Hew-Butler, T. D., Sharwood, K., Speedy, D. B., Collins, M., & Noakes, T. D. (2005). Ad libitum sodium ingestion does not influence serum sodium concentrations during an Ironman triathlon. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 37(5), Supplement abstract 1829.

Triathletes were randomly assigned to a placebo (N = 61) or sodium supplementation (N = 53) group. The placebo group received 40 tablets containing 596 mg of starch and the sodium group received 40 tablets of 620 mg of table salt. All Ss believed they were receiving salt tablets and were instructed to ingest them as they felt like it.

There were no performance differences between the groups. Both groups consumed approximately the same number of tablets. There were no differences between the two groups and athletes receiving no supplementation.

Implication. Ad libitum sodium supplementation was unnecessary to maintain sodium balance in athletes who did not over-drink and had no effect upon performance.

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