Performance XL: Electrolytes

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Hydration is the key for the equine athlete to maintain top physical condition during sporting events and even more importantly when recovering from strenuous exercise. Performance XL is formulated to replace the electrolytes lost in sweat.

* Based on a 500 kg (1100 lb) horse at a feeding rate of 30 grams per day
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Performance XL: Electrolytes Supports:
  • Athletic Performance
  • Hydration Status
  • Electrolyte Balance
  • Heat Tolerance
  • Exercise Recovery
  • Endurance Competition
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Nerve Function
  • Normal Digestion
  • Circulatory Health

Hydration is key for the equine athlete to maintain top physical condition during events and even more importantly, recovering from strenuous exercise.

Mad Barn’s Performance XL: Electrolytes has been scientifically formulated to replace exactly what the horse loses through sweat during heat stress or strenuous exercise.

With an ideal blend of natural minerals and vitamins to support high performance and workout recovery, Performance XL: Electrolytes is used by top athletes at every level of equestrian competition.

As little as 1% dehydration in your horse can result in decreased brain and muscle function. If horses do not have adequate electrolyte levels, they limit water intake to maintain electrolyte balance, which may worsen dehydration.

You can effectively prevent dehydration and decreased performance by supplementing with Performance XL: Electrolytes. Don’t accept substitutes – go with the equine electrolyte that is based on science and proven to work!

How Performance XL: Electrolytes Works

Prolong Performance

Horses sweat a lot during exercise. Around 70% of the heat generated from exercise is lost via sweat evaporation. It is also common for a horse to sweat for several hours post workout. This contributes to substantial electrolyte loss, followed by fatigue and diminished performance.

Research shows that exercise duration can be greatly extended in horses with adequate electrolyte supplementation. Horses given a properly balanced electrolyte one hour prior to exercise have a 33% increase in time to fatigue due to improved hydration status and electrolyte balance.

Aid in Recovery

Drinking fluids with Performance XL: Electrolytes immediately after exercise not only provides necessary fluids, but  nutrients that promote exercise recovery.

Sodium in the equine sports drink promotes fluid retention and carbohydrates promote glycogen resynthesis.

In order to fully hydrate during short-term recovery, equine athletes should drink the equivalent of 150% of the volume of body weight lost through sweating.

Performance XL: Electrolytes is the most effective solution for rehydrating your equine athlete after exercise. Scientifically formulated to replace exactly what is lost in sweat and promote faster recovery.

What’s inside Performance XL Electrolytes?

  1. Sodium Chloride:
    • Sodium (salt) is a critical electrolyte that also helps maintain the physiological drive to drink, stimulating greater voluntary fluid intake
  2. Potassium, Calcium & Magnesium:
    • These minerals all function as electrolytes that are vital for proper muscle contraction, fluid balance and nerve function
    • Help control acid/base balance and transport nutrients in and out of cells
    • Magnesium prevents muscle cramping & “tying up” in horses
  3. Vitamin E & Vitamin C:
    • These vitamins are antioxidants that reduce oxidative tissue damage brought on by intense exercise
  4. Dextrose & Sucrose:
    • Energy sources that enhance fluid and electrolyte absorption in the proximal small intestine
    • Stimulates the rate and completeness of rehydration
    • Boost glycogen synthesis
  5. Citric Acid & Flavour:
    • Enhances palatability to stimulate intake and ease administration

You should always consult a qualified nutritionist before altering your feed program. Submit your horse’s diet for analysis online and one of our equine nutritionists will be happy to provide a complementary review.

Ascorbic Acid (VItamin C)2019-11-11T09:10:42-05:00

Ascorbic AcidAscorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C, is a water-soluble vitamin that assists in the regeneration of vitamin E, neutralizes free radical damage and is needed for the conversion of vitamin D3 to calcitriol. It is also a cofactor of hydroxylating enzymes involved in the synthesis of collagen, carnitine and norepinephrine.

Plants are an excellent source of ascorbic acid, especially green grass; however, hay contains almost none due to ascorbic acid’s oxidative instability. Grains are not at all high in ascorbic acid, however, the concentration increases exponentially upon sprouting.

Horses are able to produce up to 72 mg per day of ascorbic acid in the liver from glucose using the enzyme L-gulonolactone oxidase. Since horses can produce it endogenously, an ascorbic acid deficiency is very rare, however, some researchers believe that supplementation may be beneficial during hot weather, stressful periods, rapid growth, high-level performance and any interference with hepatic synthesis.


CalciumCalcium is a macromineral with well described roles in bones and teeth development in horses. Calcium and phosphorus are usually discussed together because bones store them in a 2:1 ratio of calcium-to-phosphorus. This ratio should also be attained in the diet.

While most of the calcium found in the horse’s body is in bone tissue, this mineral is also involved in certain enzymatic functions, cell membrane function, muscle contractions and blood coagulation. Calcium ions mobilized from bone are also important for transmitting nerve impulses.

Young horses, growing horses, lactating mares and late-gestation broodmares all have higher calcium requirements than typical adult horses. Severe calcium deficiency in horses causing noticeable symptoms such as “big head” is less common today than in the past. However, deficiency may occur when horses consume certain subtropical grasses that are high in oxalate which restricts calcium absorption.


Magnesium Oxide for Horses

Magnesium is a macro-mineral that plays an important role in regulating nerve impulse transmission, protein synthesis, energy metabolism and enzyme activity. It is involved in over 300 different enzyme reactions in the horse’s body.

60% of the magnesium in the body is found in the bones and 40% is found in extracellular fluids and soft tissues.

As a supplement, it is best given in the form of inorganic magnesium oxide which has an absorption rate of approximately 56%.


PotassiumPotassium is an essential macro mineral that functions as an electrolyte in the horse’s body. It is the most important intracellular cation, is essential for maintaining the contractility of smooth, skeletal and cardiac muscle, and also plays a role in regulating pH balance.

Horses fed a diet with adequate forage typically do not need to supplement with additional potassium as forage typically contains high amounts of this mineral. Diets that contain mostly grain may not supply adequate amounts.

A deficiency in this electrolyte can develop under conditions of profuse sweating, in endurance horses, in horses using diuretics like Lasix (furosemide) or in horses experiencing diarrhea. Low levels of potassium can lead to reduced appetite, decreased water intake, muscle weakness, mental apathy, cardiac arrhythmias, adrenal hypertrophy and a decreased growth rate.


SodiumSodium is a macro mineral that is the most recognizable electrolyte in the horse’s body. It plays a role in nerve impulse transmission, regulation of muscle contractions, maintenance of blood pressure, skeletal integrity, blood volume regulation and thirst regulation.

The daily sodium requirement for a 500 kg (1,100 lb) horse is approximately 10 grams. Higher intake is required in hot climates or for horses undergoing heavy physical exercise which lose greater amounts of electrolytes through sweat. Horses naturally seek out salt when levels of this mineral fall too low. They should be provided with free choice loose salt to ensure electrolyte balance is maintained.

If a horse does not get adequate amounts of sodium to replace that which is lost through sweat and urine, the thirst response will be diminished. This is why horses will sometimes avoid drinking water even on a hot day when they are sweating. Additional signs of deficiency can include abnormal licking of soil or other objects, anorexia, lethargy, unsteady gait or loss of skin vitality.

Vitamin E2019-12-11T09:07:33-05:00

Vitamin EVitamin E is the shared name for eight different fat-soluble, naturally-occurring compounds: a, b, g, and d-tocopherol and a, b, g, and d-tocotrienol. These compounds all have vitamin E activity and are comprised of a chromanol ring with differing phytyl side chains. The compound most commonly referred to as vitamin E is a-tocopherol and is widely considered to be the most biologically active form of all the vitamin E constituents.

The most natural form of alpha-tocopherol is d-alpha-tocopherol, and is only synthesized in plants so it must be obtained through the diet. Fresh, grass pasture contains the highest concentrations of d-alpha-tocopherol, however, a large number of horses do not have year-round access to grass pasture and their diets consist mostly of hay, so alpha-tocopherol is often added to most commercial feed formulations or top-dressed as a supplement.

Vitamin E functions as a powerful antioxidant, meaning it protects the body tissue from damage caused by free radicals.  Free radicals are produced during normal cellular metabolism and can harm cells, tissues, and organs if not kept in balance with proper antioxidant levels.

Other functions of Vitamin E:

  • Immune function – important for defense against viruses and bacteria
  • Formation of red blood cells
  • Helps widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting inside them
  • Used in cellular communication, used to carry out many important functions.

Research confirms that the different forms of vitamin E available to be supplemented can have a significant impact on vitamin E levels in the blood. The most bioavailable forms of vitamin E should only be used in order to properly formulate balanced equine diets, to treat vitamin E deficiency and its associated conditions and aid in exercise recovery.

Directions for Use:

Consult with a nutritionist or veterinarian prior to use.

General Use: For hot, humid days and/or for each hour of work (depending on intensity and stress of work), mix 1-2 scoops into 4 liters (1 gallon) of water or mix into feed. Ensure free choice access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Competition/ Performance:
Preloading before physical activity: Mix two scoops (60 grams / 2 ounces) in 4 liters (1 gallon) of water, one to two hours before event.

Immediately following strenuous physical activity: Mix two scoops (60 grams /2 ounces) in 4 litres (1 gallon) of water for each hour of work.

Warnings / Cautions:

For equine use only. Not for use in horses intended for food.
Not for use in pregnant/lactating horses.
Keep out of reach of children.
After use, keep tightly closed in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Per gram serving
Nutrients Value Units Per 60 G
Sodium (act) 6.2 % 3.72 g
Potassium (act) 5.1 % 3.06 g
Calcium (act) 2 % 1.2 g
Magnesium (act) 1 % 0.6 g
Vitamin E (min) 2,000 IU / kg 120 IU
Ascorbic Acid (min) 2,500 mg / kg 150 mg

Ingredients: Dextrose, sucrose, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium citrate, magnesium sulfate, vitamin E, vitamin C, citric acid, and flavour.

Recommended Use: To help maintain hydration and electrolyte balance in heat stressed, sweating and/or exercising horses.

Manufactured and registered by: Mad Barn Inc., Petersburg, ON, Canada, N0B 2H0.

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* Recommended serving size of 6 grams per 100 kg (220 lb) of body weight
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Disclaimer: Recommended feeding rate varies depending on your horse's condition and current diet. Consult with a nutritionist to determine the appropriate inclusion rate for your horse.

Customer Questions About This Product

    How many grams per ounce of sodium, potassium and chloride are in the performance xl product-the units listed on package label is the %
  1. 0 votes
    Q How many grams per ounce of sodium, potassium and chloride are in the performance xl product-the ...... Read more
    A Per the average 30g feeding, there are 1.86 grams of sodium and 1.53 grams of potassium. You can head to the following link for a full breakdown of the nutrient analysis of Performance XL:
  2. Can you tell me what your smallest size of electrolytes are?
  3. 0 votes
    Q Can you tell me what your smallest size of electrolytes are?
    A The smallest size we carry is the 1 kg container.
  4. Are the electrolytes only to be used after strenuous work? Or could a lower dose be given on really hot days where the horse might sweat just being outside in the field?
  5. 0 votes
    Q Are the electrolytes only to be used after strenuous work? Or could a lower dose be given on real...... Read more
    A Yes the electrolyte powder can be used daily during hot days. It is not only intended for horses at work.
  6. I ordered the electrolyte and I was just wondering if I’m okay to add it into their feed instead of water?
  7. 0 votes
    Q I ordered the electrolyte and I was just wondering if I’m okay to add it into their feed instead ...... Read more
    A Yes you can add it to their feed! Some horses will not drink it in water. It won’t affect the way that the product works if you mix it in feed.
  8. Can the Performance XL: Electrolyte supplement be used as a top dressing on top of grains? Do they have to be mixed with water?
  9. 0 votes
    Q Can the Performance XL: Electrolyte supplement be used as a top dressing on top of grains? Do the...... Read more
    A Yes, it can be added on top of grain without any issue. Some horses will not drink it in water and need it to be served in feed. That does not affect how the product works.
  10. Why add sugar to the electrolytes? Some horses cannot have sugars in their diet and no horse needs it so why is it included as an ingredient in the Performance XL: Electrolytes?
  11. 0 votes
    Q Why add sugar to the electrolytes? Some horses cannot have sugars in their diet and no horse need...... Read more
    A Electrolyte solutions are used during bouts of exercise and recovery. Sugar helps absorption and retention of electrolytes; speeds recovery; supplies energy and facilitates glycogen synthesis. The blend of sugars is part of the equation for achieving the 30% increase in time to voluntary fatigue in research trials utilizing specific electrolyte blends. If your horse is not working hard enough to make use of the sugar, then just providing plain salt with a balanced diet is sufficient; you don't need a commercial electrolyte. Just as a quick comparison - a horse will consume 500 grams of sugar from a very low sugar hay and easily in excess of 2,000 grams on immature pasture per day. The little bit of sugar in the electrolyte to facilitate the above benefits is a drop in the bucket in comparison.
  12. How do you dose Performance XL: Electrolyte by syringe?
  13. 0 votes
    Q How do you dose Performance XL: Electrolyte by syringe?
    A The amounts are the same by syringe, in water or feed. Generally, mix 1 oz of Performance XL: Electrolyte in a 60 cc syringe and do that as many times as needed.
  14. Do you recommend using the electrolytes all the time or only as needed? 
  15. 0 votes
    Q Do you recommend using the electrolytes all the time or only as needed? 
    A Generally we recommend feeding the electrolytes before and after strenuous workouts and competitions.  For horses that don't readily consume loose free choice salt, then it can be fed daily.  Loose free choice salt should still be available, even if using the electrolytes.
  16. Do you make an electrolyte product that does not contain any added sugar?
  17. 0 votes
    Q Do you make an electrolyte product that does not contain any added sugar?
    A Yes, we can make an electrolyte without sugar.  We are getting close to launching a new product without sugar, but in the interim we can make you a custom one.  Contact us for more info.

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