We all know that staying hydrated is critical to staying healthy and performing at our best. Now that summer is in full swing, it is even easier to become dehydrated during physical activity or by simply walking out into the sun. We also hear how important electrolytes are for hydration, but what are electrolytes, and what is the role they play in hydration?
Every single system in our body relies on H2O to operate. As human beings, 60% of the water that is in our bodies need to have a balanced proportion of electrolytes allowing our function and physical performance to get the most use.
Below is the lineup of the 7 electrolytes and their functions:
- Calcium: You likely know that calcium is critical to build and maintain bone strength, but did you know that it’s also important for muscle contraction and healthy heart function?
- Sodium: This electrolyte manages the amount of water in the body and supports nerve and muscle function.
- Chloride: To maintain a healthy balance of fluid and acid-base, Chloride is necessary.
- Potassium: Primarily found in fresh fruits and vegetables, potassium is essential for the proper performance of several major organs and the digestive system.
- Magnesium: This electrolyte aids in a wide variety of bodily functions ranging from the immune system and cardiovascular function to muscular and nerve functions.
The question now lies on how to maintain a healthy electrolyte balance. Here are some simple solutions:
- Pause on the salt.
- Drink H20.
- Avoid eating junk food, and indulge in whole foods.
- Recharge your body with electrolytes after a workout.
Now that you have the formula of what electrolytes are crucial and how to maintain a balance the final step is simple – if you take control over the wellness of your body, it will do the same for you.
How did one baseball team bring electrolytes and hydration into focus in their training? Read more in our article, “Los Angeles Angels’ Hydration Contest.”
Take the next step to earning a Master of Applied Exercise Science Degree | Download a Program Guide