Still recovering from Saturday; My prefered electrolyte source.
After doing a good deal of research I’m convinced that what happened on Saturday was extreme heat exhaustion and (thankfully) not a full-on heat stroke. I’m still recovering and feeling a little better each day, but I am still not 100%. I’ve been feeling somewhat lethargic and warm, and my sinuses are a little messed up and causing occasional headaches. I have also been extra hungry and thirsty, and so I’ve been eating and drinking more than usual because doing so makes me feel better. Going out into the sun is extremely uncomfortable, and I start sweating almost immediately when I go outside. My understanding is that my sensitivity to heat (and susceptibility to heat exhaustion/heat stroke) may continue to be heightened for a time, but that the vast majority of people fully recover within eight weeks. I’ll have to be very guarded about that, as the heat is only going to get worse as we enter the summer months.
I definitely was not feeling up to a workout yesterday, and so I skipped it. Normally I’d be riding my bike today, but I’m going to skip that as well. I think it’s better to err on the side of caution right now and allow my body to deal with the stresses I placed on it.Because I bike for long distances when it’s very hot outside it’s important that I carry a lot of water. I always take 100 ounces of water in my CamelBak HAWG, and sometimes I carry an extra 24 ounce bottle of water on my bike frame. Water is critical, but it’s not enough when you’re sweating heavily for a long period of time. I obviously am well aware of the importance of replenishing lost electrolytes, and it was a major mistake to do what I did on Saturday without any means of replacing them.
Sports drinks like Gatorade are very heavy by volume (a gallon of Gatorade weighs a little over eight pounds), and so for my source of electrolytes I prefer a non-liquid product called Sport Beans. A one ounce packet of Sport Beans contains 120mg of electrolytes (80mg sodium and 40mg potassium); compare that 1-ounce pack to an 8-ounce serving of Gatorade, which has 140mg of electrolytes (110mg sodium and 30mg potassium). Put another way, eight ounces of Sport Beans contains 640mg sodium and 320mg potassium while eight ounces of Gatorade only contains 110mg sodium and 30mg potassium. I also love the way Sport Beans taste, and they are less expensive than Gatorade. Give them a try, I think you’ll like them.