By GritLink

Connecting Endurance Athletes with Sports Care Providers

Thu May 14, 2020

Learn about the function of hydration and electrolytes during long-distance sports from Vishal Patel, the Director of Product Development at Nuun Hydration.


Cortney: [00:00:00] So the topic tonight is hydration science for endurance athletes, and we have Vishal Patel, who is the Director of Product Development at Nuun Hydration joining us. My name is Cortney Jacobsen. I’m one of the founders of GritLink. GritLink helps the endurance and adventure community connect with health care providers who are specialists in working with athletes.

[00:00:30] So our topic tonight – Hydration. I think that a lot of endurance athletes, at least the athletes I’ve talked to, struggle quite a bit with losing energy at some point on a long workout. And sometimes it’s hard to tell if that is related to hydration or electrolytes, or do we need calories? There’s also a lot of confusion because there’s so many different sports drinks out there and it’s hard to know how we can troubleshoot some of these issues that we have.

[00:01:05] So our goals tonight are to educate you, the endurance athlete, about the purpose of hydration for long distance sports, and also to explain the function of electrolytes during endurance activities. As I mentioned, we have an expert here tonight, Vishal Patel, the Director of Product Development at Nuun.

[00:01:31] For those of you who are not familiar, Nuun specializes in hydration products, and they have a mission to empower more movement. Vishal himself is a runner and an endurance athlete, and he has a background in nutritional sciences and chemistry and has been developing products for Nuun for the past seven years. And when he’s not running, you can find him pampering his beautiful golden retriever Ivy. Well, thank you so much for being here tonight, Vishal, and I think we’re going to have a great discussion and I know there’s a lot of questions out there. 

So if you don’t mind, I think we should just jump right into maybe setting the stage here and if you can, tell us what are the fundamental goals of hydration and, touch a little bit on why is it that just water alone is not enough? And what’s the purpose of electrolytes and why do we need them? 

Vishal: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good start. You were mentioning Cortney earlier when you were starting, one of the things that we wanted to solve is some questions that that athletes have in one of them is, [00:02:57] that they’re fatigued or they’re tired or something. And during exercise, and a lot of people point that directly towards things like carbohydrates or fueling or caffeine,   stuff that will inherently give you energy. But one thing that I always try to remind all athletes, especially endurance athletes, is that [00:03:20] the fundamental goals of hydration when it’s done right, when you have the right   ratios of water to electrolytes, to carbohydrates helps move fluid and electrolytes into absorption. So it helps increase blood circulation.   it allows oxygen to get to your working muscles, which in turn will just allow them to perform better and give you more energy.

[00:03:48] A lot of times when athletes get dead legs or something like that, or they’re bonking during exercise, we also like to look at their hydration, not just during the exercise or during the activity, but leading up to it. Just see what their water and electrolyte levels are, to see where they stand. [00:04:08] Because we know that when it is done properly, it can really serve a larger function than cramping or just replenishing what you would lose in sweat, which are also key aspects of staying hydrated during exercise. And when we talk about the concentration, and what, when I mentioned when it’s done properly, it leads you to the base. [00:04:40]   water. Yes, water is going to hydrate you. It’s going to provide fluids that you need, but when you’re exercising, you know your body needs more. Like it needs a little bit of help pushing that water into circulation. So.   when you eat or drink anything, the first step is it’s going to go through your mouth, esophagus. [00:05:01] It’s going to land in your stomach where depending on that concentration, it’s either going to sit there for a little while or it’s going to start  getting into absorption. And plain water, it doesn’t have the nutrients, like electrolytes like sodium, potassium and chloride that help push it into circulation and help with the absorption. [00:05:25] So. When you’re exercising and your body’s just inherently under stress from the movement aspect of it, with increased heart rate, breathing more, your body needs a little bit of help to   get things going. And when you have the right balance of electrolytes to carbs, to fluid, it’ll work more in your favor and  delivering all of those nutrients.

Cortney: [00:05:54] Can you tell us a little bit more about electrolytes? You mentioned sodium, potassium, and chloride, but maybe give us a little primer. We see these words on ingredient lists for sports drinks, but there’s different kinds of sodium, there’s sodium bicarbonate. Tell us a little bit more about electric electrolytes and what’s the function?

Vishal [00:06:19] Right, right. At the surface level, electrolytes are essentially just electronically charged particles that are really component and really crucial for a lot of normal bodily functions. Your blood has to have the right concentration of sodium to potassium [00:06:40] It’s a chloride to really just, live and to function properly. And those are our three of probably the most important electrolytes out there.  Magnesium and calcium also are key electrolytes that serve more functional aspects in muscle health and bone health as well, that you want to supply those key aspects of your body with those electrolytes.

[00:07:12] But the sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and chloride are those five key ones, very generally they’re going to help you hydrate better. They’re going to help you pull water into circulation. They’re going to help with absorption so your body can actually not just pee anything out and actually you can utilize it. [00:07:35] So that is the more general function. Now, there are a lot of types, you know, technically table salt, sea salt is an electrolyte because it has sodium and chloride, which are two very important electrolytes.   But what you really want to look for when you’re looking at sports drinks or beverages to drink when you’re dehydrated is the sodium citrate. The actual [00:08:08] form of the electrolytes, you want it to be citrates and, and that sodium, potassium, magnesium, citrate, you, those are actually the electrolytes that you readily find in an IV solution when you’re at the hospital and you’re at a truly a medical, induced dehydration or, or where it’s more medical related, not necessarily to, exercise. [00:08:31] So we do believe that. Those are some of the most bioavailable. What that means is your body can absorb a high percentage of them and they get into circulation immediately. Now, oftentimes like in Nuun, for example, the effervescence does that for you. So when you combine sodium bicarbonate to citric acid and that fizzy and the bubbles that you see that dissolve the tablet, it’s actually converting all of those nutrients into the citrate so you can absorb them faster, more readily.

[00:09:10] So that’s something that you definitely want to keep in mind. Whenever you have too much of one electrolyte over the other, that’s always a red flag. And you want to   understand why it’s at those specific levels. Generally, we tend to have more sodium than potassium during exercise. [00:09:34] Your body is going to utilize sodium more. It’s lost more during sweat and while you’re breathing and plays a more crucial role in the fluid absorption. When you see products or drinks like coconut water or something like that, that really just has a high amount of potassium and that’s it. [00:09:56] It can actually cause an imbalance and can degrade performance. So, it’s really important to make sure that that has all five of those electrolytes at a ratio of that that’s balanced and that’s going to work with your body. And if you’re seeing something that has four or five times as much as potassium to sodium, or really vice versa, it’s almost like, you just need to seek to understand what the function of that product is and to make sure that it will benefit or it will serve the purpose of.

Cortney [00:10:37]   I’m curious to know, you’re talking a lot about the balance of electrolytes, and there’s all these different kinds of electrolytes, and obviously everybody’s body chemistry is different. I’m going to ask everybody who is on the call right now. If you could type into the chat – [00:10:59] when you all, as athletes, think of dehydration or you think of electrolyte imbalance, what are some of the things that come to mind? What’s the first thing that comes to mind? A little word association. If we could just get some words here … Bonking Ooh, two bonking. Okay.

Vishal [00:11:23] Yeah, that’s interesting because we touched on that a little bit in the beginning. When you are dehydrated, there’s a lot of systems that are slowly shutting down,   your muscular system as well as a lot of your cognitive function. [00:11:46]  So it’s either going to send signals to your body that it’s really tired. Or it’s going to  stop those key,     bodily parts that are eating up those electrolytes like your muscles and slow them down, which can lead to muscle twitching or cramping or something like that as well.

[00:12:10] It’s interesting to look at it cause you don’t really think that electrolytes in hydration can be the cause of just bonking or fatigue during exercise. But that’s why we always work hard to, it’s not always about during exercise. It’s about before and after and the days leading up. [00:12:35] You always want to keep an eye on your hydration status. The easiest way to tell is just by monitoring your urine color as well and that’ll be a really good indication. You want to  stick to a more pale yellow color and then just listen to your body as well. [00:12:54] Like. If you have a headache that just randomly popped up while you’re working out, it’s probably because you’re dehydrated. I mean, there’s a lot of other factors that can come into play, but it’s like if you’re getting the chills, if you’re getting goosebumps, if you can’t maintain a study effort when it should feel steady, then then you really need to   take a step back, let your body catch up a little bit. [00:13:19]  and focus in on that hydration aspect. 

Cortney: Yeah, we had a couple people mentioned cramping, and I’ve heard a lot of athletes talk a lot about cramping, and the first thing that they say is, they took salt tabs and then they took another salt tab and then they took another salt tab. So there might be a little bit of myth debunking going on here, but can you talk about what, what is cramping, like what’s actually happening in our bodies when, when we cramp and how does hydration and electrolytes play a role in helping us relieve cramping.

Vishal [00:13:58] Right, right. Yeah, that’s a good question. And, cramping science I think is continuing to evolve as well. Like I do think we’re learning more and more, as studies are coming out and hearing testimonials on what’s the true cause of it. What’s essentially happening to your body is, uh. [00:14:20] There’s some sort of disruption in signals from your brain to your muscle fibers that are seizing them up. So, and that’s what you know is almost bringing you to a halt. So the things that we know that have made sure, those channels are communicating properly is hydration. [00:14:40] Because a lot of those communications channels are sodium, potassium – especially potassium and chloride dependent, which are key electrolytes that you would find in there. So, I’ve heard from, yeah, a lot of people that, Oh, like if they get a cramp, they have to take the salt tablet or they have to eat a bunch of bananas or something like that. [00:15:04] So, you know. When you’re cramping, there’s not necessarily an electrolyte deficiency.   There is a buildup of lactic acid that is happening, which is the result of  fatigue, miscommunication, just cell disruptions and things like that. And, and for some people. [00:15:25] A lot of it could be psychological, but  the problem with just taking a salt tablet is you’re probably only going to drink four ounces of fluid with that, which isn’t gonna do much. The fluid aspect of it is, like we talked about, almost like a delivery mechanism to help with the delivery and to get oxygen flowing back again. [00:15:51]   so hydration can relieve some of that. But, personally what I found and what I’ve consulted with and given the advice to a lot of athletes, is – I did learn a little bit of a trick from an old chiropractor who was a team doctor for USA swimming. [00:16:17] And he mentioned that a lot of the swimmers right before they would get into pool would pop Tums. And Tums has calcium carbonate in there, which is a buffer, and it helps buffer lactic acid. And he’s like, Oh, I noticed the Nuun tablets of calcium carbonate, so can it help in that? [00:16:39] And, and I said, no, because the carbonate will convert it to citrate in our product when it’s combined with fluid. But that is something that can work. So one thing I actually do recommend to athletes, especially endurance athletes, if you’re going on a long run or a bike, or if you’re a trail runner and you can carry, is to just pack a few of the regular strength Tums. [00:17:07] just the mint flavor. The other ones have a bunch of artificial stuff in it, like colors and stuff like that and just taking half of something like that. When you feel a cramp coming on will help buffer a lot of that lactic acid that’s building up and can alleviate a lot of that.

[00:17:26] I mean, honestly, I’ve raced ultras where I’ve taken a spill in my calf, just started cramping up and I popped the Tums and I was fine.  I’ve heard it for many, many people that it works. So from the cramping side of it, stay obviously on top of hydration, but if you are   like in a pinch, it’s not that hard to just carry a few of those tablets with you a few times with you and then just take it, and decrease the intensity of what you’re doing. [00:18:03] That’ll   help as well. 

Cortney: So where do you think that myth comes from? That the salt tabs are going to help with the cramping or do the salt tabs work for some people? 

Vishal: I mean, they might, I think the salt tab piece of it, I think there has been a connection between just electrolyte deficiency and cramping. [00:18:33]  So people think that when they cramp, they’re not getting enough water and electrolytes to those muscles, which is true, which is absolutely true. But a salt tab will only have sodium and chloride in it too.   or   and those tend to not be the right. You want sodium citrate. [00:18:55] or potassium chloride, which is a better source of chloride as you get a potassium molecule in there as well. So oftentimes, a lot of salt tabs just don’t have the right form of electrolytes, and you’re not consuming it with adequate fluid to help with that hydration and to help with that side of it. [00:19:19] And, one other thing to mention is that it’s not also just about water and electrolytes. You do need carbohydrates in there.  So a little bit of sugar, in the form of dextrose and or cane sugar will help activate some transport mechanisms so you can alleviate a lot of the stress of having fluid buildup in your stomach or really just not get to where it needs to go.

Cortney [00:19:49] There was a question in the chat from Barry about V8 – and you had also mentioned coconut water.  I saw a bunch of athletes had, had asked question about just using real food or natural type of ingredients for effect of hydration. And here’s another one. Pickle juice is also in the chat now. [00:20:15] So V8, pickle juice, coconut water.  Do you recommend any, what are the best natural or real foods that help with hydration and the electrolyte balance we need. 

Vishal: Yeah. So I really don’t recommend anybody to drink coconut water. Like I truly don’t like, there are case studies of athletes dying from drinking [00:20:47] it. Because of the just the high – drink with such high amounts of potassium and not enough sodium will just throw the electrolyte imbalance in your blood completely off. And when your body is extremely dehydrated, it needs sodium and chloride more than potassium so that you’re not, so that imbalance can actually cause a lot of issues. Not to get dramatic. [00:21:13] You can obviously drink coconut water if you want. Like, just, during the day or when you’re sitting at your desk, that’s fine. But I wouldn’t use it as a solution when you’re base dehydrated or you’re dehydrated in result of exercise or some sort of medical issue because you do want a proper balance between sodium potassium chloride. [00:21:42]   so, so that is important. I mean, if you want to just drink coconut water, I would just recommend adding like a half a teaspoon of sea salt in it.   just so you can try to try to   get that balance back. Right. But, but I would recommend sticking to more products that, that are natural,that, that aren’t necessarily grown in your garden if you would, or something like that. [00:22:15] But, but they are sourced naturally and they do have the right ratios of sodium and potassium to  . Truly have that functional,   ability to, to hydrate you when you’re dehydrated.  The V8 and the pickle juice things. There are some, there’s some research out there that there’s some sort of molecule in pickles that [00:22:43] change that cell signal disruption that we talked about with cramping. So it’s   the same thing there. There is another product, I forgot the name of it, or I’m not even sure if it’s still around that that was like a little shot and it was like really spicy. And really all it was is they knew that. [00:23:03] Yeah. Certain types of peppers or certain types of foods had some sort of molecule in it that corrected that cell disruption. which helps alleviate cramps. Like when you’re, when you’re, when you’re really, when they really set it. So, like I kinda mentioned earlier, science is continuing to evolve.

[00:23:32] What we do know for sure. Is that, cramps happen when there is like an overexertion. So you’re running too hard when you probably shouldn’t, or you’re cycling too hard. If you’ve been running flats for an hour, and then you suddenly start that muscle. Fiber change or when you’re using different muscles that aren’t necessarily were, were used,     there’s that sort of a disruption and that signaling that we can   pull up and have lactic acid buildup, which can slow things down. [00:24:07] You know. A decrease in just, overall,   blood flow, which was just within the body, is also known to impair muscle function, which can   lead to cramping. So, so one way that we know that, that research has showed us is that when, when you are properly hydrated and blood is circulating properly, it can help mitigate a lot of that as well. [00:24:36]  Personally for me I think cramps primarily come along when there’s an overexertion.  When you are either racing, when it’s way too hot and, and, and you still haven’t decreased your intensity, but you’ve only increased more fluid. Like that’s not gonna do it. Like, you’re going to have to really judge her intensity and make sure that. [00:25:03] your body can handle a lot of that. At least in most of, in my racing career.  The only times I’ve gotten cramps is honestly, and maybe it is cause I work for Nuun and I’ve been studying hydration for, for the last 10 years. But the only time I’ve gotten it honestly is when I knew I was running way faster than they should. [00:25:28] or if I was just going uphill for an extended period of time. And I decided to run faster than I was for the last 15, 20 minutes.   but, I also know that I, I. Generally try to stay pretty well hydrated throughout the day. And, and I, and I do listen to those tall tale signs, prior in focusing on that, which, which I do think can help.

[00:25:55] But, I’ve never tried pickle juice or anything like that. I just, I don’t think I, I don’t think my body would respond well to that. Something that spicy or acidic like during exercise. So, but the Tums route, in just the, I do think there’s something there and in helping buffer lactic acid build up, and I think it’s more, could be more at the blood level. [00:26:27] then we think, and that actually points back to a lot of the early cramp cramping, research and science really, that came out like in the early eighties. So now it’s like, it’s evolving and we’re trying to figure out what’s gonna work best for each individual as well.

Cortney: There is a good question in the chat. [00:26:52] Can you electrolyte load the way that you carb load. 

Vishal: Yeah, you can. So we we do recommend loading up on electrolytes the night before and especially the morning of.   In terms of like, taking higher concentrations, for example, with Nuun, I actually,   tell people to drink two or three tablets the night before and the morning of, in the same amount of water, just to get that electrolyte concentration up. [00:27:28] And, and what that will do is that actually helps, what’s called expand plasma volume. So plasma volume is essentially means that you want to expand yourself. The more you can expand the volume of yourselves, the more water and electrolytes they can hold.   so your body can, can store it and utilize it, more effectively.

[00:27:50] When you’re exercising and naturally there is a reduction in plasma volume, your cells are going to start to shrink a little bit as it’s starting to eat up more nutrients. So if you can expand those and have little pockets of, it was how I like to explain it, of electrolytes. [00:28:12]  and fluids ready in your body, primed, they can alleviate a lot of that.   beforehand. So there, there is a way you can do it and I do recommend it. And in fact, not to tease it out too much, but we are launching a product next week that is focusing on that aspect and utilizing a lot of newer hydration science on the correct way to hyperhydrate and prime your body before a endurance exercise. [00:28:47] And it has a lot to do with plasma volume expansion, getting more electrolytes into your system. When your body’s going to naturally need them they’re ready to go, and you have some reserves as well. 

Cortney: I will come back to some of these other questions in the chat, but I wanted to get to sweat rates. [00:29:11] So we have some heavy sweaters and light sweaters. And also everybody has a different amount of salt in their sweat. So if somebody knows that they’re a heavy sweater or an extra salty sweater, do they need to be doubling up on electrolytes? 

Vishal: So that’s a good question.  No, you don’t.  So you don’t need a double up on electrolytes during exercise, that’s one clarification. [00:29:47] To the best of my knowledge,   and to a lot of scientists’ knowledge, there isn’t any scientific data that actually suggests your composition of your sweat in terms of how salty or, how much potassium it has in. It actually impacts hydration. There’s none. Some people just, just think that. [00:30:13] Hey, I’m, I, when I’m sweating, I see salt on my skin.  and, and that means I’m a salty sweater, or I’m a heavy sweater. That actually just means your dietary intake of sodium chloride is probably a little bit more than it should be. So that doesn’t necessarily mean that. Your body is somehow making more salt and just letting it out. [00:30:38] It might indicate that your intake of dietary sodium chloride like table salt, which is in various different other foods, is probably too high.  Some scientists may have differences of opinion in that, that that’s what I believe, and that’s what the data indicates. And that’s what I’ve seen in myself as well. [00:31:03]   is that,   if I know I ate a little bit, if I snack too much or something, and then I went for a run and it was hot, I know there’ll be all sea salt on it, but,   one thing is to. So there’s two aspects of your question or maybe I turned it into two aspects.

[00:31:28]   There’s the sweat rate about part of it, which is how much you’re sweating. And then there’s the sweat composition side of it, of it as well. The sweat rate is obviously very, very important, and it’s, it’s very different from, from. From anyone male, female, age, different body types, different training environments. [00:31:49] When you’re at altitude, C-level humidity, all of that stuff is going to impact your sweat rate. And, and one thing that I always recommend that athletes do is to monitor your sweat rate. As you’re transitioning into different training blocks, so, because your sweat rate is going to change as you get a fit. [00:32:15] And oftentimes when you’re starting your training block in the winter, you know you’re going to end it maybe in the spring and it’s going to be warmer. So at the tail end of that, your sweat rate is inherently also going to change. So, just something as simple as. Going for an easy hour run or a ride, and just weighing yourself nude before and after, will allow you, and then the, the differences in your way. [00:32:41] You just divided and have to figure out how much fluid you should be drinking.  And Cortney, I can give you a basic calculation that you can post for everyone as well. So that’s gonna fluctuate over time. So,   generally we know that. Most people will be fine between consuming about 16 to 20 ounces of fluid an hour. [00:33:07] I’m like, that does tend to match up. Generally at sweat rates for a lot of different sports but I always tell people to, to kinda know, know what your body can handle and not 16 ounces is always a good starting point.   the, the key aspect about hydrating in terms of sweat rate. Or is like your body’s gonna lose water via your sweat consistently. [00:33:38] So you also want to give it a, you want to hydrate consistently as well. So not just every 30 minutes and try to drink six or eight ounces of fluid, but really every six to seven minutes, try to take a few sips that try to, not necessarily match what you’re losing. But you want to   give your body, those key nutrients as well. [00:34:01] just to make things or make sure things are firing out, correctly in the sweat composition side of it.   like I kinda mentioned, Personally, I’m not convinced that people can make more salt in their body.   so,   it is something that is external that’s causing you to lose a high amount of salt.

[00:34:30] Now, another aspect of it is like, sometimes you can drink a product that has a lot of sodium or a lot of electrolytes in there. And maybe not enough,   carbohydrates in there, so your body isn’t going to actually absorb that fluid effectively. So that can also be, a result of it. that’s another aspect, but if you do notice that you have a higher sweat rate. [00:34:58] For whatever reason, based on your training intensity or just in the summer and especially when we’re transitioning seasons to, as your body is just under a lot of shock even if there’s a 10 degree fluctuation, it’s pretty big. It can have a pretty big impact in your, on your core temperature. [00:35:22] And, what we know about core temperature is even if it’s, if it shifts like 0.2 or 0.3 degrees, like that’s going to make a pretty big impact on just how all the systems are working together. But in those scenarios where you know that you may be a heavier sweater or things like that, it’s important to, to make sure your, your. [00:35:48] The night before and in our, in a one to two hours before exercise, you’re giving your body a higher dosage of electrolytes in a higher dosage of a fluid. So I try to combat that as much as you can. 

Cortney: Wow. You said a lot there. I have a lot of, I have a lot of comments and questions,   regarding the sweat rate. [00:36:13]  You touched very briefly on different sweat rates for different sports. And I do triathlon. I see there’s a lot of triathletes in the audience here, and I’ve noticed that I sweat more when I run as opposed to bike, but it’s harder for me to take in liquid when I’m running, as opposed to biking. So, um. [00:36:38] This sweat rate calculator that you’re going to provide, is that, is it universal for all sports? Like we just have to know what our sweat rates are at different sports 

Vishal: I mean, like, this will allow you to   get a good baseline of, like, I always, when I work with triathletes, I always. [00:37:02] Tell them to drink more on the bike, just because I know they’re not going to drink enough on the run. So like you want to try to combat that as much as you can. So it’s just try to prepare your body, because when you’re running, more than likely your heart rate is going to be higher. [00:37:22]  you’re using more muscle groups than just.  your legs if you would like. I know when you’re cycling, it’s more than that, but, but there’s more of a dynamic movement to running, which is just going to, which is just gonna require fluid and electrolytes to go everywhere instead of just   focusing in on, on those key muscle groups. [00:37:45] So you know that that is one aspect of it that you want to be aware of. And then when you’re running too, you tend to lose more water and just respiration as well. So a lot of people don’t notice that, when you’re like, when we’re talking, you’re losing water. and, and as your heart rate increases, your breathing rate is also increasing, which is also going to allow you to lose more water. [00:38:15] So, so that’s another aspect why you are going to need, you are definitely gonna lose more during the run. And that’s why I think triathletes are actually lucky because they can prepare themselves for that. You’re on the bike for several or several hours in some cases where you can have a consistent fluid intake. [00:38:39] With very little excuses, in terms of like, it’s right there and there’s all sorts of gadgets and stuff that can make it easier or more effective.   So I always look at it that way. When we do calculations for athletes and things like that, we tend to add about four ounces extra on the bike. [00:39:05] Then you went on the run.   so when you’re doing that, just just to note that it’s not because you’re. Sweating more on the bike, but it’s really, it’s a try to know that you’re probably not going to be able to, either have access to as consistent fluid or it’s just going to be a little bit harder to, to get your, the right,   drink that you want. [00:39:28] And then again, with cyclists is too, I’m like. You have a water bottle too, that you can have your own drink mix, so you don’t have to, and I know runners can carry stuff too, but I also know like, I don’t like to do it. I try to only do races that where, I know Nuun is on course. [00:39:53]   so I don’t have to carry anything just cause I understand.   it’s a hassle.   but, but   if, if you want to   make sure you’re, you’re helping your body and doing everything you can,     it’s always important for them, more consistent intake where we’re on the bike that’s a little bit more feasible to do.

Cortney [00:40:14] Mm. So sort of a similar question to different sports. How about working at different efforts? So what are the hydration needs for, say, like. A very easy two hour training run versus a half marathon at a race pace. 

Vishal: Right. Yeah. So, so that, that’s a, that’s a good question too. I mean,   yeah. The one thing I tell people is that the guests, your sweat rate is going to be different at those different intensity levels. [00:40:48] but how much your body needs in terms of fluids to maintain,   performance, getting your muscles firing out, getting oxygen to where it needs to go and improving the absorption of everything. Isn’t going to change much from when you’re out for an easy ride. That’s like two, two hours or like an hour and a half hard to run. [00:41:14] So I do still recommend keeping the same dosage, if you would, of fluid. I mean, if you’re, if you’re only running out there for less than an hour. Or less than 45 minutes. And it’s super casual. Like, you don’t need to take anything with you. You’ll be just fine if you’re, unless like you’re, like I mentioned, like, listen to your body, like if you have a headache or something like that, or you randomly got. [00:41:42] Chills or goose bumps throughout the day or leading up to it, and your body’s   telling you that, Hey, like, maybe you should take a rest day or back off a little bit on it. So, we try to recommend the same hydration protocol,   regardless of the workout intensity, the duration is usually the key aspect of if you need it or not.

Cortney [00:42:12] Okay. That’s interesting.  Are there any questions from the audience? There’s a couple here that we can get to, but please, start typing them in the chat. We’ve got 15 minutes left, and so I still have some questions to ask Vishal, but, want to make sure that all of you get your questions answered. [00:42:37] So here’s one about Nuun specifically. Why do Nuun tablets expire? 

Vishal: Yeah, so that’s a good question. So, I mean,   we have to, although the minerals in the ingredients are natural,   there are some elements we can’t control. like moisture, air and things like that that do get exposed to, to the tablets when you open them from a tube or if they’re sitting and things like that over time, like really after like two, three years, we conservatively put expirations because a, after that period,   when, when, when they could be exposed to moisture, moisture or, or, or oxygen or something like that. [00:43:27]   the flavors will start to diminish the electrolyte amount that’s on that label claim. It won’t necessarily be at 300 milligrams then or, or whatever it is. Like they tend to degrade over time. So a w we like to add that in there, from, that. After that expiration date, we can’t necessarily guarantee it’s going to taste as good as it should, like on day one, and it’s going to have the full electrolyte. [00:43:56] And that’s what a lot of like, nonperishable products, whether they’re, your gels or things like that, which I guess have a lot more sugar in water in there that their shelf lights are a little bit less, but it’s like with vitamins and minerals, just over time, their amount is just going to degrade. [00:44:16]   It’s hard to get them to be stable for,   years and years and years. And that’s why the fresh batches help with that. 

Cortney: I’m going to go back to a question.  How bad is five hour energy drink? 

Vishal: I mean like, it’s not, I mean, it’s like, I don’t know all of the ingredients off the top of my head. [00:44:45] I mean, if I were to guess, it’s probably just extremely high in caffeine and like vitamin B12,   which, which again, those are, those are. Good, and they’re, they’re great, for energy. But like what I always tell anyone of people that, when you’re consuming too much of one thing, it’s going to trick your body in some way. [00:45:09] Like, and it’s going to like, if you’re just going to consume a really high amount of caffeine, then just do that. Like, just drink coffee or something like that. You know what, when you combine like 300 milligrams of caffeine and like. 50000% of your daily value of B12. It’s like your body doesn’t know what to do with it, so that’s why you’re ain’t gonna just pee it all out, or you’re not going to use it, or it’s going to cause some other issues and things like that. [00:45:38] Now, like I am sure five hour energy has evolved throughout the years and they cleaned up their product and I’m sure they have addressed some of those consumer sides of it, but. But you know the, like when you take in a high amount of caffeine and B12, it’s going to give you a push. It’s going to give you a nice lift. [00:46:02] Now, would I take that day in, day out? No.   but like, I understand that, really high doses of stuff like that can help. But I also believe that a well balanced product or a well balanced energy drink, if you would, it is the more effective route. And, and the other aspect about energy and in terms of exercise is that [00:46:29]   we always look at it in terms of like a really stimulant base, where it’s like really strong peripheral energy that it’s just gonna, make me run really fast or, just get me jacked. We don’t really think to talk about energy in the aspects of focus or cognitive energy. [00:46:51] Which is something that also is going to degrade during exercise. And if you have ingredients and nutrients in energy drinks workout products that have a focus cognitive aspect, it actually will enhance the stimulant component of it as well. So when you combine different adaptogens, if you would, or amino acids with, with caffeine, they, they, they can work more effectively at lower doses. [00:47:26] So. That’s another teaser of what’s to come,  from noon as well. So we’re  approaching it, we’re approaching   the energy side of it a little bit differently in terms of yes, we realized there are some nutrients or ingredients that do help with that, but we’re also big proponents of balance in helping your body naturally produce energy and to help your body naturally combat fatigue and things like that.

Cortney [00:47:58] Another question in the chat, what does foamy urine indicate? 

Vishal: Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean that it can be a couple things like, there’s a protein aspect of that as well.  So a lot of times if you’re, if you have a, if you’re not recovering properly and you don’t have a, you’re not consuming enough protein, you’ll start essentially almost, like losing certain nutrients that can make your urine seem cloudy. [00:48:31] So one, one actually, um.   if you do notice that what I would do, is not obviously just go eat a protein bar or drink something like that. But at any pharmacy or anywhere online, you can get urine analysis strips. They’re just reagent strips. And, it’s actually a very, very effective measurement of how well you’re recovering from exercise. [00:48:58] It’s going to measure your specific gravity, which is a good indication of hydration. It’ll actually give you keytone and protein measurements as well, to see a, if you’re losing protein or B, if you’re losing ketones, which are a couple of good indications of overall nutrition and recovery. So, that is an aspect of it. [00:49:21]   where we were, we’re, we’ve seen stuff like that. And your urine can actually tell you a lot.  and buying those strips are very economical. And it’s just a quick way to, to figure out if, if like, Hey, like I’m fatigued, but I’m not training that much harder or anything like that. [00:49:45] I’m like, what’s going on? It could just be as simple as a macronutrient or something like, like protein or something like that.   that, that your, your body isn’t getting enough of,   for, for whatever reason. So, I do tend to recommend that sort of analysis. and I know deep in our blog archives with some,   well calculated Google searches. [00:50:14] You can find a blog that I’ve written about that and how you can, you can measure that because it is, it is a really good indication. You don’t have to go to a lab. You can, and I’m not saying like, I’m not encouraging   self-diagnosis, but, but I am saying like, there are some tools out there. But you can figure out and utilize try some things out or to try to figure out what’s going on with your body rather than going doing a full on audit of everything you’re doing. [00:50:48]   it could be something as simple as maybe hydration, or maybe I’m not getting the right balance of nutrients. 

Cortney: A question from Rudy,  water and CO2 are also byproducts of metabolizing carbohydrates, and that water surely doesn’t need to be replaced. So one should expect to lose weight over the course of a run, even if hydrating adequately. [00:51:16] Is that true?   

Vishal: Yes. Like to some degree, yes. Like we, we actually, and that’s why we don’t actually go for 100% replenishment. Right? So,   if you’re losing two pounds an hour, which some people equate to about 16 ounces of fluid, like we don’t say to replenish all of it because,     the cost of the question was the cost of. [00:51:43] Energy and just your body burning through carbohydrates and fat is going to require water.   as is,   the, well, we’re trying to get with, with hydration. Is really a more of that delivery mechanism is to get everything into circulation, to alleviate a lot of potential GI issues and things like that. [00:52:06] So when you, when you bring in fueling, whether it’s gels or chews or, or bars or something like that. There isn’t like this pool of water in your stomach that’s going to   mess things up like your stomach is, if you’re ready and your body is ready to take in those other nutrients like carbs, fats, whatever you’re fueling sources that are gonna require. [00:52:32] Like the question mentioned, water to break it down effectively. So, there’s like that storage component of it, and then there’s that other consistent supply to just make sure that blood and oxygen is flowing properly. 

Cortney: Okay. We have another question from Jess. Are there any negative effects to drinking Nuun with electrolytes on your off training days?

Vishal [00:52:58]   no.   I mean, especially for endurance athletes or athletes, like I like the one thing I actually, I love about Nuun and this is not because I work there. Because the base of the product is still the same from, from when I started.   Like we’ve refined a lot of things just by applying newer hydration science and listening to our consumers. [00:53:22] But,  I talk about it so versatile,   because it’s just electrolytes and about a gram of sugar, like, you don’t have to worry about. Like,   overloading on calories or anything like that, it’s going to provide is consistent intake of electrolytes. I mean, so, if, if you’re working out and you’re an utterance athlete, you can drink noon sport,  when you’re at rest. [00:53:47] if you’re in a lower training block or you’re just. Well, for whatever reason you’re worried about, I don’t want to drink too much sodium or things like that.   our, our vitamins line has a different electrolyte balance. A little bit less sodi  a little bit more potassium in there. [00:54:07]   Because like that, that is going to be the more beneficial route when you’re at rest and you’re not necessarily in motion or you’re   recovering from it. But on rest days, rest days are a good day to recover from nutrition and hydration as well. [00:54:29] Like, you’re, you’re letting your body rest and in the way to let your hydration or nutrition. Rest is just to give it, give it those nutrients and to give it fluid and electrolytes so it can  help the rest of your body recover properly as well. 

Cortney: Okay. We have a question in the Q&A from David. [00:54:51] He says, I just moved from Seattle to Charleston and I’m struggling with the humidity. How can I adjust my hydration plan to accommodate for the drastic change of climate? 

Vishal: Yeah. That’s a really good question. So the one thing I would do for sure is that if you have a morning, like, definitely start maybe trying to run in the mornings where I, where temperatures are lower, I know humidity is still going to be pretty high. [00:55:17] But at the surface level,   hyper hydrating before, during those initial acclimation phases are going to really help. So I would even,   if you’re using a noon sport or, or a product that has, a hydration based product, maybe just double it up the night before to, it’s a, the night before your run to   get,   to expand plasma volume to, to   store electrolytes. [00:55:46] Because,     what’s happening obviously to your body. There is, it’s like you mentioned, it’s a drastic change in climate. Your core temperature is going to arise. Your heart rate is going to increase. All of those factors are going to. Are going to require your body to use up more water and electrolytes, Ben and then it, then it’s normal in a lot of times when you see that such a drastic change, your, your body is almost confused in terms of like, I’ve been running in Seattle where,   like, it’s in the fifties and then all of a sudden a week later you’re running [00:56:30] 15-20 degrees higher and with more humidity, your body is almost confused. So there’s like that cognitive disruption and more, some self signaling disruptions and hydration does make sure a lot of those, a lot of things, in your brain and at the cognitive level are functioning properly. So I would just say the night before, try to load up on it. [00:56:55] And to try to decrease intensity and duration over the first couple of weeks while your body is adjusting. 

Cortney: Well, thank you, first of all, Vishal, for all of the education that you’ve given us. It was so much information. I hope all of you got some good notes and you can contact, for general inquiries at Nuun, [00:57:18] I put the contact information up on the screen here. You can go to and any questions about GritLink or if you’re interested in joining GritLink, go to We also have a Patreon community where you can contribute to GritLink for as little as $5 a month. and that’s, that’s it.

[00:57:40] So thank you all so much for being here tonight.

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