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Electrolytes Can Power Up Your Next Workout

electrolytes

 

Electrolytes 101: Supercharge your Workout with Electrolytes

Hydration is a key element if you want to have great skin but there is something else every workout warrior must be aware of. We’re not talking about drinking more water here. If you want to maximize your workout routines you’ll need to choose a beverage that has a well-balanced electrolyte profile.

What The Heck are Electrolytes?

When we hear of electrolytes the first thing that comes to peoples mind is Gatorade. It’s not as simple as that.

Electrolytes are specific nutrients (or chemicals) present in your body that do a number of things from regulating your heartbeat to allowing your muscles to contract so you can move.

Sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride, phosphate, bicarbonate, and sulfate are the major electrolytes found in the human body. 

Signs You Have Electrolyte Imbalance

  • Muscle aches, spasms, twitches and weakness
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Constant headaches
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Cramps, constipation or diarrhea
  • Trouble focusing and confusion
  • Bone disorders
  • Joint pain
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Changes in appetite or body weight
  • Fatigue 
  • Numbness and pain in joints
  • Dizziness, especially when standing up suddenly

Why Should Electrolytes Matter To You?

When you sweat your body loses both fluid and electrolytes. If you’re not hydrating correctly when working out you will lose those electrolytes very quickly. That’s not good. The result? You will most likely experience muscle cramps and fatigue. That’s what happens to me a lot especially when I am working out with my trainer. The first thing she asked was “Did you eat a banana?” 🙂

In fact even if you’re only 2% dehydrated you will have a crappy workout. If you find yourself feeling thirsty that’s the number one sign you may be dehydrated. Make sense. 

How Much Electrolytes Does a Person Actually Lose Through Sweating?

The amount of electrolytes you lose depends on the length of time and intensity of your exercise, body composition, clothing and environment. 

A rule to use is to always hydrate yourself before working out. One way to know if you are properly hydrated is to check the color of your urine before you work out. It should be pale yellow. 

 

Electrolytes

 

Do I Really Need Electrolytes for My Workouts?

It all depends on how long and how intense your work outs are. If you’re training for less than an hour and you’re not sweating bullets then water is just fine pre and during training. After training, water with food can provide the electrolytes you need.

How to Get Electrolytes Naturally

You can get electrolytes through foods and drinking certain fluids but you lose them when exercising, sweating, going to the bathroom and urinating. You lose them if; you have a terrible diet, if you don’t exercise enough or if you exercise too much, and when you are sick as well.

Electrolytes

Other reasons why you have low electrolytes include:

  • When you’re sick with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, sweating or high fevers.
  • A poor diet that’s low in essential nutrients from whole foods.
  • Difficulty absorbing nutrients from food.
  • Hormonal imbalances like menopause (that’s me!).
  • Taking medications including those for treating cancer and heart disease. 
  • Taking antibiotics, over-the-counter diuretics or corticosteroid hormones.
  • If you’re practicing the keto diet! When avoiding carbohydrates in your daily diet your body processes electrolytes differently. 

So now that you know why electrolytes are important how will you make sure you get more of them? You’ll basically want to focus on foods that are low in sodium and hydrating foods like:

  • Coconut water
  • Celery
  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Kiwi
  • Bell peppers
  • Oranges
  • Carrots
  • Yogurt
  • Pineapple

How to Replace Electrolytes: Consider Supplementing

There are no shortage of electrolytes replacements on the market – from sports drinks, powder mixes, dissolvable tablets, gummies, jelly beans, and supplements.

The Danger of Gatorade

First, don’t take Gatorade. Research has shown that it leads to weight gain, dental problems, and the food dyes exacerbate behavioral issues in ADHD. It’s also very high in sugar. The standard Gatorade Original Thirst Quencher includes 36 grams of carbohydrate in a 20-ounce bottle, and 34 grams in sugar which is almost the same as a 12-ounce can of soda. Another version that they have is Gatorade Zero which is only 10 calories but they use the artificial sweetener sucralose and acesulfame potassium in place of sugar. You know artificial sweeteners are absolutely terrible for your health.

I like to eat and drink foods naturally. Here’s an easy recipe you can try.

electrolytes

DIY Homemade Watermelon Citrus Electrolyte Drink Recipe

  • 8 cups cold water
  • 3 tbsp honey 
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup pineapple or watermelon
  • lemon juice to taste
  • lime juice to taste
  • Ice cubes

Combine all of the ingredients and stir thoroughly.

Here’s a great tip! Drink it as cold as you can.

That’s because cold fluids are absorbed more quickly, getting you hydrated faster.

electrolytes

 

Homemade Gatorade: All-Natural Sports Drink with Electrolytes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups 100% pure coconut water
  • 1 cup cherry juice (no sugar added)
  • 1 tsp Stevia
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea saltsuch as RealSalt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1-2 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice

Instructions

  • In a 2-quart pitcher, combine the coconut water and fruit juice.
  • Stir in the honey and sea salt until completely dissolved.
  • Stir in the water and add the lemon or lime juice, to taste, if desired.
  • Serve chilled.
  • If you prefer to keep a smaller pitcher in the fridge, mix all ingredients together except the water. When you’re ready to go workout, fill a glass halfway with the homemade sports drink “concentrate,” and then fill the remaining half of the glass with cold water.

My Favorite Electrolyte Treat

And let me tell you about a great electrolyte goodie that Herbaland sent my way. I was extremely excited to try it because I’ve been experiencing some of the symptoms I mentioned above from cramping, pain and fatigue. I’ve literally have to stop in the middle of a workout when that happens. 

What I love about Herbland’s Electrolyte Gummies is that they’re all natural and they use very small amounts of stevia (which is the only kind of sugar I would use). The cool part about these gummies is they made with coconut water. If you’re a workout warrior you know how coconut water had been labelled as nature’s sport drink. I especially love the convenience of the gummies because you don’t have to carry a huge bottle of Gatorade around. Just slip them inside your gym shorts or your workout bag and you’re ready to head out. They don’t take up as much space as a bottle. 

Herbaland’ Piña Colada sports gummies tastes just like Pina Colada. Each 50g serving is packed with all the essential electrolytes at the optimal ratios for your body’s needs. 

  • 125mg Potassium
  • 75mg Calcium
  • 35mg Magnesium
  • 150mg Sodium

All this and with only 3g of sugar. You just need to take them with some water to ensure your neurons and muscles are working to their best of their abilities!

Herbaland champions simple ingredients:

  • Isomaltooligosaccharide
  • Purified Water
  • Organic Erythritol
  • Pectin
  • Natural Flavor (Coconut cream and pineapple)
  • Citric Acid
  • Coconut water powder
  • Calcium Citrate
  • Magnesium Citrate
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Organic Stevia Leaf Extract
  • Organic Sunflower Oil

Summary

If you want your body to function properly it needs a certain amount of electrolytes at all times. You have plenty of choices from; coconut water, milk, fruit juice, gummies and sports drinks. They can all contribute to hydration and electrolyte balance. Drinking plenty of water and being mindful of early symptoms can help you decipher if adding a electrolyte supplement to your workout routine is right for you. I know it is for me.

Electrolytes

Disclosure: All products featured on my blog are independently selected by Anna Bennett. Please note that the Herbaland links above are Amazon affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have personally purchased and used these clean beauty products because they simply work, not because of the small commissions I make. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your skin, beauty, and health goals.

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