SUCCEED! Questions


Experience From - Kevin Setnes , Ollie Holt , Karl King , Jay Hodde ,

Kevin Setnes

Subject: SUCCEED! Electrolyte or any other Electrolyte replacement and proper dosage

The amount anyone needs to take will vary from person to person. My own requirements will differ from another runner. If we both show up at the same event and come from different parts of the country - who knows what we will both need.

I was Western States and I fully expected the unexpected - especially in the high country. The air simply is not what I was use to training in or racing in. Thus WS100 was to be an experiment and I opted for one (capsule) an hour. I too, gained a couple of pounds in the first 30 miles, but was also urinating frequently (much more than expected). But again, the unexpected. Being conservative - I was more concerned with listening to my body, than I was with the clock or place I was in.

Later in the evening when darkness fell - I went to one capsule every 2 hours and things seemed ok for me at that point.

Back home in Wisconsin, I don't use much of anything in runs of less than two hours. However - lately we have had some extremely warm and humid weather and I have taken some with me on runs - of less than an hour and a half. One every half hour on those days.

Cool days - like the Ice Age 50 back in May, I opted to one every 2 hours which I thought was perfect for that kind of day.

Bottom line it will vary by person, by location and by weather conditions. Be somewhat moderate and conservative in using them the first few times and fine tune the usage after you have garnered up some experience.

Ollie Holt

Subject: Sodium, Succeed!--what's too much ?

On a more serious note, I don't have any experience with Succeed caps, so I don't know what the dosage is, but it strikes me that taking them multiple times in a run of 20 miles might be excessive (although the heat/increased sweat presumably increases the need). I've always found for a run of that length that "at most" one salt tablet halfway through is plenty.

It "has to be" excessive. After 56 mi at Western States I had gained 6 pounds while taking Succeed! I drank the recommended two 20-oz bottles between aid stations.

Anyway you look at it, this is extremely fishy. I bailed because I had continued to pee brown despite taking lots of water to see if I could "clear" my kidneys/urine. No dice.

What I suspect is that I my body wasn't using water properly. When you take excess sodium, the body uses water to dilute it, and you gain weight. For me, that was 6 pounds of water that were not available for metabolic processes. I am dead sure I needed sodium after 3-4 hours of running. But one Succeed! per hour was, apparently, too much.

I have been experimenting with SUCCEED and I also believe you can take too much or too little. AT one 50 miler I took one SUCCEED every hour and stopped peeing after about 2 hours. After the race I had the dreaded brown pee for almost 8 hours. At the VT 100 I backed off on the SUCCEED to one every 1 and 1/2 hours for the first 6 hours than to one every 2 hours for the next 6 then almost none for the rest of the race. I did not stop peeing, I did get swollen hands and the next day swollen feet. Only one blister and no problem eating food along the trail. I was gaining weight during the first 12 hours then stopped gaining weight after 12 hours. I also did not drink as much at night. I only lost 2 pounds over the 23+ hours. I have communicated some with Karl about peeing and not peeing during a race. He does not see a problem with the amount of urine decreasing because that means the body is using the fluids for cooling more efficiently. I decided to vary from his plan some to limit my intake of SUCCEED to keep some fluids flowing. This is just my opinion and seems to work better for me. I still have not determined the correct dosage though because I still get some swelling.

I believe SUCCEED works in helping to digest water and empty stomach contents. I also believe we are all different and we each need to experiment some to determine what dosage of SUCCEED works best for us.

Disclaimer, I know nothing about medicine except that it comes in bottles.

Karl King

Subject: Sodium, Buffer/Electrolyte Caps

A number of people have commented on the use rate of the SUCCEED! Buffer/Electrolyte Caps. Many, many runners are using them and providing feedback on them. I have literally over 50 pages of comments ( in size 10 font ) from people who have had good results with them. From the database, we can see the following patterns.

One cap per hour works well for the vast majority of runners. A minority do well with one per 2 hours. A very small percentage do well with 2 per hour.

In warm weather it is better to start with a cap and take one per hour, then cut back some after 2-3 hours of running. This is a consequence of the body becoming more efficient at holding sodium in response to stress.

If you're taking caps and getting swelling in the hands, it is probably a sign that you aren't drinking enough water. That is especially true in very warm weather.

In cool conditions one cap per 2 hours should be adequate. Unless it is very hot, a runner probably won't need a cap for a run of less than 10 miles.

A few runners get no swelling during a run when taking the Caps but swell some after the run. Most runners report much less swelling in the hours after a long run. Many runners report that their recovery and re-hydration are vastly better if they take a Cap with plenty of water right after their long run.

Almost everyone who uses them reports much less stomach distress during a hot run, and a better ability to absorb food and water. That is to be expected from the biochemistry. A majority of users report fewer blisters and black toenails.

As Kevin noted in his post, conditions and people vary. Even with the same runner, the use rate in hot, humid July will be different from that in a cold, dry January.

At the Afton 50K in Minnesota, someone asked Bob Metzger about using the caps. Basically, he advised to be conservative in number, and if you see your hands starting to swell, take a Cap. To that I would add, drink plenty of water. If you are drinking enough, your body will sort it all out for you. If you are pushing a dehydrated state, not much will work well until you replace the missing water.

Jay Hodde

Subject: Sodium, Succeed!--what's too much?

George reminds us:

"Fact remains, I gained 6 lbs. on a fairly cool day, and did not pee while running for 5-6 hours in the cool of the evening. I conclude that Succeed! was holding water in the cells. Just a tentative opinion. "
Since I've been using SUCCEED! (the Amino drink and the buffered electrolytes), I've peed very little during my runs. The lack of urine production, from my perspective, isn't a big deal. As Karl has said, that means the water is more likely being used for cooling than it is for filling the bladder. Once water reaches the bladder, it cannot be reabsorbed, and is useless to the body. I'd rather store a bit so that I could use it.

One thing that *is* different between my response to SUCCEED! and George's is that I don't gain nearly as much weight. At Vermont, I gained 4# over the course of the event (ended up with swelling in the hands, but I think I can explain that easily, see below), same at Western States, but 2# of that was due to the shoes (they weighed me in on Friday with them off).

At Vermont, my hands swelled in the last 10 miles. By that time, I'd ignored the SUCCEED! for a few hours (I was feeling bloated and I *wanted* to pee. And pee I did!) But I don't think it was the lack of SUCCEED! that caused the swelling. By Bill's (mile 84), my tendonitis was bothering me so much that I had to walk most of the way in. I was able to walk as fast as I could run, so I did. And I pumped my arms to help with momentum. I'm contributing the swelling in the fingers to the centrifugal force associated with the arm pumping motion. The swelling was gone by morning (5 hours later).