Best Salt Tablets for Running Tested
Hydration is crucial, and something not to be taken lightly, so finding the right products is more important than many people actually realize. Salt tablets are no exception.
We have done some research, and found out some really helpful information, guiding us in the right direction with regards to the use and effectiveness of salt tablets. After you have a chance to scan our list, check out all of the info we and shared below.
- Medique Medi-Lyte
- Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes
- Nuun Performance Hydration
- Thermotabs Salt Supplement
- Succeed S! Caps
- Recover E21
- Nuun Active
- SaltStick caps
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Medique Medi-Lyte
Free of any sugar or lactose
Helps to drastically replenish electrolytes that are lost while running
Relieves stress created from hot temperatures
These pills need to be taken quite frequently by some people in order to get the desired results
Medique Medi-Lyte is something that can be taken on an as-needed basis to help keep the body properly hydrated. Packages come in sizes of 100 or 500 tablets, and the prices that are being asked for each size are truly phenomenal. These are some of the cheapest yet best salt tablets for running you’ll find, and they also do a heck of a job at giving you the strength and energy you expect from such a product.
Lasts between 2 or 6 weeks
Doesn’t contain any sweeteners, calories, sugars, etc.
Focused on boosting your overall health while running
Effective at reducing muscle cramps, relieving dehydration, and more
LyteShow is one that works best if you mix it with about 32oz of water. However, if you want to get a more concentrated mixture, reduce the amount of water that you mix this with. You’ll get 40 servings with each bottle, and for the price that’s being asked, it’s definitely a bit on the steeper side of the price spectrum. It isn’t the most expensive option by any means, but that higher price is justified considering its excellent performance.
3. Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes
Excellent prevention from cramps
Can be used for a wide variety of activities
Decent volume for the price
More suited toward average running sessions
This is another on that gets some really good mentions online. Hammer Endurolytes works best when taken at a dose of one tablet about every hour with a full glass of water. For 120 tablets in each bottle, the price you’re getting here is quite common and fair compared to the other products on this list.
4. Nuun Performance Hydration
Gluten, soy, and dairy free.
Vegan plant-based ingredients are natural and organic.
Contains natural carbohydrates
Help alleviate cramps
Improved muscle function
Several flavors available
It is in powder form
Stevia taste might not be appealing
5. Thermotabs Salt Supplement
Aims to reduce muscle cramps
Prevents fatigue you might feel during running
Provides protection against intensive heat
Reduces the negative effects of dehydration
May react differently compared to other salt tablets
The Thermotabs Salt Supplement is a more basic product that just does exactly what you need it to do. Each tablet that you take should be taken with a full glass of water. You can take 5 or 10 each day, with the amount depending on the temperature outside and the intensity of your runs. The price you pay for 100 tablets is dramatically lower than anything else on this list so far, offering some incredible value for your dollar.
6. Succeed S! Caps
Relieves muscle cramps
Helps prevent hyponatremia
Only electrolytes; no added carbohydrates or other ingredients
May still cause cramping on longer runs
Doesn't have additional supplements; just salt
Succeed S! Caps were formulated with the electrolyte profile of blood plasma in mind. This electrolyte supplement is perfect for long runs on hot days because it contains the proper amount and combination of sodium, potassium, Phosphate, and citrate for effective energy production
7. Recover E21
Dramatically reduces the likelihood and intensity of cramps
Made completely from organic and natural ingredients
Contains high amounts of magnesium
High price per volume
Recover E21 is made from organic ingredients, to help keep your body hydrated more naturally. The tablets here should be taken 2 at a time with a full glass of water as often as your body needs them. There are 60 tablets included with each bottle of Recover E21 but the price is considerably high for such a low count of tablets. It’s effective but definitely pricey.
8. Nuun 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.
To get the best from Nunn Active tablets, you’ll need to consume with a 16-ounce glass of water. This can be done either before, during, or after your workout has been completed. The pill then transforms the overall flavor of your water to give you a tasty drink while also replenishing your electrolytes at the same time. The upfront cost of Nunn Active is definitely on the high end of things, but you can get a bundle of either 8 or 4 tubes at once. When you take this into consideration, there’s actually a pretty good bang for your buck being offered here.
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.
Popular among elite athletes all over, SaltStick Caps effectively increase hydration levels throughout long runs and competitions. They should be taken in the form of 1 single pill every 30 – 60 minutes of running. You get 100 capsules with the SaltStick Caps, but you’re also going to have be taking them more frequently than the Rapid Rehydr8. The price is also slightly higher, so this isn’t the most affordable option out there.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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.
This is beneficial for all people in that it helps to regulate blood pressure because it helps to 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.
Our criteria of value take 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.
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. These nutrients, vitamins, and minerals 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 liquid.
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.
Other Factors to Consider
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!).
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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). This is why it is so important to watch how much salt is being lost and to replenish it as needed so you do not stress out your body by depriving it of this important element
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