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Electrolytes and How Can They Help You Perform Better?

Hydration is crucial to performance success – but it’s something a lot of people neglect. Just a 2% loss in body weight due to dehydration can impair exercise performance, and it’s well documented in research that fluid intake and adequate hydration during exercise are essential, especially during prolonged training sessions and competition events. The key role of fluid intake during exercising is that it maintains hydration, body temperature and adequate plasma (blood) volume.

Ensuring your plasma volume and body temperature stay within an optimal range has a direct impact on performance. When your core temperature rises due to dehydration, plasma volume decreases, resulting in an increased heart rate, which in turn accelerates fatigue. Dehydration also has an effect on cognitive function, resulting in an inability to think clearly. The main symptoms of low sodium intake and dehydration include gastro-intestinal distress, nausea, bloating, fatigue, impaired concentration and dizziness.

As the weather gets warmer, you'll probably see yourself outside more often. Whether you're gardening your plants, going out for a run, or simply just soaking up some vitamin D, your body is going to feel dehydrated. Dehydration happens when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to carry out function normally. This is why when you feel hot and= sweating, you need to be sure to stay hydrated.

Serious athletes or those who have been exercising in hot and humid conditions can benefit from a sports drink. They’re a one-stop shop for three important things lost during activity – fluid and electrolytes from sweat and carbohydrate calories to fuel muscles. The question then becomes, are those extra calories necessary? For athletes, the answer is yes . . . especially since most don’t come close to meeting their calorie needs. Taking in some liquid calories may also be a good idea for those that have trouble eating food before they exercise.

Nothing is worse than trying to complete a Spring/Summer workout with a bad sun burn that makes it hard to move. Stop the burn before it occurs by slathering on the sunscreen. Opt for s sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 and one that is water-proof so that it doesn’t come off once you start sweating. Know your fitness level. If you're unfit or new to exercise, be extra cautious when working out in the heat. Your body may have a lower tolerance to the heat. Reduce your exercise intensity and take frequent breaks.

Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. Water is needed for overall good health. Now, if you consider yourself a modern athlete like me, you probably need a little more than just water to make sure you stay properly hydrated at all times in order to maximize the results from all of your hard work!

Electrolytes are essential minerals (including sodium) that the body needs to stay hydrated. However, their role extends further – they also support important processes within the body including muscle contraction, including the heart, blood pressure and nerve signalling, to name a few. Electrolytes help your body retain fluid during heavy exercise when you are sweating as they help draw fluid into working muscles.

When it comes to replacing lost electrolytes, there are various options – electrolyte drinks, electrolyte tablets for dissolving in water, salt capsules/sticks that can be taken directly, and they’re often added in varying quantities to sports drinks. Most electrolyte tablets, salt capsules or sports drinks provide around 250-300mg of sodium per serving.

Sports drinks, or electrolyte-enhanced beverages, help to replenish water, electrolytes, and energy lost during exercise. They often contain a source of energy-boosting carbohydrates, as well as a balance of potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium, which help combat dehydration, replete glycogen stores, and delay fatigue.

Electrolytes play vital roles in our cell functions, nervous system functions and immune system. Just because they are microscopic and trace elements, they should never be neglected. An electrolyte imbalance may cause severe health issues, which can be avoided simply by including electrolyte-rich foods in our daily diet.

Hydra-Guard Premium Sports Drink is my favorite way of replenishing and giving my body exactly what it needs. It is strategically formulated with the 5 major electrolytes to replace the fluids that we lose through sweat at optimum levels. My favorite thing about it is that it's also low-Calorie, low-Sugar, and VERY tasteful even though there is no artificial coloring, flavoring and ingredients!

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