Best 10 Salt Tablets for Running Tested
Hydration is crucial for a runner, especially those going for endurance. Take a look at our guide on the best salt tablets for running & endurance here!
As a runner, you are well aware of the fact that you need to ensure your body is in tip top shape at all times. Running is one of the most beneficial activities you can take partake in for your overall health and well being, but you will only get all of the benefits that come along with it if you are taking care of your body in the proper manner.
- Medique Medi-Lyte
- No sodium added
- 40 servings in each 4 oz bottle
- Hammer Endurolytes
- Superior cramp prevention
We have done some research and compiled a list of the top 10 best salt tablets for running. If you are a runner and are looking to get some salt tablets for an intensive run you have got coming up, do yourself a favor and get one of the ones that is on this list. While there are certainly other options out there, the ones you are going to find here are the best of the best.
Best 10 Salt Tablets for Running
1. Medique Medi-Lyte
- Free of any sugar or lactose.
- Helps to drastically replenish electrolytes that are lost while running.
- During hot weather, Medique Medi-Lyte is one of the best solutions out there for relieving stress that’s created from the hot temps.
- These pills need to be taken quite frequently by some people in order to get the desired results
- Depending on how much you use LyteShow, it should last you between 2 or 6 weeks.
- Doesn’t contain any sweeteners, calories, sugars, etc. This product is focused on boosting your overall health while running, and it excels at that.
- An overwhelming amount of reviews for LyteShow have raved about just how well this product works in reducing muscle cramp, relieving dehydration, and more.
- LyteShow doesn’t provide your water with a fun or tasty flavor, so if that’s something you’re on the hunt for, it may not be for you
3. Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes
- Hammer offers some of the best prevention against cramps that you’re going to find on this list.
- Although the main focus for these pills is on running, they can be used for a wide variety of activities.
- These are better for average runs
4. Carbo Pro Thermolyte MetaSalt
- Similar to other salt tablets out there, the MetaSalt ones help to reduce the irritating effects that come along with intensive running. This includes muscle cramps, heat fatigue, etc. And, the MetaSalt tablets appear to do a pretty solid job with all of its claims!
- The actual cost here could prove to be a bit of an issue. Since you need to take 2 tablets each time, you really only have 50 servings
5. Thermotabs Salt Supplement
- Aims to reduce your muscle cramps, stop frequent fatigue you might feel during running, and helps to protect you against intensive heat.
- Additionally, the Thermotabs help to reduce dehydration as well – a real benefit when running in extremely hot weather.
- Some people react differently to these, so maybe try it out before using it during an event
6. Reviver Advanced Electrolyte Salt & Vitamin Formula
- Reviver aims to reduce the amount of muscle cramps you get during excessive running.
- In addition to that, Reviver also helps to reduce the effects that are typically found when dehydration occurs.
- Made out of nothing but natural ingredients to keep your body in tiptop shape.
- 100% money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied.
- These are intended for continuous endurance activities, and may not be suitable for others
7. Recover E21
- Helps to dramatically reduce the overall amount of cramps you usually feel in your muscles during an especially intensive or strenuous run.
- Recover E21 is made completely out of ingredients that are organic and natural, helping you ensure that you’re only putting the best of the best into your body.
- Recover E21 contains about 15% of the daily recommended intake of magnesium. Magnesium is a super-important ingredient when it comes to boosting your electrolytes, so this is an awesome feature to have.
- The biggest con for this product is definitely the price. It’s quite more expansive than similar products, creating for a lot of stiff competition for what it has to offer.
8. Nunn Active
- Nunn Active’s salt tablets are free of gluten, vegan/soy/dairy free, and use only plant-based ingredients. This is about as natural as you can get, so if that’s a big priority for you, Nunn Active has you covered.
- These salt tablets are also low in sugar and calories, so you can ensure that you’re only filling your body with the nutrients and elements that it truly needs.
- The salt tablets form Nunn Active help to alleviate cramps, increase the overall function of your muscles, and help you burn your body’s energy as efficiently as humanly possible.
- Nunn Active recently changed their sweetener to Stevia, and some loyal fans aren't so crazy about it.
9. SaltStick Caps
- The SaltStick Caps are rated to offer excellent support for reducing the overall amount of stress your body gets from the heat, muscle cramping, and helps to keep your electrolyte levels in check during even the most intense of runs.
- World champions across the globe have relied on SaltStick Caps to keep them moving through the most intense workouts.
- Along with all this, SaltStick Caps are also great for boosting your hydration levels during extra-long runs, and can even help with electrolyte supplementation for CF, POTS, and even Addison’s Disease.
- Some folks have said that the cramps they had were definitely lessened, but they weren’t entirely gone like they were expecting.
10. Rapid Rehydr8 Maximum Performance
- During an intensive workout, it only makes sense that your body would have a tendency to sweat. With the Rapid Rehydr8 pills, the electrolytes that are lost in your sweat are promptly returned to your body.
- Running for prolonged distances can prove to be one of the most challenging tasks out there for runners, so these pills’ ability to increase your overall stamina and endurance while on lengthy runs is a very welcome addition to have.
- The Rapid Rehydr8 pills are manufactured in the United States and comply with GMP standards that are set in place to ensure your overall safety and healthy when taking these pills.
- The company that manufactures these pills offers a 100% money-back guarantee. So, if you find that you aren’t noticing a big difference in your running performance, you’ll be able to get all of your cash back that you spent on the pills.
- While these pills are rated extremely well for providing a lot of extra energy during your runs, some owners have reported that they may not always reduce cramps
As most runners know, this is often easier said than done. While anyone can say that you need to keep your body healthy in order to make your runs as safe and beneficial as possible, actually doing everything to ensure your health is something entirely different. So, just what can you do to make sure that you’re getting the most benefits possible out of your runs?
While there are a number of different things that are important to keep in consideration, one of the most important ones is easily your sodium intake. Sodium plays a huge role in your body’s overall health, and when you run or exercise excessively in any form, your body loses a great deal of its internal sodium through the sweat that it creates. This is a perfectly natural part of the body, but losing all of that sodium can prove to be an issue if you are on a particularly intensive run. In order to combat this, one of the best way to go about recovering that lost sodium is through the use of some of the best salt tablets for running.
Salt tablets are packed to the brim with sodium, and while they should not be taken on a daily basis, they can help out tremendously if you need a quick and plentiful boost to your body’s sodium. These salt tablets have proven to be quite effective for a lot of people out there, and as a result of their popularity, there is no shortage of different salt tablets to choose from. While having a wide variety to choose from is certainly nice, it also makes it a bit difficult to determine if you are getting a quality tablet.
The science behind popular sports nutrition and technologies have made incredible advances within the last few years, and continue to be updated with new findings seemingly every day. What is best to eat and drink before a race, competition, or workout one day might be totally different the next. However, the benefits and the body’s general need for sodium to perform at peak levels remain consistent. Salt tablets and sodium-rich foods have been used to supplement diets for hundreds of years. From the time of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, salt was commonly used among factory and industry workers who were labored tirelessly in hot, humid factories for hours each day. With the onset of World War II and then the Vietnam War, salt tablets were distributed widely among national armies assigned to hot jungle and desert environments, to protect soldiers from dehydration. Then, in the mid twentieth century, the benefits of salt and sodium for athletes was recognized and widely promoted, and as a result, it quickly became normal for trainers, sports doctors, and sports nutritionists to start prescribing sodium supplements to athletes who trained in hotter climates and during the summer months. Unlike other modern-age training supplements, it is hard to refute the scientific claims that back the benefits of salt consumption for athletes. If you are looking for a salt tablet to incorporate into your supplement regimen, look no further than the list we have compiled here! Below is a list of the criteria we used to gauge which salt tablets are some of the best on the market.
Criteria Used to Measure Salt Tablets
1. The Effectiveness of Salt Tablets
The human body needs sodium in order to function properly. Sodium primarily helps the body to regulate fluid. It first regulates the blood volume of fluid available so that the body’s cardiovascular system can perform all the necessary functions. Sodium also helps maintain the body’s acid and base balance, and is particularly important in establishing and maintaining the right balance of potassium and sodium levels needed in providing energy to muscles. As you can see, sodium is a critical component in helping the body function properly and without it, the human body will suffer greatly. Sodium intake becomes particularly important to runners and athletes who lose salt rapidly through perspiration, and so many turn to salt tablets like the ones found on our list. Yet, if you are going to go through the trouble of incorporating salt tablets into your training, they need to actually be effective. Salt tablets are meant to, first and foremost, replenish the salt lost through sweat and urine, particularly during intense workouts in hot and humid conditions. Sodium has the effect of attracting and absorbing water. This is beneficial for all people in that it helps to regulate blood pressure because it helps hold on to the water and liquid portion of your blood. Specifically for runners, though, this function of sodium in absorbing water helps the athlete to take in and hold water longer, aiding in more efficient hydration. Sodium also plays a large role in helping muscles to contract, which is obviously very important during exercise. Because sodium chloride is an electrically charged particle, muscle cells keep these electrically charged particles close to the muscle until they are needed in producing energy to help the muscle contract. Therefore, an effective salt tablet will replenish the salt lost through perspiration, help regulate water and hydration, and assist in the functioning of muscles.
2. The Value of the Salt Tablets
Our criteria of value takes into account more than just price. It also considers what all you are getting for your money, including other precious resources like time, level of pleasantness (i.e. is it tasty?), and overall convenience. We do not just look at total cost of a bottle or package of salt tablets, but also consider per serving costs. It is also always important to take into account how well known or renown the product, brand, or manufacturer is, as well as any awards the product or company might have won. These awards and titles go a long way because you can trust that they are peer reviewed by knowledgeable sources who know what is what. The cost of the tablets on our list (as listed on Amazon) range from $15 to almost $40 in total expenditures. However, to better gauge what is the best bang for your book, it is advised to pay more attention to per serving costs. For instance, LyteShow’s Electrolyte Concentrate formula can be purchased by the bottle for $15, the lowest overall cost of products on our list. However, each bottle is only 4 servings, which breaks down into nearly four dollars per serving (which is quite high). But if you were to purchase LyteShow’s product, you will get a drinkable salt supplement which may be overall more enjoyable and easier for you to consume during a long, hot run. (And because you probably are not consuming salt tablets every day, on every single run – but instead, maybe only a few times a month, – then the higher cost might be worth it because you do not need the product very often anyway.) On the other hand, Thermotab’s Buffered Salt Tablets can be bought for a total cost of $20, but this includes three bottles of 100 tablets in each bottle. That breaks down to roughly $6.75 per bottle, or a measly six cents per capsule. Take into consideration how much of the product you will likely be consuming, as well as your personal preference on taste, amount of the supplement that is recommended, (i.e. popping one large pill is one thing, but you might not be as keen on having to take three large pills each time you need the supplement) etc.
3. Other Ingredients and the Quality of the Other Ingredients in the Salt Tablet Supplements
If you are purchasing a salt tablet, you obviously want the main ingredient (if not, the only ingredient) to be sodium. With the exception of just a few sodium tablets, all the products featured on our list contain more ingredients than just sodium chloride. Salt tablets often also contain other ingredients, especially other electrolytes to aid in the process of muscle reactivity and nervous system response times. The main electrolytes are magnesium, potassium, zinc, bicarbonate, and sulfate. Each product we have featured here contains these electrolytes in differing amounts. Some of the salt tablets on our list also have other vitamins, minerals, and naturally occurring spices and extracts contained in them to benefit overall health. For instance, in addition to sodium, potassium, zinc, and magnesium, the Carbo Pro Thermolyte MetaSalt Salt Capsules contains recommended doses of vitamin D, vitamin B-6, calcium, ginger extract, licorice extract, black pepper extract, and peppermint oil powder. These ingredients are known to provide health benefits such as increased energy and alertness, aid in overall bone health, and act as antioxidants do in protecting against free radicals. Some of the products on our list are sold in a liquid form and meant to be consumed as a fluid. In these cases, manufacturers try to produce a product that has a pleasant enough taste so as to not totally turn the consumer off. Thus, some of these liquid sodium supplements will have added sugars or artificial sweeteners, as well as flavor enhancers. This can be especially beneficial to ultra runners or long distance endurance athletes, because you can kill two birds with one stone: the sodium supplements will help replenish not only salt lost through sweat, but also give your body a much needed energy boost through the carbohydrates found in the added sugars. The quality of the ingredients contained in each salt tablet is important to us as well. We try and include products that only use safe and easily digestible ingredients. While most all supplements are created synthetically in a laboratory, the best and safest will use naturally occurring ingredients (like your basic vitamins, minerals, and naturally occurring plant products from which oils and powders can be extracted) in their supplements. Always be sure to check your label and look for products containing simple and easily recognizable ingredients.
Other Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Salt Tablet
1. How do you normally prefer to take your supplements?
For most folks, popping a few supplement tablets or capsules a day is no biggie. They have worked it into their daily routine and nutrition regimen, and it is as easy as remembering to eat breakfast. However, some folks might struggle with a change in routine, especially the addition of remembering to take vitamins, minerals, and supplements. They also might have an aversion to swallowing larger pills, or they might not be able to endure and get past any bitter aftertaste that is left behind. If that sounds like you, you are better off opting for one of the sodium supplements in our list that comes in a drinkable form. Remember that manufacturers try to make their sodium supplement fluids as palatable as possible, but it probably will not be as easy as downing a glass of soda or chocolate milk. If you are just starting out and are new to the ultra endurance athlete world of supplements, salt tabs, and strange drinkable liquids, then maybe it might be best for you to start first with aiming to get your salt from saltier foods (see below!).
2. What are you eating and drinking?
With higher obesity rates than ever before, and a record number of fast food and restaurant sales in the past year, sodium intake in the typical western diet is usually not lacking. And unless you are sweating it out for four or five hours a day training for your sport, salt tablets might not be necessary. The typical western diet already incorporates foods high in salt and sodium. If you regularly snack on pretzels, processed meats (like deli turkeys, hams, and cured meats) and cheeses, or other salty foods, then you probably already have adequate sodium levels. Likewise, if you have been known to down sports drinks or sodas on a regular basis, you are likely reaching your daily recommended levels for sodium. Start reading food labels, and be conscious of your already existing sodium intake before you begin taking salt tablets.
3. How intense are your workouts?
For the most part, the average runner or gym rat won’t need a sodium tablet. While certainly significant, an hour (or even two) a day of logging mileage or sweating it out on cardio equipment really does not require replenishment of salt in the form of a salt tablet. (You likely get enough from your post workout snack, shake, and/or meal alone!) So when DO you need salt tablets? The easiest way to answer this is by looking at the numbers. Studies suggest that the typical sweater will lose 500 mg of sodium per pound of sweat. On average, the human body can sweat produce anywhere from one to two and half pounds of sweat per hour (for the sake of math, let’s say it’s two). So for all the professional runners, endurance athletes, or those on the longest run day of a marathon or Ironman training plan who are pounding it out on the pavement and trails for four hours at a time, you will easily lose 4,000 mg of sweat during your workout. This is a substantial amount, and needs adequate replenishing. And if you are training during the summer months, in a generally hot and/or humid environment, or just not used to the heat and find yourself out on a run on an especially warm day, you will probably be sweating even more. These kinds of intense training days are when it is definitely a smart idea to have a salt tablet or two on hand in your running belt.
4. How much liquid or fluids are you consuming?
We have already explained how consuming sodium will help increase water absorption rates and help hydrate the body. However, drinking too much water or liquids can actually result in decreased sodium levels, and ultimately, can result in hyponatremia. The reason for this is because excessive intake of fluid will lead to the swelling of cells and the body’s total water levels to rise drastically. With an increase of water in the body, sodium contained in the blood can actually become diluted and essentially rendered ineffective. If this happens, the sodium can no longer properly absorb the water. So ironically, despite drinking more water, you will not have adequate sodium levels to absorb the water correctly to hydrate you.
5. Do you have a family or personal medical history of high blood pressure and/or hypertension?
If you have a family history of hypertension, or have struggled in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level, then you should be even more concerned and aware of your sodium intake than some others. As we have discussed, sodium helps your body to retain water. However, excessive water stored in the kidneys can raise blood pressure and put a strain on internal organs such as the kidneys and the heart. If you already are prone to have higher blood pressure, than salt may continue to raise your blood pressure levels into an unhealthy and even dangerous range. And if you are unsure of your current blood pressure or family history, you need to get checked and ask your relatives! High blood pressure is a serious threat, often called “the silent killer” because people often do not know they have hypertension until they start experiencing serious symptoms, including having a stroke that may lead to death.
1. Can the body naturally produce sodium?
The body does not naturally produce sodium. Like most other essential electrolytes, sodium lost through sweat and urine can only be replaced through diet (food, fluid, or supplementation).
2. What is a normal sodium level?
For the typical, healthy adult, a normal amount of sodium found in the body is usually between 135 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L) of sodium and 145 mEq/L of sodium.
3. How do salt tablets help runners and athletes?
Sodium is one of those “can’t live with it, can’t live without it” things in that too much can be very bad but too little can also be very bad. Athletes that don’t have adequate sodium levels are especially at risk, because they are already losing salt more rapidly through perspiration than non athletes or people who do not work out. Sodium assists in hydration by first increasing the rate at which what is absorbed from the stomach into the bloodstream and carried to cells and muscles to keep them hydrated. Sodium also increases blood volume levels, which allows for more oxygen and water to be carried through the blood but keeps heart rate and body temperature down (to help decrease the risk of overheating). However, too much (especially for those suffering from hypertension) can pose serious health risks. Therefore, salt tablets can be extremely beneficial for athletes, but they are only recommended for athletes who intend to exercise for five hours or longer.
4. What are the potential side effects of salt tablets?
Possible side effects of taking salt tablets when your body already has enough sodium and is not perspiring enough to sweat out a lot at a rapid rate include possible dehydration, high blood pressure, uncomfortable water retention and bloating, and hypernatremia. With repeated use, these could lead to experiencing these side effects chronically, as well.
5. How much salt is too much salt?
The daily recommended allowance for most healthy adults is 2,300 mg of sodium. However, you might be a serious endurance athlete or runner who is not only training multiple hours a day in extreme conditions, but you might naturally be inclined to sweat more than the average adult. If you ARE a long-distance runner, you should definitely still be conscious of your sodium intake, but getting too much salt it does not pose as serious of a health threat as it would to individuals who rarely exercise or sweat.
5. What foods naturally have a lot of salt?
If you are one of those people who are more interested in getting your sodium intake from food and drink as opposed to a supplement or pill form, then this list of foods is a good place to start. An added bonus is that not only will you be supplementing your diet with some serious sodium, but food will provide additional health and nutritional benefits as well because most are excellent sources of either protein, fat, whole grains, other vitamins and minerals, etc. Foods with a higher sodium content included black olives, pretzels, deli meats and cheeses, chicken noodle soup, and salted nuts.
6. Are salt tablets the same thing as electrolytes?
You’ve probably heard at least some hype about electrolytes, and how you should be opting for sports drinks that will replenish electrolytes that are lost through sweat. But what IS an electrolyte? These are electrically charged particles, or simply, ions, that are contained in the body’s fluids. Because they are electronically charged, ions carry these electronic charges to muscles and throughout the body to assist in muscle contraction and overall energy and performance. In order to function properly, our bodies need a constant supply of electrolytes. The seven main electrolytes are magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphate, bicarbonate, and of course, sodium and chloride. Therefore, sodium (or sodium and chloride, aka table salt) is just one electrolyte needed by the body for energy. If you are looking to replenish ALL electrolytes lost through sweat, then simple salt tablets won’t do the trick because you’ll be missing out on the five other main electrolytes.
Here are a few of the sources we followed:
- Salt Tablets, Informational Sports Web Page Article, ,
- The Actions of Sodium in the Human Body, Health and Fitness Online Magazine Article, ,
- http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Black-pepper-extract-could-fight-fat-by-blocking-cell-formation, Health and Wellness Online Web Page Article, May 09, 2012 ,
- Salt and the Ultraendurance Athlete, Informational Nutrition Web Article, ,
- Salt and the Athlete: Shake it Or Leave It?, Active.com Informational Health and Nutrition Article, Aug 13, 2015 ,
- Hyponatremia, Mayo Clinic Health and Wellness Article, ,
- Common High Blood Pressure Myths, American Heart Association Health and Wellness Article, Oct 01, 2016 ,
- Salt's Effect on Your Body, Blood Pressure UK Health and Wellness Article, ,
- What are Electrolytes? What Causes Electrolyte Imbalance?, Medical News Today Informational Health Article, May 24, 2016 ,
- Pass the Salt?, Runner's World Nutrition Article, Oct 10, 2006 ,
- What Are Electrolytes… And Why Are They So Important?, Built Lean Nutritional Article, Nov 28, 2012 ,