We often hear the word Electrolytes thrown about in the fitness world. Sports drinks and other products make that a key term in their advertising. But why electrolytes? What are electrolytes and why do they matter for athletes?
Electrolytes are basically a group of essential minerals (salts, really) that benefit the human body and improve hydration. As they work their magic they dissolve into positive and negative charges that regulate how the body moves moisture into and out of cells. There are seven main minerals in electrolytes. They are sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate.
So you may be asking what makes electrolytes so important. What do they specifically do for you? Whether you are an athlete competing and training or just working around your house, electrolytes are critical because they allow cells to create energy, maintain function, contract muscles, and transport water and fluids around the body. They create positive and negative charges. These act like switches that turn nerve impulses on and off to control hydration. Proper functionality of these biological on-off switches is vital for athletes as the body heats up and is asked to do more. The more intense the activity, or the longer you are engaged in athletic exertion, the more important that regulatory support becomes!
Why you need to replace Electrolytes
As electrolytes get diminished over time, you need to constantly replenish them. If you don’t, there are consequences. A person with low electrolytes may suffer from headaches, cramps, lack of energy, constipation, kidney stones, and even heart failure.
It’s important to keep your electrolytes level high. Sports drinks have electrolytes in them. This is one of their most important marketing claims. But they also contain a lot of sugar. Unless you are engaged in a high-intensity workout like a lengthy bike race or marathon, the number of calories you’ll ingest from your sports drink is likely to match or exceed the total calories you just expended, leaving you with a net zero benefit or even more caloric intake than you just spent. So there are better options to receive the electrolytes needed.
Sources of Electrolytes
Watermelon, oranges, bananas, and lemons all have certain electrolytes in them. But one way to ensure that you are receiving the right amount is to switch the type of water you are currently drinking.
Pure Maple Water is packed with electrolytes, antioxidants, and amino acids. It is uniquely obtained from Canadian maple trees. The water basically filters itself and there is nothing that needs to be added or removed once it is tapped from the tree. While it tastes crisp and sweet, it contains no artificial flavoring or extra sugar, so the total calories in each glass are minimal. It truly is nature at its finest. Next time you are in need of some serious hydration, give Pure Maple Water a try. Adding this amazing water into your life will round out the perfect diet for you.