Athletes can loose up to to 2000mg sodium or 5grams of salt per litre of sweat which is why sodium is the main focus for athletes when they are fueling.  A lot of sports drinks market their potasium and magnesium content but do you really need them in a sports drink or running gel?

The short answer is no. The long answer is still no.

Potasium loses in sweat is around 200mg per litre of sweat, only 10% that of sodium. This is equivalent to half a banana or half a small flat white. Unless you are sweating profussly everyday and your diet is deficient in potasium you don't need it.  If you have one serve of dairy and a couple of serves fruit and vegetables every day you will be ok.

Magnesium is also important for athletes but magnesium is the electrolye you loose the least of in sweat, only 12 mg per litre of sweat. This is the same as half a slice of bread or 4 almonds.   If you eat some fruit and vegetables and some grains you will get enough magnesium.

In summary Sodium is the only electrolyte most people need to be concerned about during exercise. Magnesium and Potasium are there just as marketing bullsh&*. 


August 30, 2023 — Ben Paris