Why Electrolytes Matter to Your Health
If you are already conscious about your health and performance or looking to start, you have probably been told to improve your diet. There are now plenty of fortified foods and beverages that provide individuals with what’s needed to maintain a balanced diet and proper nutrition/hydration. For instance, many drinks on the market are properly fortified with electrolytes for those with active lifestyles. This is important because electrolytes play a critical role in the body. Key electrolytes utilized in the body include calcium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonate, and magnesium. Electrolytes are often lost through sweat or other biochemical reactions and should be replenished regularly. They're just as important as vitamins and other nutrients.
As cited in this article the sports drinks industry started its history in early 60’s and since then brands have been constantly evolving in terms of formulation and availability of products. What started with a “simple” formula of sugar-water, has now evolved into essential products in the life of professional sportsmen and even people who take their daily physical activities and healthy lifestyle more seriously. In this article, I am going to quickly present to you a few reasons why electrolytes are super important in our everyday life!
But what are electrolytes?
We are made up of trillions of microscopic cells that work day and night to keep our body functioning properly. Electrolytes are involved in many essential processes in your body. Basically, electrolytes are salts that break down into their component ions when water is added.
Electrolytes are very much essential for hydration, especially for athletes or elderly people who have other health issues, such as kidney or liver dysfunctions, causing electrolyte imbalances. Salt, potassium, calcium, and chloride are examples of electrolytes. They play a role in conducting nervous impulses, contracting muscles, keeping you hydrated and regulating your body’s pH levels
Maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in your body is important. Naturally occurring electrolytes in your diet would prevent health problems and electrolyte imbalance in your body. You should be careful and watch what you eat. I have put together a blog listing the benefits of a healthy balanced diet and you can check it out by clicking here. The foods you eat, especially if they have added sodium in them, can cause an electrolyte imbalance.
It’s also important to remember that when you eat foods with added electrolytes, it does not ensure that all the electrolytes will be absorbed by your body. Therefore, it’s best to consume foods that balance electrolytes naturally. Try to include organically grown foods like fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and meats. Thankfully, there are lots of smart and easy ways you can boost your immune system and stay healthy. I’ve put together a list of products and foods you could use when trying to fight this virus and staying healthy.
Ready to Drink:
Sports Drinks are the most common and highly available way of replenishing electrolytes and nutrients in our body. It’s the easiest and quickest way of replenishing electrolytes lost during physical activities. The liquid in a sports drink is meant to replace the fluid lost from sweat.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends for people who practice exercise to avoid losing more than 2 percent of their body weight from fluid during exercise. By consuming the actual liquid format of electrolytes replenishment products it becomes easier and practical to replace the fluid we usually lose through sweating.
This option is convenient for the on-the-go individuals, who don't want to deal with tablets, gels, and powders. It is highly available in any supermarket, restaurant, bar, and store you go into. You can also find products on the market with no artificial anything in terms of taste, which makes it 100x better.
This one I find very interesting. As a professional athlete, I like to plan my trips and pack my bags ahead of time and make sure I am not forgetting my essentials for my swim meets. Depending to where I am traveling, Powder Mix packages are much more convenient to bring along with me in my suitcase in terms of space and weight. Some sports events like a swim meet or a track and field competition might take up to 8 days of competing. If competitors had to bring one bottle of their favorite electrolyte replenishment drink to every single day of their meets, that would make the suitcases way heavier and inconvenient.
This alternative works really well for those who are looking for something more easily digestible and on the go. Gel products are highly used by individuals running marathons, triathlons, bike rides, etc. Gel products are usually focused on carbohydrate replenishment during intense activities, but some products on the market can be found with electrolytes too. A very positive aspect about the gel in my opinion is its practicality to be brought on your pocket during a run or bike ride, for example.
Definitely not as fun or tasty to consume as other replacements on the list. Depending on your activity, the pill form could be the easiest and quickest option. Some products on the market seem to provide dense levels of four main electrolytes - Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium. Not my favorite method mainly because it doesn't necessarily contribute to the amount of liquid you will be consuming, what might play a massive role on recovery.
Whatever way you choose to replenish lost electrolytes in your body before/after a workout or physical activity, make sure it is adequate to your schedule, aligned with what your body really needs and that you won't be suffering from cramps or dehydration during or after.
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.