Marathon runners have quite a job deciding what foods will be advantageous to them in the field. But even more than food, they also have to be keen on the drinks they take. A lot of emphasis is laid on the need for marathon runners to hydrate all the time, but it is equally important that they maintain a balance of electrolytes in their bodies.
Chemistry may not have been a favorite subject in school, but it is important that you learn the basics of electrolytes particularly if you are a runner. Electrolytes are important for the functioning of the body. Because they are ionic in nature, they help in the transmission of electric impulses in the nervous system. Additionally, they help maintain fluid balance in the body. The four major electrolytes that the body needs are potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium.
Runners need to check that their electrolyte levels remain balanced because when running, they tend to sweat a lot, and lose electrolytes in the process. Having an electrolyte imbalance is anything but good; it can be detrimental to the performance of a runner. Electrolyte imbalance is characterized by cramping and muscle fatigue. Other signs include nausea, dizziness, muscle spasms, a dry mouth and bad breath, constipation and dry skin. To avoid getting into such unfortunate situations, marathon runners therefore need to keep replenishing electrolytes. Here is a list of top 10 electrolytes for marathon runners that could help them keep those electrolyte levels balanced.
1. Endure Performance Electrolyte Drops.
This electrolyte contains ionic minerals that are gotten from the Great Salt Lake. It contains a number of the major electrolytes, but primary among them is magnesium. The drops are very convenient because you can add them to your water in whatever quantities you wish.
2. Hammer HEED Sports Energy Drink.
This is without doubt one of the best electrolytes available for marathon runners. It has an osmolality of 280-290, which is more or less the osmolality of blood. This is the ideal osmolality for electrolytes. The energy drink is great for those who sweat moderately when running, because they need a liquid source of carbohydrates. It also contains 25 grams of carbohydrates, which is perfect for extreme exercise such as running a marathon.
LyteShow is more or less like the Endurance performance Electrolyte Drops, but the difference lies in the fact that LyteShow also contains zinc as an electrolyte too. For the best results, it should be used with Endure, although on its own it does a fine job.
4. Saltstic Electrolyte Capsules.
This electrolyte, unlike most others, comes in the form of capsules. It is great for those who need plenty of sodium. You could be wondering: but why use capsules? The advantage in capsules lies in the fact that taste is not a limiting factor with capsules as it is with drinks. These capsules are great for those who sweat a lot, because sodium is important in the regulation of water loss.
5. Hammer Endurolytes Fizz.
Hammer also comes in capsules like Saltstic Electrolyte, but is superior to it in terms of sodium concentration. Like Saltstic, the fact that it comes in capsules is very beneficial to marathon runners because it can contain high concentrations of sodium.
6. Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water.
Ordinary mineral water does not usually contain enough minerals to be labeled an electrolyte, but this is not the case for this mineral water from Germany. It contains an impressive number of electrolytes, such as calcium, carbonates and magnesium. It is an ideal electrolyte for those who suffer from nausea, headaches and fatigue as a result of too much exertion when on the running tracks.
7. Ultima Replenisher.
This is one of the sweetest electrolytes in the market. In fact, its sweetness may be too much for some people. It contains all the essential electrolytes, vitamin C, non- GMO Maltodetrix and Silica. Its sweeteners are Vega and Luo Han guo, which is explains its extreme sweetness. It is still one of the best electrolytes available for marathon runners.
8. Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator.
This is also a reserve for those with a sweet tooth, because it is also a very sweet electrolyte. It has stevia as a sweetener, but may be better than Ultima for some because it lacks Luo Han guo. It comes in pencil- like packets. It is a great electrolyte too.
Although some may dismiss it because it has artificial sweeteners, Powerade is also one of the best electrolytes that runners can use. It has quite a number of ingredients, such as sodium, calcium, potassium, fructose and glucose. It gives runners energy to go that extra mile.
10. Lucozade Sports.
This electrolyte contains water, glucose, syrup, acid regulators, vitamins and sweeteners. Like Powerade, it also contains artificial sweeteners and some may dismiss it for that, but is still makes one of the best electrolytes for marathon runners.