Saturday, June 12, 2010

Electrolyte Replacement Products

It gets hot here in Phoenix. Very hot. And if you are active, and sometimes even when you aren't, it's super easy to get dehydrated.

During the bigger heat waves, and when I just cannot seem to 'cool off' in late summer, I have a hard time getting rehydrated no matter how much water I have been drinking. Some days I theorize that I have the summer version of Seasonal Affective Disorder...I get lethargic, grumpy, and have a poor appetite. I tend to sweat a lot too, but that is unrelated, it just exacerbates my electrolyte-loss. So, anyway, I drink a lot of water, before, after, and during anything to prevent being dehydrated. It doesn't always work.

Last summer, I started adding some electrolytes on the the days when I felt in a hot funk and it made a difference. I felt noticeably better. I hate the taste of Gatorade and the other sports drinks, and I definitely don't need the sugar. So I found an alternative, Trace Minerals Electrolyte Stamina. I don't take the supplement often, but I've found that when I do, I feel better afterwards. Trace Minerals Electrolyte Stamina pills are completely vegan. You can find the Trace Minerals Electrolyte Stamina at Sprouts and on the Trace Minerals website. I'm not sure where else you can find them, but I imagine they might be at Whole Foods and local health stores.

We should have options, so here are some other vegan electrolyte replacement products that come in other forms. I haven't tested them myself, but they seem promising.

Clif Shot Electrolyte
The Clif Shot Electrolyte is vegan, contains some carbs, and comes in 3 flavors, Cran Razz, Crisp Apple (with caffeine), and Lemonade. The Shot Electrolyte is a powder in cans and packets that you can put into your beverage of choice. You can find the Clif Shot Electrolyte at REI, Landis Cyclery, and other bicycle/runner/outdoor stores in the Phoenix area.

Clif Shot Bloks
Clif also has Shot Bloks, little chewable gummy things that give you some carbs and electrolytes. Both products are supposed to be easy on the digestion and at the same time enhance the absorption of the electrolytes. The Shot Bloks come in Black Cherry (with caffeine), Cola (with caffeine), Cran Razz, Lemon Lime, Margarita (3x sodium as the other flavors), Mountain Berry, Orange (with caffeine), Strawberry, and Tropical Punch. You can find the Clif Shot Bloks at Target, REI, Landis Cyclery, Whole Foods, and other bicycle/runner/outdoor stores in the Phoenix area.

Nuun (pronounced "noon") are vegan effervescent tabs that you just drop in your water. The tab dissolves quickly and there's no need to mix or shake it. Nuun does not have any carbs, just electrolytes, vitamin C, vitamin B2, and whatever holds it together and makes it fizz. Nuun comes in quite a few flavors: lemon+lime, orange ginger, kona cola, citrus fruit, tri-berry, banananuun, mixed fruits (lemon+lime/citrus fruit/tri-berry), and  tropical mix (orange ginger/lemon+lime/banananuun). You can buy a sampler pack that gives you several flavors to try. You can find Nuun at REI, Landis Cyclery, and several other bicycle and outdoor shops in the valley.

Brendan Brazier, a vegan endurance athlete and the creator of Vega,  has 4 homemade sports drink recipes in his book, The Thrive Diet, which I have yet to check out. We'll both have to check out the book for the recipes, but at least you know they exist if you are interested. He also recommends seaweed (especially dulse) and citrus fruits to replace electrolytes.


Anonymous said...

I need to try this to see if it helps me with my funk.

Do you remember about how much the one you tried cost?

Kenike said...

Gosh, it's been so long...I don't. I doubt it was over $20....or I was desperate at the time. But it has lasted a while too.