ENERGY: How to get more

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Out on your bike; on the field or on the court. When performance counts and being at your very best is absolutely crucial, count on electrolytes to stay hydrated, keep muscles working in tip-top condition, and recover quickly following exertion.

Electrolytes provide balanced ions of magnesium, potassium, sodium and chloride – and should be without carbs, sugars, or any artificial ingredients.

How to use electrolytes to support proper muscle function

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For sporting events or endurance activities:
Fluids balanced with electrolytes should be consumed for all hydration needs during high-intensity sporting events and/or endurance activities. Using pure electrolyte water made with electrolytes add-in formulas is a great way to meet this need.

When electrolytes are added (according to the directions) to pure water, it will have a natural water taste. They can also be used to make a custom sports drink, to top off diluted sports drinks, or to increase the electrolyte potency of other sports drinks.

Drops of pure original electrolyte add-In, which have a strong salty taste, can be placed directly on the tongue and then chased with water or any beverage. It is important to stay hydrated and maintain electrolyte balance during any intense endurance activity in order to prevent cramps or spasms. Using electrolytes will not only help replace lost electrolytes, but will also help fuel the hydration process.

For other muscle cramps and spasms:
We recommend that you make up some electrolyte water and carry it in a bottle to be sipped on through the day or you can store it in the refrigerator to drink when you need it.

Additional recommendations for people who suffer from cramps
Some people may benefit from consuming a calcium supplement along with using an electrolyte.
Appropriate stretching can be very important and helpful in preventing muscle cramps.

When experiencing a muscle cramp, the body will usually release the cramp when the opposite, or counter muscle to the one that is cramping, is flexed. For example, if you are experiencing a cramp in your calf muscle, it may release if you flex your foot towards your knee.

If you are experiencing night cramps, you may find it helpful to make sure your bedding is not forcing any particular muscle to stay flexed in one fixed position while you sleep. It may also help to drink a glass of water with electrolytes.

Improve electrolyte levels and balance through your food:
Muscles need sufficient electrolytes – sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, etc. —in proper balance in order to function properly. The body manipulates the balance of these minerals inside and outside muscle cells in order to get them to contract and relax. An imbalance or deficiency of these electrolytes can cause problems with the body’s electrical impulses, which can lead to muscle cramps and/or spasms.

These imbalances with electrolytes can cause muscles to contract but not relax or to randomly contract. You may have read that potassium, magnesium, or calcium, by themselves, is helpful, which is true to a degree, but misses the point that the body uses a balance of these minerals in order to keep muscles functioning properly.

Electrolyte imbalances and deficiencies can occur through diet, hyperexcretion from perspiration, urination, diarrhoea, or excretion caused by medication, including diuretics, as well as problems with absorption. Electrolyte deficiencies can also be caused by increased demand for minerals in the body, as in the case of pregnancy or healing.

Electrolytes provide an excellent balance of potassium, magnesium, and sodium in their electrolyte/ionic state, which do not need to be broken down in order to be assimilated or utilised by the body. They also aid in the proper utilisation of calcium.

Whenever your body loses fluids, you are also losing electrolytes. The loss of electrolytes alone can create the problems described above, but dehydration can also cause cramps or spasms. Replacing electrolytes along with fluids will fuel the rehydration process as well as help prevent electrolyte shortages. For this reason, an electrolytes add-in formula can be added to water or other beverages–depending on your taste preferences.

Many sports drinks and electrolyte-replacement formulas contain high amounts of sugar and low levels of electrolytes, which often lead to a host of unpleasant side-effects such as bloating, stomach cramps, and nausea that interfere when performance truly counts. Further, most electrolyte-replacement products contain one or two electrolytes sodium and/or potassium.

Ask at your local health store for an electrolyte that can add to your hydration system or a water bottle that allows you to replace all of the electrolytes you lose during activity while maintaining complete control over the amount of carbs you consume.

Electrolytes are essential to our health
They help our body absorb water and control fluid balance. Although drinking water during exercise is critical to avoid dehydration, drinking plain water that is not fortified with electrolytes can lead to a serious condition called hyponatremia. This occurs when the concentration of sodium in the blood falls to extremely low levels, which can result in seizures, coma and death.

Electrolytes not only prevent dehydration, but they’re critical for muscle function, nerve conduction, energy production and flow, and heart function. For the endurance athlete, a major benefit of electrolytes is that they help prevent muscle cramps.
Athletes must be careful to avoid a shortage of electrolytes during training.

Electrolytes lost through perspiration must be replaced, but most sports drinks and electrolyte replacement supplements, powders, and gels ignore the fact that the body also uses an additional balance of minerals beyond sodium.

One essential electrolyte is magnesium, which is necessary for energy production, muscle contraction, and cardiovascular health.  Another important reason athletes need to supplement with a balance of electrolytes is that if minerals (electrolytes) become depleted, negative effects like cramping occurs. Magnesium–not sodium–supports optimal muscle function.

Perspiration contains more than sodium and potassium. While they are two important elements in perspiration, they are not the only ones. Perspiration also contains magnesium, chloride, and other trace minerals. It is better to replace electrolytes throughout activity.

The best way to replace electrolytes is in moderate quantities every time you drink, not in short, concentrated bursts. Sugar-laden sports drinks can be overwhelming.

While carbohydrates are necessary for the body to manufacture energy, drinking sugar in every gulp fatigues the palate, causes nausea, and provides more calories than necessary.

I recommend Elete Electrolytes – they are without carbs, sugars, or any artificial ingredients. Elete is a pure, liquid electrolyte concentrate that contains four essential electrolytes—sodium, magnesium, potassium, and chloride. Elete Electrolyte Add-In instantly turns water or any beverage into electrolyte-fuelled hydration.

www.naturallyhealthy.co.nz

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