02 Aug Do Electrolytes Help During a Workout?
Are you wondering if electrolytes really help during a workout? In that case, you’re in the right place. This article will cover most of your questions, including what electrolytes are, why they are essential, and why you might need an electrolytic drink. So, continue reading this piece to level up your workout sessions and increase your gains.
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals found in the body that get electrically charged upon dissolving in liquid (mostly water). They carry either a negative or positive charge, conducting electricity. Found in many drinks, fruits, and vegetables, electrolytes assist the body in performing numerous functions.
Electrolytes are most important for:
The human body mainly comprises water, so appropriate fluid regulation is essential for the cells to perform well. The amount of electrolytes in the body is responsible for regulating water excretion.
Electrolytes like magnesium and calcium are essential for the process of muscle contraction, which enables movement. Electrolyte deficiencies can hinder movement and affect your heart health in case of inadequate muscle contraction.
Nerve Impulse Conduction
The brain is constantly sending electrical signals to the rest of the body. As such, electrons are essential for conducting nerve impulses.
What Happens to Electrolytes During a Workout?
The most common reason for electrolyte loss is physical activity and exercise that leads to sweating.
Your body is constantly trying to regulate itself for healthy, optimal performance. Sweat is inevitable during exercise, leading to fluid excretion. But, you also lose a decent amount of electrolytes from the body as your body excretes sweat.
Signs You Might Need Supplemental Electrolytes to Support Your Body During Workout
Your Workout Lasts Longer than an Hour
A water bottle is essential during workouts to keep your body hydrated and balanced as you sweat. Generally, plain water can help maintain balance for up to an hour.
However, it may not be sufficient if you’re performing a high-intensity workout for longer than sixty minutes. In this case, a sports drink packed with essential electrolytes becomes likely necessary.
But before choosing an electrolyte drink, ensure your beverage has adequate sodium. Sodium is the most critical electrolyte for intense physical activities such as endurance training.
You Sweat a Lot
As already mentioned, you lose electrolytes as you sweat during exercise.
Given the same workout plan, the amount of sweat varies from person to person. In simpler terms, a person sweating more than the other will likely lose more electrolytes. In fact, some studies also suggest that athletes with larger bodies lose much more sodium ions than their smaller-framed counterparts.
That said, saltier sweat indicates a more significant electrolyte loss. A thin white layer of salt on your skin signifies that you’ve lost many electrolytes during your workout. Other times, your skin may feel gritty or chalky.
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