It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

March 23, 2015

SaltStick Caps Review & Giveaway!


When I was contacted a few months ago by Joseph Harvey with SaltStick to do a review of their salt supplementation capsules, I immediately said Yes!  I already used salt supplementation, so I was excited to try this product.  All I have to say is it's AWESOME!  It took me a little bit to fully review the product because I don't use salt as much during the winter months when I'm not sweating as much or training as long.  I did have some great opportunities to try out the product though and I think they can be beneficial anytime you are working out for more than 30 to 60 minutes.  I reviewed the SaltStick Caps Plus with the added benefit of 30mg of caffeine per capsule.  Here are a few key features of the Salt Stick Plus capsules from their website:

Every winter I take an indoor cycling class.  This year the class I took had about 100 people crammed into a very small basement area.  You are literally almost shoulder to shoulder.  The class is an hour, but I usually got there 15 to 30 minutes early to warm up.  With that many people, the class gets hot FAST!  I would sweat a crazy amount in an hour to an hour and a half.  I thought this was a perfect opportunity to try them out.  They recommend taking one capsule every 20 to 60 minutes for up to a maximum of 15 capsules per day.  I actually took one pill a few minutes before the ride began, and then another one about 45 minutes into my ride.  They provided a great energy boost, without being too much.  Each capsule contains 30mg of caffeine - about the same amount of a 12 oz Coke (which contains about 35mg).  A standard 12oz Starbucks coffee contains around 260 mg.  So this isn't going to get you all jittery or crazy, but will provide a gentle energy boost.  If you don't want the added caffeine they also have just a standard SaltStick Cap with no caffeine but the all the rest of the great benefits.  
Just a sample of the bikes in my class
The really awesome thing about these caps is that I had zero stomach upset. The buffered cap really seems to work.  With other salt supplements I've used before I've felt pretty blah after taking them and I didn't feel that at all with these.  We all know the importance of electrolyte replenishment - you lose them through sweat - and if you don't replace them you feel AWFUL!  These kept me feeling great through my workout. I could really feel a difference during the workout and after. I don't know if you've ever experienced that day after energy depletion.  I know I have.  You work out really hard, but you don't do a good job with replacing the electrolytes you've lost and the next day you feel exhausted and can hardly get out of bed.  It's almost like a hangover...no fun.  I felt like these really did a great job and no "after workout hangover".

I also tried these during my first race of the season.  I knew the Phoenix Arizona half marathon might be difficult because I'd been running in cold temperatures all winter and it would be my first opportunity to run when it was warm.  Race temps were supposed to be 50-60.  Not exactly hot, but still much warmer than what I'd been training in.  And as you know I'm a slower runner, so I knew I'd be on the course at least 2 1/2 hours.  I decided I would take 3 capsules.  I took one just a few minutes before the race started, and then another one about an hour in and the final one at about two hours into the race.  Again, no stomach upset, a bit of an energy boost and I never felt like I was going to bonk. I really think these helped during my race!  I also felt great the next day.  

And not to name drop, but have you ever heard of Chris McCormack or Craig Alexander?  Well if you haven't they have both won the Ironman World Championship (more than once), and um, they use SaltStick...so if it's good enough for them, well I think it's definitely good enough for me!

I was also given the opportunity to try the SaltStick Dispenser.  I don't know if you've ever tried to take salt supplements while riding a bike,but it's not easy. I'm not super coordinated on the bike to start with, so I found it seriously challenging.  When I did my first half Ironman I used salt supplements.  I had them in a baggie in my jersey.  So during the race I would have to reach around my back, take out the baggie, dig in the baggie grab one, drop one, and then take it. Yes I always took extra capsules because I would always end up dropping some during this process.  It felt impossible.  And if you've been reading my blog for awhile you might remember that race recap.  I totally bonked.  I got dehydrated and electrolyte depleted.  I remember not taking them a few times when I knew I should have because it was just so much work to actually get them to my mouth!  
Dispenser shown mounted on aero bars and my race belt

This dispenser is genius!  I'm not kidding. It is absolutely fantastic!  They have two versions - a full size which holds 6 capsules and a mini that holds 3. They can be mounted to your bike or even worn on your race belt.  I think the mini would be perfect for your race belt, but you can use the larger one as well. The 6 capsule dispenser is perfect for aero bars.  You can mount one or even two to hold up to 12 capsules during a race or a long ride.  They keep the salt dry and with a quick twist they are ready to go.  You just have to twist the dispenser and a cap loads in the end.  It is suspended there until you grab it. Easy peasy! Did I mention Craig uses this too?? 
SaltStick Dispenser & Mini shown above
After reviewing both products I have to say I would highly recommend them! They are both seriously great.  I was very impressed.  I was also extremely impressed with the SaltStick website.  There is so much information!  You can find video reviews, dispenser installation videos, user testimonials, ingredients, the science behind the product and so much more!

A 100 count SaltStick Plus caps retail for $29.99 and the non-caffeine version is $21.99.  The 6 cap dispenser is $23.99.  Not ready to commit to a full bottle - they also offer sample sizes with 3 caps for $2.99 for the Plus caps and $1.99 for the plain SaltStick caps.

But, would you like to get a full bottle of SaltStick Plus caps (100 count) and a 6 cap dispenser FREE??  Entry my giveaway - details below!!

How to Enter:
1. Required - Answer this question in a comment.  Have you ever used salt supplementation before?  What was your experience?

Bonus:
2.  Follow Slowly Tri-ing on Facebook - Leave a Comment on this blog post saying that you did/do.
3.  Follow SaltStick on Facebook - Leave a Comment on this blog post saying that you did/do AND leave a comment on their FB page and mention Slowly Tri-ing.
4.  Follow me on Instagram - Leave a comment on this blog post.
5.  Share this Review and Giveaway any way you would like - Blog post, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.  Leave a comment and share the link.  Share it multiple ways - get a bonus entry for each way you share.
6.  Follow SaltStick on Twitter - Leave a comment on this blog post.

#1 is required to be entered into the giveaway.  All others are for bonus entries.  I will be doing this the old fashioned way and drawing a name out of a hat!  For every entry that you have your name will be thrown in one time.  You have at least 6 ways to get your name in the hat.

Giveaway winner will be posted Monday, April 13 - on my Birthday!  Good luck!!! 

23 comments:

  1. I supplement with McDonalds salt packets. Free! But not as convenient and doesn't have anything but salt haha. I follow you on fb and instagram and I follow SaltStick on fb.

    Thanks for the opportunity - this is something I've wanted to try for a long time!

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    1. Thanks Bobbi! You know they have a whole section on the website about why you need more than just salt :) lol.

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  2. Those dispensers are cool! I've never tried taking in additional salt during a race...

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  3. I haven't used salt supplements before. I'm highly interested in them. I think it would be a lifesaver during XC season when we run in the 100 degree heat.

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  4. I don't use salt supplementation as a regular part of my nutrition, but I try to have something available bc I've definitely noticed it helping when cramps start to threaten.Things I've used as alternatives include mustard packs (gross, but effective), pickle juice (ditto), or dill pickles.

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  5. My previous comment never got posted, not sure why? I am anxious to try these out while training for my 100 mile ride around Lake Tahoe in June. Are they available locally or only online?

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    1. I signed up for all of the Facebook and Twitter feeds, thanks!

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    2. John yes they are sold at several stores locally. If you go to their website under shop you can search for local retailers. But I did a quick search and it looks like Gary Gribbles Independence,Bike America and Bike Source all carry them.

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  6. I really should try salt supplementation during some of my long runs. We're still feeling the effects of summer here and the humidity is crazy high. I sweat like a pig and I've often wondered if I'd recover quicker if I could get the salts back in earlier. This will require a little bit of self-experimentation.

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  7. I have an entire jar at home. Can't remember the last time I raced without them. No way I could have finished Louisville without them as well. When I ride at home on the trainer I take 1 into my second hour, takes the edge off the cramps. Good stuff!

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  8. I haven't used salt supplements before, but really want to add them to my routine this year. I am a very salty sweater and think they woul dbe extremely helpful :)

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  9. I use SaltStick on my longer rides of 50 to 80 miles and they're not only a lifesaver but a ride saver!
    I'm following you on Facebook and following SaltStick on Facebook and Twitter.

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