Wake Up To The Power Of One
We’ve all at least heard of electrolytes, right? We know from commercials, or maybe our friends or trainers, that electrolytes are a super important part of staying healthy. We know that stuff like Gatorade helps us to “rehydrate, replenish, refuel.” But, it’s not as simple as chugging a Gatorade after your workout – there’s a little bit more to it.
“It all begins with you. If you do not care for yourself, you will not be strong enough to take care of anything in life.” – Leon Brown
What are they & what do they do?
First off, you have to understand what electrolytes even are. Electrolytes are a certain type of mineral, like sodium or potassium, that have chemical properties that are essential for your body to work properly.
Electrolytes are created naturally in the body. Because of their chemical properties, electrolytes have a positive or negative charge when they’re dissolved in water, which means, that because adult bodies are made up of about 60% water, almost every fluid cell in your body contains electrolytes.
Hydration is the first thing that people think of when they think of what electrolytes do for their bodies. Probably thanks to the help of Gatorade commercials which usually make hydration the main part of the ads. But electrolytes do so much more than just hydrate you! They help your body stay properly hydrated, regulate your nervous system, encourage proper muscle movement, and help balance your body’s PH levels.
Basically, your body wouldn’t be able to perform essential functions if you didn’t have enough electrolytes.
Why should you care?
Electrolytes are mostly lost through your sweat and urine. If you’re sick, your body may be losing more than usual if you’re throwing up or have diarrhea.
Yes, electrolytes are naturally produced in your body, and typically your body can regulate its electrolyte levels on its own. So, an average person who doesn’t engage in a lot of exercise - as long as they stay hydrated - shouldn’t have to worry about adding electrolytes into their diet.
The amount of electrolytes you need to add depends on how much you’re losing. If you work out more than average or engage in more intense exercise, you could be losing electrolytes faster than your body can create them. This is when you should start caring about electrolytes.
How do you get electrolytes?
A healthy, balanced diet is key to getting those extra electrolytes. Fruits and vegetables can be a great source of electrolytes. But, be mindful that fruits can be high in natural sugars so they shouldn’t be your main source!
Fruits and vegetables highest in electrolytes:
- Coconut Water
Obviously, electrolyte drinks or powders are still great sources of electrolytes. They’re literally designed for athletes to provide electrolytes! Again, you have to be mindful about what drinks you’re choosing. Make sure you’re reading those labels and don’t buy something that’s packed with sugar or is basically just a can of pop. Look for healthy amounts of sodium, potassium, and magnesium!
Some of the best electrolyte drinks and powders, according to doctors:
- Nuun Sport
- Ultima Replenisher
- Gatorade Thirst Quencher
- Harmless Harvest Coconut Water
Electrolytes are obviously super important; they help your body function properly! With intense exercise, you lose electrolytes faster than your body can keep up with, so supplement them as needed so you can keep your body performing its best!
You can’t be the best unless you feel the best. Knowing your body and taking care of yourself is the key to achieving your goals.
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