Disclosure: SaltStick sent me some capsules to try and a bottle to give away. I did not receive any other compensation and all opinions are my own.
It has been a wicked hot week in the Old Dominion AKA Virginia. Hot like, going for a run early in the morning and looking like you went swimming. Hot like, lots of feels like 100* going on.
I’ve been sweating like crazy (and I’m a salty girl), so I have found myself frequently using electrolytes. SaltStick reached out to me and offered me the chance to try their product. Each capsule contains vitamin D3, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sodium, and potassium and you take them every 30-60 minutes with water while you are working out.
Do they work? I think so. I’ve definitely had some runs that went better than expected, despite the heat. Do I prefer them to other electrolyte options? The jury is still out on that, for two reasons: 1) I have difficulty swallowing pills and these are no exception and 2) I’m not good about drinking plain water. So, yes, I think they are a good product, but no, I don’t think they are perfect for me.
BUT! SaltStick has recently come out with a new product called FastChews that are electrolytes you can chew or suck while working out. That sounds much more up my alley! I expect my sample soon and can’t wait to try them!
In the meantime, SaltStick is sponsoring #30SaltyDays and giving away a sample of the new FastChews! And if you’d like to win a bottle of the SaltStick caps, go to the bottom of my post to enter!
Want to know more about electrolytes and what foods will help you get them? Check out this post from SaltStick (and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end!!!)
This post is part of our #30SaltyDays summer campaign, in which we hope to educate YOU about the benefits and science behind electrolytes. Follow the campaign with the hashtag #30SaltyDays on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the SaltStick blog. We’re offering our brand new product, SaltStick FASTCHEWS, as a giveaway for participants. More information here: http://bit.ly/1Rz0avu.
The season between Memorial Day and Labor Day is often packed with outdoor get-togethers, including graduation parties, July 4th celebrations and Father’s Day. Each party is different, but certain summer favorites reappear each time. Have you ever wondered what nutritional benefits these common dishes provide? For instance, how much potassium is in fruit salad? Is there too much sodium in a hotdog? Are baked beans good for you?
Last holiday season, we blogged about the electrolyte values in holiday foods, and the post was a pretty big hit. We thought we’d do the same thing for summer favorites. Before we dive in, a quick disclaimer: This post details electrolyte values, but large amounts of electrolytes do not always make a food “healthy.” As you attend the summer parties, take note of foods high in fat and sugar, and keep them to a minimum.
However, you can still impress your friends at these parties with your knowledge of electrolytes!
Fruit Salad: Almost all fruit is packed with electrolytes, including potassium, magnesium, and calcium. A one-cup serving of fruit salad made with bananas, apples, grapes, berries, and pineapple contains nearly 10 percent of your daily potassium needs. It’s also a great source of antioxidants and Vitamin C — nearly 50 percent of your daily needs.
Watermelon slices: Nearly ubiquitous at outdoor parties, watermelon slices make a easy, delicious dessert. Watermelon appears on many “best endurance foods” lists because it’s basically water (about 90 percent), simple sugars, and electrolytes, including potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. Watermelon also contains a healthy dose of lycopene, which has shown promise for anti-cancer and skin-protective qualities. Lycopene is also believed to help reduce the effects of sun burn, so grab an extra slice if your summer has been full of outdoor training.
Hotdogs: This is where the line blurs between “full of electrolytes” and “healthy,” so keep our disclaimer in mind. However, if you grab a beef or pork frank this summer, you can at least know you’re replacing about 30 percent of your daily sodium needs. You’re also getting about 25 percent of your daily saturated fat content, so just stick to one, especially if you plan on adding mayonnaise or grabbing chips. Consider healthier alternatives such as chicken or turkey hotdogs, especially from nutrient-conscious shops such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
Coleslaw: There are many, many types of coleslaw, ranging from sour, vinegar-based to chunky, mayonnaise-based, so it’s a little tricky to pin down the exact electrolyte values. However, most versions contain relatively high amounts of sodium and potassium, along with trace amounts of calcium and magnesium. If done right (as in vinegar-based and low salt), coleslaw can actually be quite healthy, given that cabbage contains a multitude of healthy vitamins and minerals. Opt for the lower fat versions when possible.
Baked beans: As we pointed out in our recent blog post, legumes are excellent sources of magnesium. Sodium levels can highly fluctuate, depending on the chef, but all baked beans contain about 20 percent of your potassium and magnesium needs. They are also very high in fiber, and other minerals, such as zinc and copper.
Ice cream: This is definitely a case in which electrolyte values do not correlate with health, but one half-cup serving of ice cream contains nearly 10 percent of your calcium needs. Hey, that’s gotta be worth something, right? Consider lower fat frozen Greek yogurt for something new.
What are your favorite summer foods?
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30 thoughts on “The Electrolyte Values of Summer Barbecue Favorites”
What about potato chips? Plenty of salt there… :p
Great information here. I drink electrolytes when I run and do tough workouts.
I use these all the time. I take them with Gatorade too, not just water.
Love that list of foods! Especially watermelon and ice cream 😉 I also need to check out those salt chews, while I’m not pounding pavement much anymore, our CrossFit gym isn’t air-conditioned so I’m still loosing lots of water while I’m working out.
Watermelon is my favorite during summer, and I had no idea it had electrolytes! Perfect excuse to eat more!
I like watermelon if someone else deals with cutting it up for me LOL.
I’ve been trying to increase my fruit intake in order to make sure that I’m getting more electrolytes. Its so hot and humid out there!
I love fruit, but I’m awful about actually eating it. I need to prep it more ahead of time.
I bought my own bottle of these after that little interaction we had about this topic (lol at that situation) and have been using them on long runs. I THINK they are helping? It’s so hard to tell!
I think they do help. I’ve now taken them a couple of times after a really salty run when I felt nauseous and I felt better almost immediately.
I think I’d have trouble swallowing pills while running, but I guess you never know until you try!
As for summer foods, nothing beats watermelon!
Great post! I just started cycling so I’m learning more about electrolytes and why we need them. Thanks for all the info 🙂
They make a big difference in how you feel when you work out, since you lose a lot of salt in sweat.
My best hot weather advice is hit up some shady trails. That’s where you’ll find me this weekend.
I’m a salty girl too. I bet these would work wonders.
There aren’t a lot of unpaved trails around here and many of the paved ones are not shady. Thankfully, my neighborhood has a lot of tall trees, so I run around there a lot.
My best tip is run early and in the shade if possible. These look great, I would much prefer a pill over some of the electrolyte drinks.
When I can get them down, I like them, but sometimes it’s hard to do that…
Run early. Hydrate. Have friends meet you along the way with more hydration.
I have never tried salt tabs, but I know a lot of people swear by them. I can’t see myself being able to swallow them mid run though.
I’ve actually taken a few after the run and that seems to help as well, since that’s when I’m really drinking a lot. I’m hoping the chews taste good.
That’s my main issue with them. I’m still working on it though…
I start off slowly at the beginning of the summer and gradually acclimate to the hotter weather. Of course, running in the early morning or in the shade is helpful.
I never seem to acclimate, sadly.
That’s how my husband is. I feel lucky.
I’ve never heard of these but what a great idea! Definitely need to try.
I’d heard of them before I tried them, but I hadn’t had a chance to try them. I’m looking forward to seeing if they help me with my really long runs.
Great list! I used salt tabs when I ran the Boston Marathon. No cramping for the win. 🙂
I haven’t really used them often during, but the last two really sweaty runs I did, I took one when I got home. It seemed to help quite a bit with the nausea I was feeling when I finished the run.
Definitely will be checking these out! I used a similar product a few years ago called SCaps and they worked really well. I sweat a TON so I need to take in something like this. I actually prefer pills because I hate that slushy feeling in your stomach when you take in too much fluid.
Lately it’s been so hot that I feel like I sweat out the liquid long before I feel sloshy. But I really want to try the chews!