While appropriate water intake is an essential aspect of any workout regimen, proper electrolyte concentrations is often just as crucial for achieving peak performance. Generally, there are a number of key factors that contribute to electrolyte loss, such as:
- Environmental factors
- Fitness level
- Exercise period
As muscles in the body are exerted, and internal temperatures rise, and heat is released through electrolyte-rich sweat. In any situation where staunch fitness goals are set, simply replacing fluids lost will not only limit exertion times, but may be potentially dangerous.
What Are Electrolytes
Electrolytes are chemicals that form positive and negatively charged particles when they are added to water. They are essential to keep your cardiac, muscular, and nervous system functioning correctly.
Improper balances of these chemicals can lead to fatigue, cramps, or other serious complications.
The main positively charged electrolytes in the human body, known as Anions, are Sodium are sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca 2+), and magnesium, (Mg 2+). The main negatively charged electrolytes, known as cations, are chloride (Cl-), phosphate (PO4 2-), bicarbonate (HCO3-), and sulfate (SO4 2-).
The four main electrolytes which are essentially to maintaining proper electrolyte hydration are:
Once the correct balance of these main electrolytes are achieved, each cell in your body will be able to produce and manage energy more efficiently.
This is due, in part, to the process of osmosis, where electrolytes allow water to flow where high concentrations of electrolytes exist. Without water no chemical functions will occur, therefore they are essentially important.
At the same time, the natural electrical responses of the human body depend on the dispersion of positive and negatively charged particles in the bloodstream.
Proper Electrolyte Hydration
Generally speaking, most North Americans consume more sodium in their diets than is recommended, so supplementing workout regimens with salt tablets or similar products is often ineffective or potentially harmful.
In the same vein, utilizing high-sugar sports drinks that promise effective electrolyte restoration brings with it the issues of high calorie input and a limited spectrum of sodium and potassium.
Powdered electrolyte supplements such as Dure Food’s Lifestyle Hydrator and Energizer products, offer the opportunity to supplement electrolyte intake before, during, and after exercise, ensuring optimal performance.
This will lead to better results, and a easier journey to your fitness goals.
Sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium are the four major electrolytes that maintain the body’s fluid balance.
Meeting Your Fitness Goals
Ultimately, maintaining a healthy balance of electrolytes in your diet is not limited to the possibility of cramping, but also to ensure the best performance of your body during your workout.
Cramps are really just an indicator that you are dehydrated and lacking adequate electrolyte levels. Consistently replenishing the electrolytes during your workout will allow you to perform without interruption or compromise.
Sports drinks like Gatorade contain a meager 220 mg of sodium and 60 mg of potassium, based on a 16 oz. serving size. Not only provided a minimal selection of the electrolytes needed for proper functioning, but also adding concentrations of sodium and artificial sweeteners that are unnecessary.
Careful selection of a well-balanced powdered electrolyte supplement will aid in electrolyte hydration, and help you meet your overall fitness goals.
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