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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

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk

  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.

  4. #4

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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

  5. #5
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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

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk

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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.

  7. #7

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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.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    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.
    Glad to see this side of the issue being promoted (you and others). I've always felt the best way to get the nutrition we need is to eat the right foods. It just makes sense to me.

    However, I've been following the discussion because I have concern that I need to do something different on trail. My hiking is typically just a weekend or a week, so it's not like I'm worried about a months-long nutritional deficit. The concern is that I sweat a lot, more than my husband it seems. It's not uncommon that I'll have salt crusted on my face at the end of the day. And with that I find that I feel vaguely nauseated and low on energy and with little appetite. Eating potato chips hasn't solved the problem. I'm about ready to try some Nuun or Pedialyte.

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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    ...I've always felt the best way to get the nutrition we need is to eat the right foods. It just makes sense to me.
    I agree. However, as simple as that sounds browse the extensive number of diet, food, fitness, "health", and cooking books, journals, and magazines next time at Barnes & Noble. Look what happens every time we try to talk about food on WB. Someone gets shouted down. PBS has some "food or other celebrity MD/scientific expert" selling their different food views on every day. Supermarket shelves are confusingly so over bloated with false food advertising and claims it's like attempting to find "food truth" portrayed as a grain of sand on Siesta Key. Medical advice is little better. Do extensive research at a medical library on diet. There is little consensus and countless clamoring voices. The topic of what to eat, what's "right" to eat, - the politics of food - is so confusingly hotly debatable it has become a heated topic like religion, does GOD exist or not, or politics. BIG money in food and food related topics. Clouds things.


    As a U.S. citizen I'm not so sure we can get all our nutritional needs from what we commonly label food anymore. Food has been corrupted and coopted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    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.
    Good post. Qualitative info.

    Diet, something as simple as food, becomes a mystery of confusion though because we assume we need disagreeing nutritional experts and industrial food scientists - scientists - to tell us what to eat that best supports our health.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Good post. Qualitative info.

    Diet, something as simple as food, becomes a mystery of confusion though because we assume we need disagreeing nutritional experts and industrial food scientists - scientists - to tell us what to eat that best supports our health.
    as no 50 or 75 year controlled studies have been done over the course of people's lifetimes..... Most of what experts say is conjecture, based on extremely limited data
    Eggs are bad eggs are good margarine is bad margarine is good blah blah blah.

    studies are only done because somebody gives money to do them and there's usually an angle that they're trying to support...... This applies to food, drugs, etc. If a researcher refutes that angle, they don't get any more money.. it's a broken flawed system to start with.

    1. natural foods are usually pretty good for you.

    2. Man-made foods are usually pretty damn bad for

    3. All things in moderation
    4. No one is supposed to live forever so quit worrying about it. Quality is more important than quantity often.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 06-06-2019 at 20:42.

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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.

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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.

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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?

  15. #15

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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.

  16. #16
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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.

  17. #17
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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.

  18. #18

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    Salted plantain chips, balanced diet, hydration

  19. #19

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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.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    I have used the Propel powder to add to my water. Will need to check Nuun out.
    Well I tried it, and far too chalky for me. Will stick with Propel.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


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