We all know that we need to stay hydrated when working out, but what are electrolytes exactly, and why do they help? Electrolytes play a large role in hydration by keeping our bodies running smoothly. In this post, we'll take a closer look at how electrolytes work and how you can make sure you're getting the most out of your workouts. Stay hydrated!
Sure, food is vital in your quest for a healthy body. But food alone won’t cut it.
Even if you religiously follow the strictest diet in the world, your body can still show symptoms of muscle weakness, dysfunctional nerves, and more importantly, dehydration.
That’s because your body desperately needs minerals to keep it performing at its peak.
You can prevent any potential snags along the way by giving your body the electrolytes it needs. Our Earth Fed Elixir is an excellent place to start to keep you hydrated.
Here's what you should know about electrolytes, their benefits, and how they help with hydration.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are salts with positive and negative charges that boost countless metabolic processes in the body. Maintaining an adequate amount of these minerals is necessary to keep your body functioning as it should.
Sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride, and phosphorus are all beneficial electrolytes in the body. And we commonly get these from food and fluids.
But if you’re a gym rat or implementing a strict diet like keto, your body may lack electrolytes because of your limited food intake. In these cases, you must outsource electrolytes to prevent any mineral imbalances.
If you’re still having second thoughts on the importance of electrolytes, here are their primary benefits that your body will thank you for.
What are the benefits of electrolytes?
Optimizes nervous system function
The nervous system is the central structure responsible for the body’s overall well-being. It guides both automatic and complex movements. So it’s not hard to imagine how crucial it is to protect the nervous system.
Electrolyte disorders can affect neurological functions. Particularly, an imbalance in sodium affects the central nervous system and may manifest in the form of headaches, confusion, irritability, and worse, coma.
Rebuilds muscular health
Ever wonder why you can’t do more reps? Electrolyte deficiency might be the culprit!
When engaging in strenuous activities, our bodies release about 1 to 3 liters of sweat. And perspiration affects muscle strength. This is because electrolytes that maintain your muscular integrity are released via the sweat glands, resulting in muscle weakness and cramps.
Restores fluid balance
As mentioned above, people lose water every time they sweat. And if you’ve tasted your sweat before, they’re a bit salty thanks to the electrolytes that tag along with the fluids.
When we’re dehydrated, the tissues of the body begin to dry out and our cells start to shrink, thereby inhibiting our body from functioning normally. Electrolyte intake, particularly sodium, bypasses dehydration and restores fluid balance in the body.
We’ll explain how the process works below!
Electrolytes and hydration: how does it work?
Imagine a balloon.
With a good amount of air, a balloon can float and appear pleasingly plump. But pumping out the air inside can cause it to shrivel and cease floating. Conversely, pumping in too much air will stress the rubber, causing it to burst.
The same analogy applies to hydration and electrolytes.
Like the balloon, our skin looks vibrant and our bodies function optimally when we have adequate amounts of water in the body. And whenever you workout with your gym buddies or engage in strenuous activities, you lose water and electrolytes through perspiration — perfectly normal.
However, if you lose more water than you take in, say when doing extreme workouts, this can result in dehydration. And during this state, we release water and electrolytes through our sweat, leaving our cells shriveled up which makes us feel dizzy and lightheaded.
When dehydrated, water alone is not enough to restore the electrolytes you lost. Although water contains trace amounts of electrolytes, it misses the optimal ratio to cover what the body needs. That’s why electrolyte drinks are essential.
Electrolytes allow water to pass through the cells and they direct water to body parts that need it most, maintaining optimal fluid balance within cells and throughout the body.
Where can I get electrolytes?
We mainly get our electrolyte needs from fluids and food. But for people who are counting their calories, they might not receive the same amount of electrolytes as they should. When combined with strenuous exercises, dehydration and extreme loss of electrolytes are likely to happen.
There are 2 ways to prevent this: First, go on a cheat day every day. Or second, you may supplement your electrolyte needs using hydration packs or sports drinks.
What’s the problem with sports drinks?
“If I need electrolytes, then sports drinks should do the trick!”
Well, technically it could. That is if you want mediocre electrolytes and extra sugars.
Sports drinks, despite being advertised as electrolyte providers, have underwhelming electrolyte concentrations — basically missing the mark of what our bodies need. Moreover, they contain sugars and dodgy fillers that can get make your carbs spike.
Anyone trying to lose weight doesn’t want those added sugars. So what do we do?
The best electrolyte alternative
Hydration packs are some of the best sources of electrolytes, minus the pesky sugars, fillers, and other junk ingredients that can jeopardize your progress.
In reality, electrolyte drink mixes can be made with regular table salt. But these regular salts are often processed, therefore stripped off their natural nutrients, and have far inferior electrolyte contents. That’s why if you can manage hydration packs that use natural salts, that would be splendid.
I wonder who sells them?
Hydration is more than just water
If you’re looking for a quick electrolyte fix, our Earth Fed Elixir is a full-blown natural liquid IV-style hydration packet that uses Himalayan sea salt rather than the ones you can find in the kitchen. This ensures maximum potency to supplement your body with the optimum electrolyte levels it needs.
Water alone can’t quench your body’s cellular thirst. Electrolytes are one of the key elements fueling your body to perform more and longer, especially during extreme workout sessions. More importantly, these minerals ensure normal neurological health and muscular integrity. So the significance of electrolytes can never be understated.