>> ... messes with osmotic balance in gut (high concentration of
one dose). <<<
What happened to the old line that if a horse's electrolytes were
depleted, that drinking clear water would disrupt the osmotic balance?
and Steph Answered:
it's been a while since college, so please take my comments as those
lowly rider, not a vet or physiologist.
but - the principle is: water follows salt. wherever the
salt is highest, water will go and seek equilibrium, given the
channel/ability to do so. without enough water the body can't circulate
substrate adequately (blood becomes thick/sludgy) and if the guts are
active (can also be a result of over-exertion)then stuff, including
simply stay in the gut rather than get circulated to the cells that
(or even worse case scenario draw water back into the gut to
the risk of over-hydration (diluting the amount of salt in the body
by drinking too much is (I think) much lower than the risk of
There have been many studies demonstrating that horses lose great
salt during exertion. And we know there are also studies (the French)
demonstrate that drenching with electrolytes doesn't improve
and we know of many cases where horses have done well w/o electrolyte
supplementation. (I just rode 120km in very hot and humid conditions in
Malaysia with no e-lyte supplementation during the ride - the horse
drank/ate all night, hydration was excellent). So this begs the
e-lytes are lost in exertion, but horses can still perform well w/o
supplementation, then why are we told that we must actively replace the
salts that are lost, during the exertion? How do these horses do it w/o
replacement during competition. Is there enough of an e-lyte reserve
fully loaded gut to re-supply the system during exertion?
======== Terry Comments ======
How do these horses do it w/o replacement during competition.
Remember, they are EATING FOOD at the vet checks!
As long as the horse is fit for the distance (this influences how efficiently a horse can regulate temperature and cool off during or after hard workl) and eating/drinking at the vet checks (this replenishes their elytes) as it does normally.
Below from the Texas A&M Univ. "Scientific Principles for Conditioning Race and Performance Horses":
"Horses in moderate condition (body condition score of 5) are better able to effectively use DIETARY and STORED energy specifically toward the performance activity, with a SLOWER ONSET OF FATIGUE and IMPROVED THERMAL REGULATION."
"May the Horse be with you"