Alkalising supplements help to maintain a horse’s normal blood pH.
Alkalosis vs Acidosis
A pH of 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. The normal pH of a horse’s blood is between 7.42-7.45, which is a very narrow base range. Anything below 7.42 is considered Acidosis and anything above 7.45 is considered Alkalosis.
NOTE: A pH of 7.1 indicates severe acidosis, so it is a very sensitive balance.
The horse’s body needs to maintain a relatively neutral acid-base balance, or pH, to perform at its optimal potential, if too much acid is produced by cells in the body then the pH will fall (referred to as acidosis). If the pH of the blood rises it is called alkalosis, which is a result of a horse’s alkaline reserves being depleted.
What are alkalising supplements used for?
Converting grain to energy, hard physical exercise and stress create a production of body acids. Lactic acid accumulates in the muscles when the supply of oxygen is insufficient for oxidative processes and then quickly diffuses into the bloodstream. This increase can cause damage to organs. Alkalising supplements are used to counteract the effects of physical exercise and break down high grain diets that produce an overabundance of acid, restoring normal blood pH for optimum health and recovery.
Let’s talk science…
Analysis by the late Dr. Percy Sykes, of over 1300 racehorse bloods confirmed the need for an alkali reserve replacer particularly in the warmer months of the year.
Dr Sykes conducted research before formulating products and concluded that “HORSE BLOOD IS DIFFERENT FROM THE BLOOD OF ALL OTHER ANIMALS”. During strenuous exercise, the blood pH of a racehorse will drop slightly but recover quickly. When the same horses (in the trial) were trained during the warmer months of the year, Dr Sykes observed the pH falling again slightly mid-afternoon, even though the working horses had been at rest during the day. Dr Sykes findings are depicted in the below graph.
- Is a body acid neutraliser & alkali replacer for horses.
- It contains Sodium Citrate Dihydrate & Citric Acid.
- Neutrolene was specifically formulated by Dr. Percy Sykes for high performance horses.
- It is rapidly metabolised & absorbed.
- Neutralises excess lactic acid in the blood & muscle and aids in the treatment and prevention of dehydration, acidosis and myopathy/tying up.
- It restores depleted alkali reserves of the most common bodily alkali, sodium.
- It is also readily used in conjunction with standard daily supplementation of electrolytes. Common practice amongst horse trainers is to use Salkavite and Neutrolene together to supply critical electrolytes, acid neutralisers and B Group Vitamins daily.
- It is available in two sizes, 5L & 20L.
- Continual use is recommended whilst the horse is in training.
- Like Neutrolene it provides a good source of buffering agents to help maintain a normal blood pH for hard working horses on a high grain diet. The point of difference is it has an added tris buffer called Trometamol.
- This is recommended for horses that are heavy sweaters that lose a lot of salt and water. It is particularly useful for horses prone to ty up episodes and to treat & prevent dehydration.
- It restores depleted alkali reserves and is rapidly absorbed and used to neutralise acid build up from exercise and the breakdown of carbohydrates for energy.
- It also comes in two pack sizes 5L & 20 L and is recommended to be used in conjunction daily with Salkavite to provide a comprehensive source of electrolytes and B Group vitamins.
When horses in training are given either Neutrolene or Neutrolene Plus it has been shown to increase their ability to buffer and cope with acid production more efficiently for better recovery.
When is the best time to give an alkalising supplement?
For racehorses, the rules of racing, ‘one clear day’ must be adopted when administering any alkalisers. No withholding period is required for those competing under FEI regulations.
Alkalising supplements can be given daily, over the tongue, or in the feed.
For example, in a daily routine of training, 45 ml of Neutrolene or Neutrolene Plus can be administered in the feed or over the tongue with a dosing syringe, in the morning and again in the evening. It is recommended and used by many horse trainers to effectively counteract the effects of a high grain diet and physical exercise. It is especially useful for any horses prone to tying up.
Please note: Neutrolene Plus contains Trometamol which is a FEI Banned Substance. Therefore, we recommend all performance horse riders only use Neutrolene.
In conclusion, to help keep your hard-working horse at its healthiest, Ranvet’s Neutrolene or Neutrolene Plus are recommended as part of a balanced ration and daily routine.