Curious as to what other endurance athletes eat? Find out what elite distance runner, Olympic Trialist, and EnduroPacks ambassador, Tina Muir eats in a regular day!

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RunnersConnect.net has written many in-depth articles helping runners with nutrition and training advice. We have republished their latest article, titled "Electrolytes For Runners: a Definitive Guide" which can be read here.

What About Electrolytes?  Are Sports Drinks Companies Right?

One thing that definitely does matter to you as a runner is hydration, you already knew that. But what about electrolytes? The big drinks companies have been telling us about the importance of them for years, and they are right….to an extent, but not in the way you think.

Electrolytes: Alternatives to Sports DrinksIf you have ever cramped in a marathon, run on a hot summers day, or sweat to the point where the salt crystalized around your eyes, you definitely have required electrolytes. Even if you have not, if you have lived and breathed, your body needed electrolytes, and we are going to explain what they are, and how you can keep yours up to where they should be (without risking diabetes by constantly taking in sugary drinks!).

Most running articles discuss hydration and mention that electrolytes are necessary; however, they fail to explain what electrolytes are and why keeping them balanced is crucial to a runner’s health and success.

What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are similar to laundry soap in your washing machine; although soap doesn’t make your washer run, it is necessary to get your clothes clean. Like laundry soap, balanced electrolytes are necessary for your digestive, cardiac, muscular and nervous systems to function well.

Electrolytes are sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca 2+), magnesium, (Mg 2+), chloride (Cl-), phosphate (PO4 2-), bicarbonate (HCO3-), and sulfate (SO4 2-). Sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium are the four major electrolytes that maintain the body’s fluid balance.

As a side note, the + and – symbols mean these minerals are ionic. Their ionic nature gives the electrolytes the ability to carry electrical energy to keep the body’s systems functioning.

Why is electrolyte balance important for runners?

For a runner, keeping your electrolytes balanced is key for successful training and optimum performance. If your electrolytes are imbalanced, you could potentially compromise the success of your next run because of muscle fatigue or cramping. Along with the more frequent muscle cramps in the legs, stomach cramps or side stitches can also be the result of an electrolyte imbalance.

Muscle Spasms, Dizziness, Fatigue, and Nausea Are Some Of The Symptoms of Electrolyte Imbalance

Other electrolyte imbalance symptoms are: muscle spasms, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, constipation, dark urine, decreased urine output, dry mouth and foul breath, dry skin, muscle weakness or stiff and achy joints.

Runners Connect: Runners Guide to Electrolyes

Bathroom frequency and urine color are often the easiest and simplest way to assess your hydration and electrolyte levels. Although bladder size is a consideration, an average, healthy adult, should urinate 5-8 times a day and the color should be a light straw yellow. This is especially important to note after hard workouts or long runs.

Runners Lose Electrolytes Through Sweat

While running you lose electrolytes through your sweat, mainly sodium and potassium. Potassium permits the movement of fluids and nutrients across your cells’ membranes, thus allowing them to carry on their metabolic activities such as contacting muscles.

Without sufficient potassium, your muscles cells can’t generate the necessary nerve impulses that control muscle contraction.

Cramping is the body’s way of letting you know the electrolyte tank is empty and it cannot continue; it’s like a car running out of gas. Even you’ve never experienced cramping, electrolytes need to be replenished after sessions longer than a hour to facilitate optimal recovery.

Electrolyte Product Options

Now that we understand the function and importance of replenishing your electrolytes, we can discuss the best possible options to replenish quickly and efficiently.  Of course, you can always opt for electrolyte drinks like Gatorade and Powerade, but those often contain high amounts of simple sugar. When you’re replenishing electrolytes throughout the day, you don’t want to be consuming high amounts of simple and artificial sugars.

While sports drinks are easy when racing, when you’re replenishing electrolytes throughout the day, you don’t want to be consuming high amounts of simple and artificial sugars. That is why we like EnduroPacks Spray as you can add it to any drink of your choice, and it contains all the essential electrolytes you need to maintain levels.

You could also look into Hammer Fizz, Nuun, and Nathan Catalyst as flavored alternatives to put in your drinks.

Conclusion

As you try different electrolyte supplements be aware of your body responds. Monitor your thirst after your run and the color of your urine. The runners at RunnersConnect.net suggest you experiment with different electrolyte supplements that do not have artificial ingredients or colors to determine if you are a drink or capsule person and which flavors fit your tastes the best.

Elite runner, Tina Muir, a member of the Saucony Hurricanes and EnduroPacks Elite Team, ran in her first marathon of 2015 in London this past weekend.
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EnduroPacks is excited to welcome professional triathlete, Nick Brodnicki to our elite team!  After a number of years in the age group ranks Nick began his pro triathlon career in 2013. Coming from a swimming background it was just a matter of learning to ride and run, and lots of hard work! With a few top-15 finishes in his first two seasons as a pro, Nick is looking for a break-through year in 2015.

Along with his training and racing he works hard to share his passion for the sport of triathlon with others through his coaching. Working as a USAT and USAC certified coach Nick coaches many levels of athletes and masters swim. Nick is a coach with Endorphin Fitness and a member of the US Pro Tri Team.

You can follow Nick on Twitter @piratenick and on Instagram @nickbrodnicki.

Elite Marathoner Places 2nd Overall and Set New PR

Bryan Morton is an elite marathoner and member of the Rogue Running and Skechers Performance Teams.  Recently Bryan finished 2nd place overall, in a time of 1:07:16 (5:07/mile), setting a new PR, at the 3M Half Marathon in Austin, TX.  

When it comes to nutrition, Bryan was never one to take in vitamins, supplements or anything of that nature.  He said, "...Not because I was against it in any way. I simply didn’t know what to take and was getting by just fine with what I’d been doing thus far."  But as he bumped up his weekly mileage to 100 miles over the past 8 months, in preparation for qualifying for the Olympic Trials, he noticed his body taking longer to recover from workouts/races.  "That heavy feeling in my legs lingers for a tad longer than it did when I was averaging 20-25% less miles the year prior."  To keep up with his bodies needs to replenish the vitamins and minerals lost during training he sought help from fellow athletes, coaches and doctors for recommendations.  

Supplementing Vitamins and Minerals To Speed Recovery

This past November Bryan was introduced to EnduroPacks by one of his Skechers teammates and Team Rogue training partners, professional triathlete Gray Skinner.  "I started adding in EnduroPacks to my daily routine back in November. In that short period of time I’ve already become a huge believer...Since starting this regimen my legs have recovered far quicker from key races and workouts. This has enabled less time recovering between workouts and legs that are far poppier within those workouts."  Bryan found that supplementing his daily nutrition with EnduroPacks was easy and beneficial to his training regimen.  

Be sure to follow Bryan on his journey as he trains for the Boston Marathon and a qualifying spot at the US Olympic Trials.  You can read more of Bryan's experience with EnduroPacks on his blog or follow him on Instagram.

 

As a runner it's important to eat foods that will properly fuel your training. Here's a list of some delicious foods that will offer you the greatest health benefits in the long run!

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Felipe Loureiro and the team of BreakAway Training look to repeat in the Team Challenge at this year's Life Time Tri Oceanside Championships.  The event marks the finale of the season for the Life Time Tri series and Breakaway Training has been focused on putting in another good performance under head coach Felipe Loureiro, an elite level triathlete, head coach and founder of Breakaway Training.  Felipe has been in the sport of triathlon for 26 years and has raced in over 500 races.

Felipe Loureiro, Head Coach of Breakaway Training

Good luck to team Breakaway Training as they chase their second championship title at this year's event.

NYTRO Breakaway Training Team

You can contact Breakaway Training by visiting their website at www.breakawaytraining.com

 

EnduroPacks is very pleased to announce our new partnership with the Breakaway Training team out of San Diego, California.

Breakaway Training Team

Breakaway Training is a Premier Multisport Team that works with all types of athletes ranging from the elite level triathlete, front to back-of-the-pack age groupers, or anyone who simply wants to finish a triathlon, marathon, or first 5k. The coaches and team members at Breakaway have had some impressive results as well

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A study that analyzed over 1.7 million people in marathons all over the world over the course of 10 years, found that air temperature had the biggest impact on running performance.

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Wilton Tejada, a USATF Certified Running Coach and Marathoner trains for the Miami Half Marathon with EnduroPacks. He said, "I was so surprised that I wasn't sore from the previous 10 mile run! For sure I thought I was going to be sore and not be able to workout, but this was not the case." Wilton finds EnduroPacks to be the "Perfect Supplement" for him! 

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