Have you ever been chugging your favorite sports drink and wondered, “Just what ARE electrolytes, anyway?” and “Why are they so important?”
During any type of physical activity, you sweat, losing both water and vital electrolytes and causing dehydration. Electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, are electrically charged minerals that travel through the blood and extracellular fluid. They regulate the body’s hydration, blood pH, blood pressure, recovery of damaged tissues, and nerve and muscle function – all of which are important to an athlete’s optimal performance.
While all electrolytes are important, special attention should be paid to maintaining sodium and potassium levels for protection against muscular and neurological deficits that can hinder performance.
Sodium is the most important electrolyte to monitor during athletic performance. Excessive losses of sodium (via sweat) can lead to muscle cramps, and in some cases hyponatremia (low blood sodium) – both of which can lead to a decrease in performance, and cause major health complications. Sodium is critical for maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, muscle contractions, and acid-base balance. Sodium losses in sweat are greater than any other electrolyte, and therefore, it is crucial to maintain an adequate balance, both during and after your workout or match.
Potassium in conjunction with sodium helps to alleviate and prevent muscle cramps. In sweat, potassium losses are not as high as sodium, however it is still essential to maintain potassium levels for a healthy electrolyte balance during a tennis match or workout, or else muscle cramping and weakness, along with low energy can occur.
Sports drinks are a great tool to help re-hydrate and restore electrolyte balance, especially when exhaustive workouts or three-set matches cause substantial loss of fluids and electrolytes. However, many popular formulations contain excess sugar and calories, as well as artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners that make them an unhealthy choice.
That being said, I’d like to tell you about a delicious, healthy sports drink alternative, called Replenish. Replenish is unique in that it provides properly-dosed electrolytes, including sodium and potassium, a full B-vitamin complex as well as 100 percent of daily needs for vitamin C. Replenish also contains an easily digestible carbohydrate complex in an amount to refuel energy stores, but not fat stores. It’s a sports drink that provides the proper replenishment for athletes and non-athletes alike.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can get your hands on this amazing sports drink, please contact me! I’m here to answer all your questions!