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  1. #1

    Default Replenishing electrolytes

    Not AT-specific, as I'm just now about to embark on my first multi-day solo hike. I've done over nighters with more favorable weather. It'll be the end of this month, June, and it'll be hot and likely humid. Water and hydration isn't a large concern of mine, I'll have plenty of places to cache water along the way. The only concern I have is maintaining the proper nutrients I need and not sweating them all out.

    So, what is your tried and true methods of maintaining the required nutrients when hiking in the heat and humidity? A lot of my trail meals are already sodium rich but I know you need other things like potassium and magnesium too, correct? How do you know you've taken enough, and not too much, of a certain nutrient? Is more better than not enough?

    Any good 'required reading' that you can recommend, either on site or off site that isn't trying to sell me something? Don't need a list of the "TOP TEN SUPPLEMENTS ALL THRU-HIKERS USE" from some site pushing Amazon affiliate links or anything, haha.

  2. #2
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    Freeze dried bananas and a magnesium supplement. A multi vitamin.

    People say uneccesary etc. I say cant hurt

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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    Freeze dried bananas and a magnesium supplement. A multi vitamin.

    People say uneccesary etc. I say cant hurt

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
    I just know that I'm peeing a lot because I drink a lot and that I've got mineral outlines on my clothing after a long day on the trail. Take my hat off, salt/mineral line on my forehead. Take my dark colored shirt off, mineral build-up on my stomach. Underwear, waistband. Etc.

    Figured better safe than sorry. Saw some tabs and stuff you mix in your water online, but figured I'd seek the advice of people hiking every day as opposed to people like me, who go out and kick dirt for a few nights at a time, haha.

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    I had those mineral outlines on my clothes when I hiked the JMT over about 3 weeks. Drank lots of water and ate my three meals/day plus 3 snacks (200 calorie/each) in the morning and 3 more in the afternoon. Never felt like I had any issue with electrolytes.

  5. #5

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    I use Nuun tablets. Compact, lightweight, and pretty tasty. Two or three of those a day depending on mileage does it for me!
    Springer to Katahdin: 1991-2018

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MannDude View Post
    I just know that I'm peeing a lot because I drink a lot and that I've got mineral outlines on my clothing after a long day on the trail. Take my hat off, salt/mineral line on my forehead. Take my dark colored shirt off, mineral build-up on my stomach. Underwear, waistband. Etc.

    Figured better safe than sorry. Saw some tabs and stuff you mix in your water online, but figured I'd seek the advice of people hiking every day as opposed to people like me, who go out and kick dirt for a few nights at a time, haha.
    I wouldnt worry about it for a few days out.

    My new favorite drink mixes are the Amazing Grass Green Superfood Effervescent Greens tabs if you wanna get all healthy.

    Theyre delicious too. They have a bunch of antioxidants and minerals ya need in em.

    Serving of vegetables as well.

    I'm a big fan. So much i bought a case for my next 2000 mile hike

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  7. #7
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    I am a Nuun fan myself. I used to use Gatoraide but eve diluted, too much sugar.Nuun is the only product that keeps me from getting leg cramps in the evening.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MannDude View Post
    Not AT-specific, as I'm just now about to embark on my first multi-day solo hike. I've done over nighters with more favorable weather. It'll be the end of this month, June, and it'll be hot and likely humid. Water and hydration isn't a large concern of mine, I'll have plenty of places to cache water along the way. The only concern I have is maintaining the proper nutrients I need and not sweating them all out.

    So, what is your tried and true methods of maintaining the required nutrients when hiking in the heat and humidity? A lot of my trail meals are already sodium rich but I know you need other things like potassium and magnesium too, correct? How do you know you've taken enough, and not too much, of a certain nutrient? Is more better than not enough?

    Any good 'required reading' that you can recommend, either on site or off site that isn't trying to sell me something? Don't need a list of the "TOP TEN SUPPLEMENTS ALL THRU-HIKERS USE" from some site pushing Amazon affiliate links or anything, haha.

    How long is your "multi-day" hike? Do you have any health issues that make you more likely to waste potassium or magnessium? Are you on medications that might affect your body's electrolyte preservation mechanisms?

  9. #9

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    On sweaty days, Nuun in every 2-3 liters I drink.
    Regardless the weather, I take 1 liter with Electro-Mix and Emergen-C as my recovery drink with dinner.

  10. #10
    Registered User ChrisMek's Avatar
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    I was using NUUN tablets on my first couple of section hikes but found that I didn't really like the taste. I would choke it down to get my electrolytes. My last section the guy i went with brought powdered Pedialite and he gave me a couple. These taste so much better than the NUUN. I think I am going to switch to them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    Freeze dried bananas and a magnesium supplement. A multi vitamin.

    People say uneccesary etc. I say cant hurt

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
    This is my usual method as well. I’m not a fan of paying for expensive sport drinks to get minerals that I can just get in my diet or with regular vitamins.. For me it’s trader joes dried banana chips for potassium, potato chips for salt (my trail food is often fairly low sodium), some chocolate that I like to pretend is a magnesium supplement and a single calcium/magnesium pill at the end of the day. I also will sometimes put 1/4 teaspoon per liter of morton’s light salt into my water or tang, it’s a mix of salt and potassium.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  12. #12
    Registered User cneill13's Avatar
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    My hiking stamina has completely changed since I began taking electrolytes and vitamin B. I have been a big proponent of vitamin B for many years but the addition of electrolytes has been a huge boost.

    With breakfast, 1 super B vitamin and a Nunn energy tab in water.

    With lunch - ZippFizz energy powder in water.

    I don't know what is in there but you will literally be flying down the trail.

  13. #13

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    Salted plantain chips, balanced diet, hydration

  14. #14

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    I have used the Propel powder to add to my water. Will need to check Nuun out.
    Last edited by Astro; 06-05-2019 at 17:27.
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    I have tried all the home remedies and am inherently cheap. On the other hand I hate late night leg cramps and Nuun keeps me from getting them after a hike so I spend the money.

    Note Nuun has a couple of variations some have caffeine some don't. It should be obvious but you need to add them to container of water. I expect bad things would happen if you tried to chew one

  16. #16
    Registered User Nolan "Guido" Jordan's Avatar
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    I don't use nuun because of the dextrose (fake sugar) in it. Plus you can't nearly get as many electrolytes in that as a teaspoon of salt. On my trips, I like to bring a small ziplock bag of Himalayan pink salt, or Redmond's sea salt which you can find at earthfare or maybe WholeFoods. Just take a teaspoon of salt in your mouth, and follow with 8oz of water. You should be doing this like 3-5 times a day, even when you're not hiking. It gave me tons of energy when I sectioned Georgia on the AT this spring.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan "Guido" Jordan View Post
    I don't use nuun because of the dextrose (fake sugar) in it. Plus you can't nearly get as many electrolytes in that as a teaspoon of salt. On my trips, I like to bring a small ziplock bag of Himalayan pink salt, or Redmond's sea salt which you can find at earthfare or maybe WholeFoods. Just take a teaspoon of salt in your mouth, and follow with 8oz of water. You should be doing this like 3-5 times a day, even when you're not hiking. It gave me tons of energy when I sectioned Georgia on the AT this spring.
    There's nothing "fake" about dextrose. It's a simple sugar made from reacting cellulose (like corn or other starch) with an enzyme. It's the same thing as glucose (the stuff your cells burn for energy) . It's a simple sugar, a monosaccharide, as opposed to granulated table sugar, which is a disaccharide formed of two simple sugars, sucrose and fructose.

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  18. #18
    Registered User Nanatuk's Avatar
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    I use Pedialyte powder in my water when necessary.

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    https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/pro...co-hydro-sport


    https://myvega.com/products/vega-spo...vings-i-5-2-oz


    Mostly maintain electrolyte balance through a whole food diet including on trail. May supplement with powdered coconut water as above or, since I'm a pescatarian, Vega Sport Hydrator.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    I say cant hurt
    Not so. There are a lot of deaths per year due to supplement use. They may help, or do nothing, but they can also hurt or kill.

    Before going on supplements, it makes sense to get your electrolytes measured in the appropriate blood panel. However, supplementing one without the other may lead to drastic shortages, because the compounds work together in ways that are poorly understood.

    You don't need supplements if you eat nutritionally dense food. Sorry, that's not Little Debbies, pop tarts, and Top Ramen. Rather than eating that garbage and adding supplements, a rational approach would be to rework the diet. It's not a mystery.

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