Category: Electrolytes

Brad Seng – Athlete, Coach, Leader

Brad Seng is a man of character, integrity, and Christian values. He has accomplished a lot as a pro triathlete. He continues the tradition of triathlon excellence at University of Colorado as head coach. Because he keeps abreast of developments in nutrition, Boulder Salt was a natural addition to his roster. So we sat down with him to learn why.

The Challenge of Potassium

 BSC fresh fruit on plate potassium

If you’re into reading nutrition labels, you’re probably pretty familiar with RDAs -Recommended Daily Allowance. For those of you who aren’t, RDA refers to how much of a particular nutrient one is supposed to take in during a day in order to avoid the negative health consequences associated with a deficiency.  

I’ve been studying nutrition for over 30 years and there has been one RDA that has baffled me for as long as I can remember – potassium. Potassium is a powerhouse of an electrolyte, playing a critical role in everything from muscle contractions and fluid balance to maintaining healthy blood pressure and lowering the risk of osteoporosis and stroke. It is so critical to various processes in the body, and for our overall health, yet it’s a struggle at best, to get anywhere close to the RDA of 5 grams a day,

You might think that if you ate 5 bananas a day (and I’m not suggesting that you do), that you would be well covered for potassium. Truth is, with only approx 400 mg per banana,  you wouldn’t even be half way there!  

I sat down with my marketing director, who happens to be an endurance athlete, and we’ve discussed what a person might eat in one day in order to meet the RDA for this particular nutrient, and it’s definitely a challenge!

So play a game with me here…putting together the foods  below, find a realistic meal plan for a day,  that would add up to the RDA of 4700 mg.  You may want a calculator.

1 cup broccoli:  450

½ cup baked beans:  450

8 oz yogurt:  320

5.3 oz greek yogurt:  230

1 oz chia:  115

8 oz orange juice:  500

Med baked potato:  900

Med sweet potato 430

2 pieces of 21 grain bread:  230

1 egg:  60

Med banana:  420

1 c. avocado 700

Salmon (1/2 filet):  720

Large apple:  230

½ c. cooked spinach :  415

1 mango: 560

½ c. quinoa 318

1 c. chopped kale 325

1 c. raisin bran:  350

1 c. milk:  360

1 c. coconut water: 600

6oz chicken breast: 400

Here’s a menu that we came up with:  ( Note that this sample menu does not take into consideration other nutrients, total caloric needs of individual, nor specific dietary considerations or restrictions):

Breakfast:   1 med banana, one cup orange juice, 1cup raisin bran with 3/4 c. skim milk,   (1410)

Snack:  greek yogurt  230

Lunch:  ¼  salmon filet, 1 mango, ½ c. baked beans (1370)

Snack:  ¼ avocado 175, multigrain crackers  95

Dinner:  chicken breast, ½  c. broccoli, 1 med baked potato (1525)

Total potassium for this menu is 4630 mg, just barely hitting the RDA of 4700. The point of this exercise is to show you just how difficult it is to obtain the RDA of potassium, even when you are consuming high potassium foods.  You really have to work an pay attention to get anywhere near 4700 g a day, (and it’s even more important to do so if you’re an athlete).  Furthermore, the above sample diet may possibly work for someone who is very active, but it may have too many calories for someone who is not physically active, and could cause weight gain.  The takeaway here is to become aware of good sources of potassium (including healthy salt!), experiment with your daily menu plan, and bring the subject of potassium intake with your doctor.  It’s too critical of a nutrient to leave to chance!

Bruce Neeld is the founder and President of the Boulder Salt Company. He is a research scientist by day, and a holistic nutritionist by passion. He has studied nutrition for over 3o years and his personal health goals include warding off cancer, and to live to be 160 – or die trying.

What’s the story behind Boulder Salt? Click here:  The story behind Boulder Salt!

What does Bruce put in his smoothies? See an example here!

Magnesium – Paying it Forward

BSC - nuts - magnesium

Magnesium (Mg) is a vitally important nutrient in so many aspects of health. It plays a role in controlling asthma and insulin sensitivity, glucose regulation, prevention of type-2 diabetes and creating energy (via ATP activation).  It also helps regulate heart rate, mitigates muscle spasms, eye-twitches, symptoms of fibromyalgia and has a calming effect on the brain.

Low magnesium is known to cause anxiety, fatigue, nervousness, depression, insomnia, migraines, panic attacks and overall weakness. Studies continue to be published that show just how crucial maintaining a steady supply of Mg is for our body and brain to function, yet research shows that 3/4 of the US population is deficient

Magnesium deficiency is often called an “invisible deficiency” because the signs and symptoms, which are of both a neurological and physiological nature, are typically associated with signs of a medical disorder. As such, the medical system is set up to prescribe some type of medicine, rather than recommend dietary changes and supplementation as you would to address a known nutritional deficiency.

So why is it so hard to obtain sufficient Mg from our western diets, and what can you do to ensure you’re getting enough in your diet?

Part of the problem is that standard farming practices have been depleting the Mg content of our soil. So even when eating foods that are normally high in magnesium, the same food has less  than when it was grown on the land 50 years ago.  In addition, some farming herbicides will bind Mg , preventing it from being absorbed by the plants.

Dietary intake can also influence our body’s ability to absorb magnesium from our food and digestive system.  If you eat magnesium, but it does not get into your blood, you don’t get the benefits.  A diet high in sugar and excess alcohol creates a double whammy, affecting both your ability to properly absorb magnesium and increasing the amount that is excreted.

The best dietary sources of magnesium are dark green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, and a healthy salt that has lots of magnesium.  But in order to get the most mg, the cellulosic cell walls have to be broken.  Some of this occurs from normal chewing, but in order to maximize absorption, high shear pulverization (blender) is best.  Cooking greens is another way to enhance magnesium absorption – as much as 5x!  So cooked spinach can have as much as  five times more available magnesium than the same spinach eaten cold (and not blended).  The downside of cooking your greens is that some of the more delicate phytonutrients and vitamins are destroyed in the cooking/boiling process.  As you can see, there are a lot of trade-offs to consider when selecting the best dietary sources of magnesium.

What I like to do,  is start off the day by drinking 8-10 oz of water with one packet of Boulder Salt (a truly healthy salt). It ensures 35% of the RDA for magnesium before I do anything else. It also provides a balanced blend of important electrolytes/minerals including sodium, potassium, calcium, and bicarbonate, and offers the added advantage of a strong alkalinizing effect on the body ( from the bicarbonate). I follow up with a nutritionally balanced smoothie for both breakfast and lunch, that includes a comprehensive blend of nuts and greens.  Before dinner rolls around I’ve already greatly improved the odds that my body can ward off many of the symptoms of Mg deficiency!

Bruce Neeld is the founder and President of the Boulder Salt Company. He is a research scientist by day, and a holistic nutritionist by passion. He has studied nutrition for over 3o years and his personal health goals include warding off cancer, and to live to be 160 – or die trying.

What’s the story behind Boulder Salt? Click here:  The story behind Boulder Salt!

What does Bruce put in his smoothies? See an example here!

Guide to Using Boulder Salt® @ Lavaman Triathlon 2019

At Boulder Salt® we are honored to continue and expand our support of the Lavaman Triathlon on the Big Island of Hawaii! Boulder Salt® will once again be utilized by the professionals in the medical tent, to treat athletes suffering from dehydration and muscle cramping. It will also be available to race participants on the run course – at aid station 2 & 4, and at the finish line.

Here you will find everything you need to know on how to use Boulder Salt to stay hydrated in the hot hawaiian sun, prevent and eliminate muscle cramps and keep on course to the finish line!

What makes Boulder Salt® different from other electrolyte products?

The body needs a variety of electrolytes(salts) for optimal functioning. Unlike salt tablets and capsules, which are almost purely sodium, Boulder Salt® provides a combination of all of the critical electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. What’s more, they are provided in a ratio that mirrors what naturally exists in the body, which is the key to effectively hydrating, avoiding the consequences of hyponatremia, and preventing and eliminating muscle cramps.  Additionally, Boulder Salt does not contain sugar, flavorings or fillers, and each component is of the highest purity available. It’s soft, mellow taste is easy to on the palate and the stomach.  In every sense it is a healthy salt.

The benefits of Boulder Salt® for triathletes  

  • Alkaline electrolyte replacement – counteracts acids that build up from the environment, processed foods, and hard workouts.
  • Offers superior hydration before, during and after workouts
  • Can prevent and eliminate muscle cramps
  • Delivers a balanced blend of electrolytes including sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Ratio mirrors what naturally exists in the body.
  • Excellent source of magnesium, which plays an essential role in muscle contraction and relaxation. Adequate amounts of magnesium can prevent and eliminate muscle cramps.
  • Boulder Salt® is simple to use: you can add it to water for an instant electrolyte source, or your favorite sports drink to up the electrolyte value
  • Helps neutralize metabolic acids, keeping muscles functioning properly
  • Can settle an upset stomach on and off the course .
  • Great for pre-hydrating a few days leading up to the race: add a serving of Boulder Salt® (1/4t) to your water (or other beverages) 2-3 times a day.  
  • Infinite shelf-life. Safe and stable, even in hot and humid environments.  (and our single-serving packets are highly water resistant)
  • And when you’re not training and racing, Boulder Salt will serve you just as well at home. It is a nutritionally superior alternative to traditional table salt, sea salt and himalayan salt.  It has 40% less sodium per serving and is an excellent source of magnesium. It can be used as a 1:1 replacement in seasoning your favorite foods and in cooking and baking. Due to the alkalinity of Boulder Salt®, we recommend that you do not take a full serving with a high protein meal. The body needs acid to digest protein and Boulder Salt® will neutralize acids.
On course, Boulder Salt will be available mixed in water. It is also available in the expo and in Kona, in 1 lb bags and boxes of 60 single-serving packets.

How to use Boulder Salt®  on race day 

Boulder Salt® is available in 1 lb bulk bags, and boxes of individual packets. However at the aid station, it will already be mixed in water, and you take/drink it exactly the same way that you grab a cup of water along the course. You are welcome to drink it by itself, add to whatever sports drink is in your water bottle, or refill your bottle with Boulder Salt® in water. The avg concentration will be in a ratio of 1 serving (1/4t.) to  12-16 oz of water, but depending on your sweat rate you can safely take in 2-3 servings per bottle of water. Most athletes are pleasantly surprised that Boulder Salt in water has a pleasantly mild,soft taste. A lot of people comment that they can’t taste it at all in the 1:16 ratio.

Here are the ingredients per serving:

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Should you try something new on race day? 

We all know the adage on trying something new on race day, but the uniqueness of Boulder Salt® puts it in a class by itself – a truly healthy salt.  It only has electrolytes and they are all minerals that our bodies naturally have and need. Nothing extra. No flavorings. No sugar. No calories.  If you’d like to try it out prior to your race, stop by our booth at the Lavaman expo at Waikoloa. We’ll have samples of it in water, answer your questions, and you can pick up a couple of packets to use on the bike as well!