The Tour's latest revelation lies in its approach to hydration. Riders are now matching their sodium intake with their sodium loss meticulously, ushering in a new era of individualized hydration strategies.
We've seen teams devising color-coded charts, grouping riders by salt loss, and creating corresponding hydration bottles. It's a fascinating development in the pursuit of peak performance.
While individual "sweat rates" vary, a good rule of thumb is an approximate loss of 1L of sweat per hour during a Tour stage.
Astonishingly, this equates to a loss of 800mg to 2000mg of Sodium per hour, depending on the athlete. When you consider that most electrolyte drinks offer only 200mg to 450mg of Sodium per bottle, the discrepancy is striking. For example, Skratch provides you with 380mg, and Maurten only provides 200mg.
Salt vs. Sodium:
Salt is made up of 60% chloride and 40% sodium. While the EU and UK typically list Salt content, the US lists Sodium content. You can do some quick math by multiplying Salt x 40% to find a product's Sodium content.
Sodium is the main electrolyte you are losing when you sweat and it’s crucial to replenish it adequately. It aids in many functions throughout the body and is crucial to facilitating water transport.
How much do you need?
Science's stance on required Sodium levels varies. However, the feedback from riders who have adjusted their sodium intake is remarkable, reporting improved power consistency, overall well-being, and superior next-day recovery. They’re incorporating more Sodium on the bike alongside a high-carb fueling plan and performing drastically better.
One of our favorites for daily hydration is LMNT. It’s simply one of the best.
Keep in mind, LMNT has no sugar or carbs. So, I recommend coupling it with a high-carb hydration option in your other bottle, such as Victus DURING, Maurten 160, SiS Beta Fuel or the new Enervit Isocarb Drink Mix. This helps you stay on top of both fueling and hydration goals.
Did you know? You can now sort our hydration options on The Feed by sodium levels, from highest to lowest. Some prime examples of each tier are as follows:
Low (<275mg sodium)
Medium (276-600mg sodium)
High (>601mg sodium)
Stay salty, stay hydrated!