Experts Q & A: How — and when — to take S! Caps electrolyte supplements


Q. I bought some Succeed S-Caps electrolyte supplements after participating in the Endless Summer Six Hour Run this summer.  How do you recommend taking them? Midway through my long runs in marathon training?

– Debbie, an ultrarunner and defense contractor in Maryland.

Tell us: Do you have a fitness or nutrition question for our experts panel? Send them to us at pt365@militarytimes.com.

Two of our ultrarunners weighed in.

Former Marine Capt. Mosi Smith writes:

S! Caps is a relative easy-to-use supplement. Creator Karl King recommends taking one to two caps per hours, depending on your sweat rate.

“The simplest way to pace your electrolyte intake is to consult your stomach,” King writes on his website. “If your stomach is full of fluid and sloshing, you are overdue for electrolyte intake. Take an S! Cap and see how you feel in 10-15 minutes. If the sloshing is gone, you’re good to go. If you still have too much fluid in your stomach. Take another S! Cap.”

Read more about usage recommendations here.

Personal anecdote: Prior to 2010, I tried several products that were available on the market (table salt, Endurolytes, Thermotabs, Thermolytes,and Salt Stick).

However, maintaining hydration and recuperating sodium was an incessant struggle during longer runs. After joining the UltraList and messaging with seasoned veterans, and reading through some of the available documentation, I arrived at S! Caps. They worked and have become a cornerstone in my drop bag.

Karl King was kind enough to reach out to me and explain the efficacy of S! Caps. The electrolyte structure of the product is a close, not perfect, match to blood plasma — so it is easier for the body to process. Plus, in comparison to similar products, it provides the most sodium at the lowest cost … which means more money for race registrations! :)

Dietician Faye Krause adds:

In the words of legendary runner Dr. George Sheehan, “Running is an experiment of one. A unique, never-to-be repeated event.”

As such, we each need to find what works for us and results in optimal performance. Electrolyte losses will vary depending on many factors such as individual sweat rate, length and intensity of exercise, environmental conditions, diet, etc.

Always practice your replacement strategy during long training runs to figure out the proper hydration and electrolyte schedule for YOU.


Former Marine Capt. Mosi Smith, is the race director of the Endless Summer 6-Hour Run in Annapolis, Md., which benefits the Semper Fi Fund. Mosi is a certified coach through USA Track & Field and Road Runners Club of America and was the assistant coach of the U.S. Naval Academy marathon team. 

Longtime Army wife Faye Krause is an ultrarunner, registered dietitian and certified personal trainer. She holds a Master of Science in exercise, fitness and health promotion from George Mason University and is the owner of Energized Intentions LLC, providing in-home nutrition consultations and specializing in sports nutrition and weight management. Read their full credentials here.

Sara Davidson

Sara Davidson is an ultrarunner and contributor to PT365. She's run 7 marathons and 32 ultramarathons -- including her first 100-miler. This fall she is training for the Marine Corps Marathon using our PT365 Run Plan. Reach her at sdavidson@gannett.com .