Four Weeks to Go - Nutrition
Nutrition Tips Series
Developed by Lisa Lovejoy, Sports & Wellness Dietitian
4 Weeks to Go!
Some people may be wondering about whether or not they need to replace electrolytes (sodium, potassium), from sweat losses, during or after their workouts. A pound of sweat contains about 80-100 milligrams of potassium and 400-700 milligrams of sodium. During a high intensity bout of exercise lasting two to three hours, a person may lose 300-800 milligrams of potassium and 1800-5600 milligrams of sodium.
For many, replacing electrolytes is easily achieved with foods and beverages that are a part of their normal diet. If exercise is less intense and not lasting as long as this two to three hour example, potassium and sodium losses will be minimal and easily replenished with food.
Replacing electrolytes lost from sweat is easier than you may think. One eight ounce serving of low-fat yogurt has 530 milligrams of potassium. A banana has 450 milligrams! As for sodium, the typical American diet far exceeds our sodium needs. Unless working out in an ultra-endurance event lasting 4 hours or more, it is unlikely that your body will become depleted in sodium. None the less, sodium is easily replenished. Ten saltine crackers have 360 milligrams of sodium. One small salt packet has 500 milligrams of sodium. On average, one cup of soup has 1000 milligrams. For longer, more intense events, including salted fluids or foods during the event is prudent but for shorter bouts of exercise, electrolyte replacement is not necessary.