Ultra Runners

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Endurolytes vs Sicaps (Read 430 times)

Gray Runner


Running Bear

    I tried Endurolytes during my last race and I don't know if it was a placebo effect or what, but they seemed to help keep me from feeling like complete crap at the end.  So I plan to use them again this weekend on the 40.  Reading the label they look like a high does B6 suppliment.  I have heard many talk about using using the Sicaps.  Are Sicaps similar, or a salt pill?  And can anyone recommend a salt pill, or do I just go to my LRS and ask? 

    Upcoming races:  
    Mt. Cheaha 50K 2/22
    Georgia Death race 100K 3/15-16
    Sweetwater 50K 4/12
    Cruel Jewel 100 5/16-17
    Make It By Midnight FM 7/XX
    H9 50 mile 8/9
    Georgia Jewel 100 9/27
    Pacing at Pinhoti 100 11/XX
    Dunkin Ridge Trail 50K 11/XX
    Lookout Mtn 50 mile 12/20

      I tried Endurolytes during my last race and I don't know if it was a placebo effect or what, but they seemed to help keep me from feeling like complete crap at the end.  So I plan to use them again this weekend on the 40.  Reading the label they look like a high does B6 suppliment.  I have heard many talk about using using the Sicaps.  Are Sicaps similar, or a salt pill?  And can anyone recommend a salt pill, or do I just go to my LRS and ask? 

       

      Endurolytes work much better for me at races than S-Caps do. 

       

      During my first couple of years running ultramarathons, I took S-Caps from the very beginning of the race, because that's what several ultra veterans advised me to do, and I figured that it was just something that everybody did.  I would take my first S-Cap after an hour of running, swell almost five pounds in water retention weight, and then wonder why I felt so tired all of a sudden.  I almost always lost control of my hydration/electrolyte balance while taking the S-Caps, and typically finished races with a bloated appearance. 

       

      A little over a year ago, I just stopped taking S-Caps altogether, and my ultramarathon performances noticeably improved.  I started carrying Endurolytes in my pack just in case I actually start to cramp, but I rarely use them, and they just stay in my pack.  At my recent 100, though, I ended up using the Endurolytes to fight heat sickness, and the resultant swelling from increased hydration to combat that heat sickness.  I took a couple of Endurolytes every two hours or so during the last half of the event.  Ideally, though, I prefer not to use them.  At Pine Mountain 40 this weekend, I'll have them in my pack once again, but am hoping to get by with the electrolytes in my Sport Beans. 

       

      The ingredients in Endurolytes are different than those in S-Caps in that the S-Caps have a lot more sodium, but the Endurolytes have more potassium and other various electrolyte minerals. 

       

      S-Cap ingredients (from their website):

      Sodium 341 mg  
      Potassium 21 mg

       

       

      Endurolyte ingredients (from their website):

      Sodium (as Sodium Chloride) 40mg  
      Chloride (as Sodium Chloride) 60mg  
      Calcium (as Chelate) 50mg  
      Magnesium (as Chelate) 25mg  
      Potassium (as Chelate) 25mg  
      Vitamin B-6 (as Pyridoxine HCL) 6.6mg  
      Manganese (as Chelate) 1.6mg

       

      Results vary from person to person.  A lot of ultrarunning friends swear by the S-Caps, but I find that I roll along better without them.


      I'm back!

        After reading Waterlogged, I've gone off salt during races completely. Still not sure whether that's a good idea. Anyway I am reasonably convinced that there is no connection between salt and cramps.

        Gray Runner


        Running Bear

          Thanks guys.  I will stay with the Endurolytes.  I eat plenty of salt foods already, so don't think I need the Scaps or other salt tablets.  

          Upcoming races:  
          Mt. Cheaha 50K 2/22
          Georgia Death race 100K 3/15-16
          Sweetwater 50K 4/12
          Cruel Jewel 100 5/16-17
          Make It By Midnight FM 7/XX
          H9 50 mile 8/9
          Georgia Jewel 100 9/27
          Pacing at Pinhoti 100 11/XX
          Dunkin Ridge Trail 50K 11/XX
          Lookout Mtn 50 mile 12/20

          xor


            FWIW, which is sheer anecdotal evidence and not even much of that, two of my better friends who run 100s are "thumbs up" for s-caps and "thumbs down" for endurolytes.  Specifically because of the difference in sodium, which as noted above is substantial.  Of course, you can deal with this by taking more or less of them... and knowing that there's more "other stuff" in endurolytes.

             

            That said, 1) I can't count to 100, and 2) I stopped supplementing a couple years back in 50s and "hard" trail marathons (aka the ones where I'm out there a long time)... and I actually feel a little better.  I PRed big time at a 50 miler... by about 75 minutes... on "drink a little water" and gu chomps.  No electrolytes, no fancy protein, no chugging gatorade by the bottle.  I just ran sanely. ymmv

             

            DoppleBock


              Definately a delicate balance between salt - hydration - sweat rate.  The 2 x 24 hour races I did well at I ate S-caps like candy - well not like candy as it was 45-55 degrees the whole time, but in the range of 30-35 in 24 hours.  I do notice on long runs I often get a negative impact immediately after taking an S-cap - Not sure if this is because hydration is not being divereted in dealing with the sodium influx?  I also sweat salt like a Mo-Fo!.  You could scrape the salt off my shirt and face and return at least 50% of the S-cap salt for recycling.

               

              Intuitively - I sweat at a very high rate, so I need some salt in longer race.  I can lose15 pounds in 2 hours by sweating on an easy run if it is 70F and humid.  I think I can get away with 12-18 S-caps in 24 hours depending on the temp and humidity.  I may try one every 2 hours at DS24 in 2 weeks.

               

              FWIW, which is sheer anecdotal evidence and not even much of that, two of my better friends who run 100s are "thumbs up" for s-caps and "thumbs down" for endurolytes.  Specifically because of the difference in sodium, which as noted above is substantial.  Of course, you can deal with this by taking more or less of them... and knowing that there's more "other stuff" in endurolytes.

               

              That said, 1) I can't count to 100, and 2) I stopped supplementing a couple years back in 50s and "hard" trail marathons (aka the ones where I'm out there a long time)... and I actually feel a little better.  I PRed big time at a 50 miler... by about 75 minutes... on "drink a little water" and gu chomps.  No electrolytes, no fancy protein, no chugging gatorade by the bottle.  I just ran sanely. ymmv

              http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

              2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

               

                I tend to use S Caps, IF needed (or think I need them).

                 

                My first attempt at 50mi (well, actually, I was only planning on the 38mi of trail), I thought I was under hydrated, so drank more and used Scap every hour or two, then it rained - for many hours (think hypothermia conditions, even with rain gear on). I peed clear and copiously about every 20 min for the last several hours. So much for guidelines.

                 

                Next time I went more by drink to thirst, eat when hungry, use salt if swelling or sloshing (or if they feel imminent). Actually, the eating I do a bit more frequently. Since we don't have aid stations, I cut my energy bars in 6ths or 8ths and eat a piece or two or trail mix every 15 min or so - not by the clock, just comes out that way. I'll use shot bloks (usually the margarita flavor cuz of salt) or pretzels or wheat thins or something else salty for most of my salt needs. I'm not a heavy sweater. I usually carry Scaps with me on races over 5 hours, and I may not use them at all or I may use one per hour for a few hours. One bottle lasts me at least several years. ("Hot" where I am is about 70F. In the spring, we have what I call "50 feels like 80" temperatures. Still can't believe the thermometers only indicated 50F on those days.)

                 

                Some of my early mentors taught me to deal with things individually since the balance will vary by person, their recent training (heat adaptations), and weather that day. By treating the fluid, electrolytes, and fuel relatively separately, you can adjust your intake as needed. If everything is mixed in one solution, you can't change anything for the day.

                "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
                Gray Runner


                Running Bear

                  Dopplebock - I sweat quite a bit as well.  Never lost 15 lbs at one time but I have lost 7 or so.  And I can see the salt stains on my clothes after usually, especially on rare low humidity days when we get them down here in steamy Georgia.  

                   

                  SRLopez - I would love to be at a point where I can be more minimalist on things like suppliments and will keep working on it.  

                   

                  AKtrail - i will also work on that keep it separated idea.  Thanks.  

                  Upcoming races:  
                  Mt. Cheaha 50K 2/22
                  Georgia Death race 100K 3/15-16
                  Sweetwater 50K 4/12
                  Cruel Jewel 100 5/16-17
                  Make It By Midnight FM 7/XX
                  H9 50 mile 8/9
                  Georgia Jewel 100 9/27
                  Pacing at Pinhoti 100 11/XX
                  Dunkin Ridge Trail 50K 11/XX
                  Lookout Mtn 50 mile 12/20

                  DoppleBock


                    I think part of the recent analysis is that if you take excess salt you body will have a much higher salt percentage in your sweat.  The body is a wonderful creation and always strives for equalibrium, so when you are lower on salt it will significantly reduce the amount of salt in your sweat. 

                     

                    Dopplebock - I sweat quite a bit as well.  Never lost 15 lbs at one time but I have lost 7 or so.  And I can see the salt stains on my clothes after usually, especially on rare low humidity days when we get them down here in steamy Georgia.  

                     

                    SRLopez - I would love to be at a point where I can be more minimalist on things like suppliments and will keep working on it.  

                     

                    AKtrail - i will also work on that keep it separated idea.  Thanks.  

                    http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

                    2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

                     


                    I'm back!

                      There's more than you would ever want to read about salt in Noakes' new book Waterlogged. We've discussed this before, but there is great analysis here:

                       

                      Waterlogged – A Dogma-Shattering Book?

                      Waterlogged Part II: Trials, Questions, and Suggestions Regarding Hydration and Ultramarathons

                       

                      The blog author -- serious utrarunner Joe Uhan -- ultimately decided that he needs salt, though not for any physiologically definable reason. I chatted with him after Autumn Leaves 50K last month; he took three salt caps (S-caps? I don't remember). I took none, and PRed.

                        There's more than you would ever want to read about salt in Noakes' new book Waterlogged. We've discussed this before, but there is great analysis here:

                         

                        Waterlogged – A Dogma-Shattering Book?

                        Waterlogged Part II: Trials, Questions, and Suggestions Regarding Hydration and Ultramarathons

                         

                        The blog author -- serious utrarunner Joe Uhan -- ultimately decided that he needs salt, though not for any physiologically definable reason. I chatted with him after Autumn Leaves 50K last month; he took three salt caps (S-caps? I don't remember). I took none, and PRed.

                         

                        I read Waterlogged a few months ago and enjoyed it.  Based on my understanding of the book with my caveman intellect, I decided to start drinking less during ultramarathons and, as Noakes says, let my thirst guide me.  At the Georgia Jewel 50 Mile this past September, I only drank from my CamelBak when eating a gel or Sport Beans, and I only took a few sips in those instances.  I ran through several aid stations without having to refill my Camelbak, and that was good for motivation.  Georgia Jewel 50 Mile took place on a hot day, the type of day when I've normally had swollen hands and wrists from overhydration.  After losing 100 pounds this year on my Paleo Diet, I have a visible vein running up my left forearm, and I figured that, as long as I could still see that vein, I would be doing fine as far as preventing the swelling is concerned.  I ended up having my best ultramarathon performance that day. 

                         

                        I followed the same strategy three weeks later for Mystery Mountain Marathon, an extremely hilly trail marathon with 8,500 feet of elevation gain, and beat my previous record at that race by over an hour.

                         

                        I overheated badly at Pinhoti 100 at mile 28, though, and started drinking more water to remedy this.  (I forgot the lessons in Waterlogged, in other words, but I'm just lucky that I remembered my own name at the time.)   This necessitated taking some Endurolytes later in the race to restore some semblance of balance.  I am not sure why I overheated so badly, but eating more food than normal at the Mile 27 aid station (a sweet potato and some chicken) might have contributed.  The temperatures were higher (82 degrees) on the day of that race than they had been since 1975 in that area, so most runners were hit by heat sickness.  I am still trying to analyze the problem, though.

                        HoosierDaddy


                          I think it is highly independent.  I have subjectively felt the boost after taking S! Caps.  Noakes is smart guy but individuals are unique.

                          Gray Runner


                          Running Bear

                            I think it is highly independent.  I have subjectively felt the boost after taking S! Caps.  Noakes is smart guy but individuals are unique.

                             

                            Amen, brother!

                            Upcoming races:  
                            Mt. Cheaha 50K 2/22
                            Georgia Death race 100K 3/15-16
                            Sweetwater 50K 4/12
                            Cruel Jewel 100 5/16-17
                            Make It By Midnight FM 7/XX
                            H9 50 mile 8/9
                            Georgia Jewel 100 9/27
                            Pacing at Pinhoti 100 11/XX
                            Dunkin Ridge Trail 50K 11/XX
                            Lookout Mtn 50 mile 12/20

                              Great to meet you today at Pine Mountain 40, Gray Runner!

                               

                              I had to use some Endurolytes today in the heat.


                              Weegee

                                Good discussion.  I've fluctuated a bit regarding electrolytes, tending toward a more minimalist approach lately, but it depends on several factors, one of the largest being heat.  If one is in a very hot environment and has heat conditioned to encourage a high sweat rate, I think it's probably a good idea to supplement at least a bit.  Granted, that's not a danger in North America at this time of year, but for those toying with adventures in Death Valley (or any really hot 100) they're looking at some danger of hyponatremia.

                                 

                                A slight excess of sodium will increase thirst, and will affect performance, but is generally benign and will mostly be passed off with a high sweat rate, and a little bit of salt can stimulate thirst and settle the stomach if you're feeling queasy.  Getting too low on it however can ruin your day.  My personal problem with Noakes' message (drink to thirst) is that one of the effects of hyponatremia on me personally is that it induces thirst, which ain't exactly the right feedback loop.

                                 

                                Knowing the makeup of your pills is critical.  Endurolytes are practically sodium-free, while S! Caps are almost entirely sodium.  Personally I prefer SaltStick, which is somewhere between the two.  Not too many of them, either.  I think I took 3 at Cascade Crest and 4 at Plain, which seemed plenty, and had great runs there despite some pretty hot days and plenty of passed water.  For Badwater, however, I'd expect to take three times as many.

                                 

                                YMMV.

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