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    grae_bird's Avatar
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    electrolytes and walking in heat

    I live in Texas and the summer heat is escalating! Welcome the 100 degree weather! I love walking to work, but this requires walking home in the 5:00 sun. I am very underweight and have a lot of digestive issues I am in the early stages of trying to heal... Thus, health is a problem and malabsorption, etc. --my question is, should I be concerned about electrolyte loss from walking in the heat? Or is that not a problem? Or should I try to exercise in a different, cooler way? I DO take a basic electrolyte mix b/c of previous imbalance.

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    A good rule of thumb is that if your exercise (or anything) is causing you to consume more than 150 oz water / day, you should get yourself looked at by a physician. They can check your blood levels and see if you are doing okay.

    Whether it is okay to walk in 100 degrees depends on how far, MBI, and very individual things about how well your body handles heat.
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    My last job had me walking outside in the heat all day. I drank a ton of water and would sometimes get an electrolyte imbalance.

    I found that drinking just one individual container of decent coconut water, in addition to the regular water, helped quite a bit.

    Just check the label because some of them have added crap.
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    Thank you-- I know there are a variety of ways to restore electrolytes. My question is mainly if it is worth the fresh air and vitamin d, if there is a real danger of electrolyte imbalance. Does walkign in hot weather cause electrolyte imbalance? or is that hype?

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    Walking in hot weather causes death, so no, not hype.

    But again, it really depends on how far you are walking, what your surface area is (height to weight) and what your individual physiology is.
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    It's not hype, but it's also pretty easily prevented.

    I've been working outside in desert heat for almost 6 years. You just drink water, and if you drink a lot of water, you supplement with electrolytes.

    It's not difficult.
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    Natureman's Avatar
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    I'm assuming Gatorate or other sports drinks that say they have electrolytes are not a good source for them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Natureman View Post
    I'm assuming Gatorate or other sports drinks that say they have electrolytes are not a good source for them?
    Gatorade has a lot of extra stuff I'm not a fan of (though, to be honest, it's not as bad as some others). From their website:

    WATER, SUCROSE, DEXTROSE, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL FLAVOR, SALT, SODIUM CITRATE, MONOPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, GUM ARABIC, YELLOW 6, GLYCEROL ESTER OF ROSIN, BROMINATED VEGETABLE OIL
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    ok so how does one know how much of which electrolytes to take ... in traking my food I strive for 2000mg sodium (need to keep it down because of HBP) and uslay endup +/- 500 I take a 500mg magneium pill or two daily and if I feel the need potasium.

    now when I'm out side and it's hot and I sweat I litterly leave heavy white salt like stains on my shirts ... so how much of what am I lossing and what shoud I be taking or does it blance out if say I'm only 3 days outside and indise the other 4 days??
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    Quote Originally Posted by grae_bird View Post
    Thank you-- I know there are a variety of ways to restore electrolytes. My question is mainly if it is worth the fresh air and vitamin d, if there is a real danger of electrolyte imbalance. Does walkign in hot weather cause electrolyte imbalance? or is that hype?
    I believe it is mostly hype. It can happen, but the danger is hyped.

    What I mean is, it's probably most likely that you won't lose electrolytes to any degree that you have to worry about it. But once in a while you might find yourself in a state of lost electrolytes. It's not an emergency and it's not a huge "failure" on your part.

    A good book for understanding hydration is Waterlogged by Tim Noakes. Here is a very comprehensive review: Waterlogged – A Dogma-Shattering Book?

    I hike a lot and sometimes the weather is pretty hot. I have learned to recognize for myself the symptoms of when my electrolytes are getting out of whack. Usually it has to do with drinking more water than I need in a sort of feedback loop of thirst/too much water/more thirst/even more water. When I get in that loop I realize what I'm really thirsty for is salt. I cease drinking no matter how much I crave it until I can obtain salt. If I use a hydration drink, I usually use something really simple such as Nuun tablets or similar or even Crystal Light hydration. I don't find sugar to be helpful. Also helpful are S-caps capsules or something similar.

    This only happens to me under circumstances more extreme than one would get just walking home from work.

    To make your walk home from work more comfortable, you could employ some of the methods I use to make hiking in the heat more comfortable:

    * Use a Go-lite Chrome (or similar) umbrella
    * Wear long pants and sleeves that are unbuttoned at the wrist to create a microclimate around the body
    * Soak the shirt in water
    * Wear a hat and soak the hat in water
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs

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