixture of the electrolytes that are lost in sweat, in a ratio and form that your body needs for optimal performance. The general guideline for supplementation has been successful for most athletes in a wide range of event distances and training durations. The basic idea is to keep your supplementation simple and effective, so you have one less thing to worry about on race day, and you can focus on the athletic event rather than on surviving your nutrition plan.

As a general guideline, athletes should consume 1-2 SaltStick Fastchews every 15-30 minutes or 1 SaltStick Capsule per 30-60 minutes during any land-based activity (bike/run) for the duration of the activity. In hot conditions, extreme humidity, or for larger athletes, a greater number of tablets may be needed to maintain safe electrolyte levels. The addition of SaltStick Caps or SaltStick Caps Plus can be an effective means to further supplement. The maximum number of tablets recommended per day is 50, although athletes in extreme conditions and longer events may find it necessary to exceed this number, or to combine intake with SaltStick Caps. It is strongly recommended to test your planned electrolyte protocol in training several times before race day.

It should be stressed that every athlete sweats differently, reacts to heat and humidity differently, and reacts to the stress of a race or training differently. What this means to the athlete in particular is the importance of testing one’s electrolyte replacement strategy in training, prior to race day. Listening to your body prior to and during an event is also key, so you can adapt your electrolyte plan accordingly. Being flexible and keeping your plan simple will give you the best chance of success.

Dissolving tablets into water bottles

Some athletes may find it convenient to drop some tablets into a water bottle and shaking well. However, unlike effervescent tablets that are specifically designed to create a sports drink in this way, SaltStick Fastchews were designed to be consumed by eating directly, as you would with a candy or sweet.

Specific Guidelines

Training:

Pre-training: No specific supplementation is necessary. Maintain adequate hydration with sufficient electrolyte content in the days leading up to a major training block to maintain your weight. For long distance training under extreme conditions, take 1 SaltStick capsule the night before your activity, and one capsule with breakfast before your activity.

During training: Most athletes will find that normal training less than 2 hours should not require too much in the way of electrolyte supplementation, and water alone will suffice. Riding or running longer than about 90 minutes, or shorter in hot or humid conditions, should consider taking a SaltStick Fastchew every 15 minutes or capsule every 30-60 minutes along with sufficient fresh water to stay hydrated. A mixture of sports drink, water and SaltStick Fastchews or Caps can also be a successful combination. Many athletes find that carbohydrates in the form of gels and energy bars is a good match for water-SaltStick, eliminating the need for a sports drink.

Post-training: Maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance during hard training can be nearly impossible, and proper post-workout recovery is facilitated by ingesting fluid with electrolytes. This can take the form of a balanced electrolyte supplement along with carbohydrates and protein. A simple strategy to ensure adequate electrolyte replenishment is to take 1-2 SaltStick Caps or 2-4 Fastchews after a hard workout. Excess electrolyte ingestion will simply be excreted in the urine.

Racing: Sprint to Olympic distance triathlon, Half marathon to marathon 
(1-4 hours of exercise)

Pre-event: Specific supplementation is not usually necessary. Maintain adequate hydration with sufficient electrolyte content in the days leading up to the event to maintain your weight. For races expecting extreme conditions, take 1-2 SaltStick Caps (or 4-8 Fastchews) the night before your event, and one capsule (or 4 Fastchews) with breakfast before your event.

Race time: For a triathlon, begin electrolyte supplementation on the bike portion of the race, at least 15 min. into your ride. Take 1-2 capsules per hour (or 4-8 Fastchews per hour) during the event. For a running-only event, consume 1-2 capsules per hour (or 4-8 Fastchews per hour) during the entire event. For events lasting less than an hour, pre-event supplementation should be sufficient under most conditions.

Post-race: Maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance during an event can be nearly impossible, and proper post-race recovery is facilitated by ingesting fluid with electrolytes. This can take the form of a balanced electrolyte supplement along with carbohydrates and protein. A simple strategy to ensure adequate electrolyte replenishment is to take 1-2 SaltStick Caps (or 4-8 Fastchews) after a race. Excess electrolyte ingestion will simply be excreted in the urine.

Racing: Half Ironman Distance Triathlon, Marathon/Ultra-Marathon 
(4-8 hours of exercise)

Pre-event: During the days leading up to your event, maintain your weight with adequate hydration with sufficient electrolyte content. The water bottle that follows athletes around to the race expo, etc… should be filled with fluid and electrolytes. This can take the form of a sports drink or water and 1 SaltStick cap (or 4 Fastchews) per 1-2 water bottles. A word of caution goes to consuming unnecessary and empty calories in the form of sugars. When in doubt, read the nutrition information on the product in question. For most races, take 1-2 SaltStick Caps (or 4-8 Fastchews) the night before your event, and one capsule with breakfast before your event.

Race time: For a triathlon, begin electrolyte supplementation on the bike portion of the race, at least 15 min. into your ride. Take 1-2 capsules per hour (or 4-8 Fastchews per hour) during the event. For a running-only event, consume 1-2 capsules per hour (or 4-8 Fastchews per hour) during the entire event. Hot or humid conditions may require more than 2 capsules per hour.

Post-race: Maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance during an event can be nearly impossible, and proper post-race recovery is facilitated by ingesting fluid with electrolytes. This can take the form of a balanced electrolyte supplement along with carbohydrates and protein. A simple strategy to ensure adequate electrolyte replenishment is to take 1-2 SaltStick Caps (or 4-8 Fastchews) after a race. Excess electrolyte ingestion will simply be excreted in the urine.

Racing: Ironman Distance and Ultra-Marathon 
(8+ hours of exercise)

Pre-event: During the days leading up to your event, maintain your weight with adequate hydration with sufficient electrolyte content. The water bottle that follows athletes around to the race expo, etc… should be filled with fluid and electrolytes. This can take the form of a sports drink or water and 1 SaltStick cap per 1-2 water bottles, either as a capsule or dissolved in water. SaltStick Fastchews can be useful for longer events, usually when paired with SaltStick Caps, due to the large number of tablets that would be needed throughout the event. A word of caution goes to consuming unnecessary and empty calories in the form of sugars. When in doubt, read the nutrition information on the product in question. For all races, take 1-2 SaltStick Caps the night before your event, and one capsule with breakfast before your event.

Race time: For a triathlon, begin electrolyte supplementation on the bike portion of the race, at least 30 min. into your ride. Take 1-2 capsules per hour during the bike portion of the event. Once on the run, many athletes find that cramping becomes more likely, and dosing of SaltStick Caps may begin to climb. Towards the second half of the marathon, many athletes find that electrolyte intake becomes critical for forward movement, and may find it necessary to increase the dose of capsules per hour. Have some extra SaltStick Caps available in your special-needs bag (if available) as a backup measure. For a running-only event, consume 1-2 capsules per hour during the entire event. Towards the end of the race, many athletes find that electrolyte intake becomes critical for forward movement, and may find it necessary to increase the dose of capsules per hour. Hot or humid conditions may require more than 2 capsules per hour. Fastchews can be added into the supplementation plan to provide additional electrolyte intake or to provide a different taste from sugary carbohydrates

Post-race: Maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance during an event can be nearly impossible, and proper post-race recovery is facilitated by ingesting fluid with electrolytes. This can take the form of a balanced electrolyte supplement along with carbohydrates and protein. A simple strategy to ensure adequate electrolyte replenishment is to take 1-2 SaltStick Caps after a race. Excess electrolyte ingestion will simply be excreted in the urine.

Disclaimer

Contact your physician before starting any exercise program or if you are taking any medication. Individuals with high blood pressure should also consult their physician prior to taking an electrolyte supplement. Overdose of electrolytes is possible, with symptoms such as vomiting and feeling ill, and care should be taken not to overdose on any electrolyte supplement.

©2015 Jonathan Toker