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High Carb (Carbohydrate), Low Fat Grocery Food with Sodium, Potassium Nutrition Facts

roadskater's picture

Especially in long events over four hours, getting sodium and potassium (and other electrolytes if possible) are important, and more water is not better if it doesn't contain electrolytes. Some say "peanut butter" but during an event it's hard to deal with the fat that comes with it. Those who sweat alot and who experience muscle craps are often looking for sources of potassium. So I've been looking out for convenient sources of sodium and potassium, especially as might be found in grocery or convenience stores.

Here is one low fat, high carb, convenient sources of sodium and potassium for pre- or during-training rest stops:

  • Great Value Vegetable Juice
    • serving: 8oz 24ml 6 per 48oz can
    • protein: 2g
    • fat: 0g
    • carb: 12g
    • sodium: 490mg
    • potassium: 600mg

I'll mention the two kinds of Gatorade that match the Roadskater.net jerseys (so far), Lemon-Lime and Glacier Freeze. These are the two I have on hand. I buy the 51oz powder cans that make 6gal, and the scoop in that size equals 4.5 tbsp. That means 32oz of Gatorade made with 1 scoop contains:

  • 32oz Gatorade made with 1 4.5tbsp scoop
    • serving: 32oz
    • carb: 13g x 4.5 = 58.5g
    • sodium: 95mg x 4.5 = 427.5mg
    • potassium: 30mg x 4.5 = 135mg

So if you're after sodium and potassium, 8oz of veggie cocktail has more sodium and four times more potassium than 32oz of Gatorade. This is one reason I ramp up my skaterade by adding 1tsp or 2tsp or Morton Lite Salt Mixture to each 100oz Camelbak bladder of water (made with 3 of the big 4.5tbsp. scoops of Gatorade). This makes a much less sweet sports drink that you can drink longer without being "sick of the sweetness."

On the subject of light salt and salt substitutes, please note that light salt is a half and half mixture, roughly, containing sodium and potassium:

  • Morton Lite Salt Mixture
    • serving: 1/4tsp 1.4g
    • sodium: 290mg
    • potassium: 340mg

If you just want to add potassium and no sodium, try these:

  • Nu-Salt Salt Substitute:
    • serving: 1/6tsp 1g
    • sodium: 0mg
    • potassium: 530mg 
  • Morton Salt Substitute:
    • serving: 1/4tsp 1.2g 
    • sodium: 0mg
    • potassium: 610mg

No matter what, get the advice of your physician and all that, and try your mixtures when you're training in familiar surroundings and under less stress in case you don't like the results. I used to get so sick of the gooey skaterade that I would quit drinking it, and that is definitely not a good idea. And I've seen people pushing water to people who looked like they had heat exhaustion but who were actually going very low on electrolytes...hyponatremia and hypokalemia...as noted here often.

Check these two searches for more:

With my current mix, I have had fewer problems with over-sweet drink, and I've had fewer cramping problems as well, probably because I drink more, earlier, longer. It's not scientific, being just my experience, but I'm confident that adding lite salt has been a great move, and that every rest stop and finish line should have lite salt or regular salt or both. It's a great non-spoiling food item to add to the rest stop toolkit in addition to the usual advice to get people to eat tons of bananas, in my view.

Regarding bananas (the food, not the movie), according to http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c20Tm.html#nutrients-per-serving:

  • Large banana of 8" to less than 9"
    • serving size: 136g
    • carb: 31g
    • sodium: 1.4mg
    • potassium: 487mg

Please add your thoughts and other foods you find that could be a convenient pre- or mid-event kicker for electrolytes, especially those we might find at a roadside grocery or convenience store.


timv's picture

Juicy Juice Punch Flavor: Hey, This Stuff Isn't So Bad After All

As you know, Blake, I go through gallons of Juicy Juice punch-flavor juice per week. I mix it about one part juice to two parts water, and I can knock down a half a gallon of the mix in a couple of hours at Country Park. Here's what the label says:


Serving size: 8 fl oz (240 ml)

Calories: 120

Total fat: 0 g

Sodium: 20 mg

Potassium: 220 mg

Total Carb: 28 g

Protein: 0 g

Vitamin C: 120% 


I've stuck with it for something close to ten years now because I like the taste so much better than sports drinks. It feels like it just hits the spot and it always sits well no matter how much I drink. I hadn't noticed all the potassium, but I can't remember the last time I had a cramp.  

not going to find my normal

not going to find my normal stuff, Hammer-Gel Products, in a grocery store but emergency measures are.

A UMC coach, Bill Haas, used to have his athletes them drink the following mix as an electrolyte replacement. 1 qt water a pint of OJ with a pinch of salt.

 Potatoes and Tomatoes also will work in a quick fix  just add salt and eat. loaded with all the electrolytes needed by the weary skater. Potatoes are of course also loaded with Carbs.

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