By David Murphy
Every marathoner dreams of running the Boston Marathon. My dream was met with disastrous results because long before the finish line my electrolytes ran out.
I was cruising along with some running buddies with my pace chart on my wrist. All of us were aiming for a 2:45 pace and felt we had trained well to hit that target. We were chatting and discussing how crazy it was to be racing through crowds of cheering people.
Then it happened, I got the worst cramping in one of my calves. After pushing through it for a few miles I had to stop and use a curb to stretch out the hardened knot that had formed. To
spectators I must have looked like I was finishing an ultra marathon because I could hardly even walk. I forced myself to continue and was fine for about a mile and then both my legs cramped up all the way from the calves to the upper thighs. It was excruciating. For the final miles I had remaining I walked or ran-hobbled like an old man who had never run a day in his life. Those of you who have experienced this know how devastating it is to your race and destructive to running motivation. Understanding what happened that day and finding a proper solution revived my spirit and brought renewed confidence.
What is it? Hammer Nutrition has a product they debuted several years ago called Endurolytes. Used by bikers for years they are a gel capsule that is taken with water while you are running. I have been using Endurolytes for the last year and it has been a miracle. I have not had one cramp since. Cramping is your body's final warning signal that you’ve used up your electrolyte stores. However, your performance i
s deteriorating and you are slowing down long before you feel the slightest twinge of a cramp. Your body can ingest a maximum of 150-200 calories per hour during exercise; it can, however, use (via sweat, muscle enervation and mental functioning) a limitless amount of electrolytes. Endurolytes are a mix of these vital electrolytes, easily delivered in pill form.
How it works: To keep your body's muscular, digestive, nervous, and cardiac systems firing on all cylinders you need a consistent supply of all electrolytic minerals, not just sodium and potassium. In fact salt tablets or too much sodium is counterproductive and can cause swelling. Plus, in many instances, you require greater volumes of electrolytes than any sports drink or gel can provide. That is why Endurolytes fulfills such a crucial component of your fueling by supplying your body with a balanced, full-spectrum, rapidly assimilated electrolyte source, allowing you to meet your widely vari
able electrolyte needs with tremendous precision, hour after hour, no matter what the weather throws at you.
When to use: I mention weather because as I reflect on the race day it was about 70 degrees at the start and got up to 80 before I finished with normal East Coast 80% humidity. I was obviously unprepared for this. I recommend that runners take Endurolytes whenever their workout will extend beyond 1 hour, the temperature is above 70 degrees, humidity is above 70%, or you are going to be running in temp or humidity 10% more than you are accustomed to. Endurolytes are not just for cramping. Endurolytes aid peak performance by giving optimal electrolytes to keep your muscles firing and other nervous responces operating smoothly. Personally I take one capsule every time I use a Roctane. For severe cramping it is recommended you take more, 1-6 per hour and possibly some before or after the race.
Ease of use: Endurolytes are very easy to take with you. They go down tasteless, without any of the offensive taste problems of Gu-like supplements. Also don’t do what I did one race and put the pills unprotect
ed in the sports pockets of your shorts. The first few will be fine but after that the sweat from your body will dissolve the pills with ease. All you will be left with is a mush of salty solution in your pocket. The best protection is to store them in an accessory belt if you run with one, or prepare them in the most basic of plastic sandwich bags, the very thin ones with no ziplock and then put the whole thing in the pockets of your running shorts. For those of you who would rather have a non-pill solution it does come in a powder form that you can mix with water and carry that as you run. This will have a flavor but will give the same performance.
Ingredients: Endurolytes contain proper ratios of chelated minerals which provide proper absorbtion. Chelation is the process of bonding each mineral to an amino acid. Bonding makes mineral digestion and assimilation easier.
Endurolytes contain these minerals:
- Calcium – most abundant mineral in human body
- Magnesium - When calcium flows into working muscle cells, the muscle contracts, when calcium leaves and magnesium replaces it, the muscle relaxes
- Potassium – Chief Cation within all muscle cells
- Sodium – Chief Cation outside the muscle cells
- Chloride - Necessary in maintaining the osmotic tension in both blood and extra-cellular fluids
- Manganese – Necessary in trace amounts for optimal muscle cell enzyme reactions for conversion of fatty acids and protein into energy
- Pydroxine HCL - Coenzyme that performs in 60 enzymatic reactions involving metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein
- Tyrosine - Amino acid, which has been added because when blood plasma deficiencies occur during extreme endurance events, low thyroid and low adrenal production result
Pricing: Endurolytes come in two differently sized packages. The first is a sample pack with 4 pills in each pack. These are good for first timers who just want to try them to see how they work. You can pick these up for a mere $1.50. After you find out that you love them (which I am absolutely sure you will) Endurolytes come in bottles for those using them more regularly. Bottles have 120 capsules and are affordable at $25. A perfect low cost addition to your training program.
Find your balance. As with all sports nutritional products you have to find the correct amount and frequency to take them so you have the optimal production. Every single body is physiologically different and thus handles nutrition differently. Test out how many you need to take to get the best results. I’ve raced with increased confidence since using Endurolytes. Don’t let cramping and muscle fatigue keep you from having an enjoyable race. Use Endurolytes!