Over the past few years Team Axarsport has advised and hosted numerous people who have come to Andalucia to train in the sun and heat. The clients usually have specific events they are preparing for and these events include multi stage ultra races such as the Marathon des Sables, Gobi Challenge, Trans Aq and Al Andalus, single stage ultras like the Libya Challenge, mountain bike events like Cape Epic and Crocodile or road cycling Sportifs such as the Marmote or Etape du Tour. All require a high level of fitness and determination and all require plenty of planning, kit and nutritional decisions. The one which always gives the most problems is hydration and electrolyte use, especially as many of these events take place inremote areas and in high temperatures.
Most people are familiar with the numerous sports drinks on the market but the main problem with these is that many are powder based. Powder is difficult to carry, especially during a multi stage desert race, it is bulky and heavy and not easy to mix correctly, especially during for instance, a sand storm!!
A better alternative is to carry pure electrolyte tablets, smaller and lighter, as they don’t include carbohydrates. The tablets such as NUUN or ZYM are excellent but being flavoured this doesn’t go down too well day after day when you crave more savoury foods or are just sick of having to drink sweet, flavoured water which for some people can cause bloating and stomach cramps.
Water on its own is necessary but too much can be dangerous resulting in the life threatening Hyponatremia, which is caused when the bodies correct balance of minerals is diluted, so when I discovered Elete I was more than happy to give it a try.
Elete is an electrolyte concentrate which contains no sweetners, flavouring or calories. It is easy to take and is compatible with hydration packs, ( which means it doesn’t stain, leave a smell or funny aftertaste, or grow fuzzy stuff in the bladder or hose ). Elete is made up of Sodium, Magnesium, Chloride and Potassium and 2.15ml / half a teaspoon, is enough to treat up to 1 litre of water. It can also be added to cooking which is another plus when you are stage racing and living on dehydrated meals.
A double strength dose can be used for cramp prevention and you can add Elete to fruit juice, any beverage according to taste or just mix in water and add a squeeze of lemon. For events like the Marathon des Sables I would recommend 2 or 3 of the tiny 24.6ml bottles which would treat over 30 litres along with a couple of tubes of NUUN or ZYM tablets for variety.