We've all heard of Electrolytes and we all know the importance of staying hydrated, but why are Electrolytes so important?
What are Electrolytes?
They sound exciting but they are all about balance. Simply, electrolytes are electrically charged minerals which have a key role in many bodily functions, specifically fluid balance. Their charge helps pull water from your blood into your muscles. The important electrolytes for athletes are sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium.
Electrolytes are necessary for a variety of things, like hydration, muscle contraction and blood pressure. Certain electrolytes, like sodium and potassium, are lost in sweat and need to be replaced to maintain the proper fluid balance in the body.
We all know how important it is to keep our bodies hydrated. That's why our Recharged range contains Electrolytes to help you maintain a healthy electrolyte balance, and aid hydration and physical performance.
Electrolytes help maintain and replace salts lost during sweating, avoiding cramping and early onset fatigue. Electrolyte minerals also restore water balance; help muscles contract and relax and aid the transmission of nerve impulses.
When do you need to replenish Electrolytes?
If you exercise for less than an hour, the odds are that your electrolyte losses won't be noticeable. The same goes for exercise over an hour that doesn't raise your temperature, such as strength training, walking or yoga.
You need to replace the electrolytes lost in sweat in these scenarios:
- you exercise for longer than an hour
- your exercising in a hot environment! (Yes, sometimes the sun is out)
- you are a naturally heavy sweater
How do I know if I need to take on more Electrolytes?
There is no hard rule for electrolyte consumption in the same way there is for carbs and protein, it is very personal and should be judged on how you're feeling rather than any specific numbers.
The difference in alertness when you are dehydrated is very noticeable and immediate. Other clear symptoms of dehydration are a headache, dizziness, extreme fatigue or muscle cramps. You can also use your urine colour as an indicator for whether you are hydrated enough throughout the day.The main concern for an athlete as that as soon as your have lost any minerals then you will be compromising your performance!
If you are mid-race then by the time you notice any signs of dehydration you will already have lost precious seconds.