You may have heard that electrolytes are important, especially when you exercise. But why? These tiny chemical substances hold your body's finely tuned systems together. This includes your muscles and even your brain!
What are electrolytes and why are they important?
When people talk about "electrolytes," they are often referring to the chemicals sodium and chloride in your body.
For those of you who don't know what we're talking about here: You don't have to worry about anything harmful happening here. In fact, you come in contact with these two elements almost every day of your life!
Sodium and chloride together make up table salt (which is chemically called sodium chloride). In addition, however, there are many other equally important electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and calcium are of great value.
Coconut water contains a lot of sodium, making it a super re-hydration drink.
What do these electrolytes do for my body?
Well, as you know, our body is a huge system of chemical and biological processes. Many of these processes are based on the principle of balance. Electrolytes maintain an important balance in the body.
Electrolytes are one of many tools our body uses to balance the electrical charges that pass between the various cells and their periphery. These include the cells in your bloodstream, your brain, and your muscles.
In your body, electrolytes function as ions. Ions are atoms or molecules with a positive or negative electrical charge.
Important processes such as muscle contractions or nerve impulses rely on electrical impulses generated by the exchange of these ions at the cell membrane.
Therefore, the body precisely regulates the balance of these ions on both sides so that the electrical impulse occurs. This is one of the most important mechanisms that the cells of our nervous system use to communicate with each other.
This means that you are consuming electrolytes when you think or exercise!
It is important to know that the level of hydration directly affects the electrolyte concentration, especially on the extracellular part or the outside of the cells.
If the amount of water in your body is too low due to sweating during exercise, this will result in a higher concentration of electrolytes, mainly sodium ions (Na+), surrounding your cells and disturbing the balance of ions on both sides of the cell membrane. As a result, the body excretes more sodium with sweat to maintain the balance of ions.
The opposite is true if you have too much water in your body. Then the electrolyte concentration around the cells is too low and the electrolyte balance gets out of balance. To balance the ion concentration, the body produces more sweat during exercise to reduce the amount of water.
In either case, an imbalance of ions on either side of the cell membrane leads to impaired cell function and can negatively impact performance.
What are symptoms of low electrolytes?
A deficiency of certain electrolytes can lead to a variety of symptoms. Which symptoms you experience depends on which electrolyte(s) you are lacking. Symptoms of electrolyte deficiency may include muscle cramps or weakness, headaches, dizziness, or an irregular heartbeat.
Most of the time, our bodies are well supplied with electrolytes through our diet. Generally, the body does not allow electrolyte concentrations to be affected so easily, and sudden electrolyte deficiencies are rare.
However, if you train hard, you may experience electrolyte deficiencies as larger amounts of electrolytes are lost during exercise.
You can easily replenish your electrolytes by eating or drinking the right foods. We recommend our ANÃO coconut water!
How to replace electrolytes
So how can you replenish your electrolyte stores? In the case of sodium and chloride (i.e. salt), it's not a problem! Most foods in the modern Western diet contain high levels of salt. However, it's always a good idea to opt for the healthiest options: Vegetables and vegetable soup are an excellent and healthy source of sodium, while chloride is found in seaweed, celery and tomatoes.
What about the other electrolytes? More common is a deficiency of potassium, calcium or magnesium. You can get potassium by eating fruits like bananas and oranges. Spinach is also high in potassium, as is coconut water (a good post-workout drink).
For calcium, milk and yogurt are good sources. If you prefer non-dairy products, reach for leafy greens or soy and almond drinks.
Magnesium is found in avocados, cashews or pumpkin seeds. You'll also find it in halibut, along with extra protein and omega-3 fatty acids!
The best solutionhttps://v2.langify-app.com/articles/457070#: healthy food and coconut water or sports drinks.
Electrolytes are vital for normal cell function. Since they are depleted during exercise and excreted with sweat, you should always eat healthy and drink enough water to maintain electrolyte balance.