Wellness Wednesday: Lytes, Camera, Action
Helloooo Denizens!!!! Theoretically, at some point summer will happen and the temperatures will finally climb out of the 50s. At some point, it will get hot and you will start to sweat. You’ll sweat at the gym, you’ll sweat on the way to the train, you’ll sweat when you run errands, and when you get a nice chance to sit down and enjoy the weather? Yeah, you’ll sweat then, too. All of this sweat brings me to the main point of this week’s blog: hydration.
Most people think that hydration is easy. Just chug a little water and you’re good, right? Well, sort of. Water is only one element that is lost when you sweat. If you’ve ever licked your lip on a hot, sweaty day and noticed that it tasted salty, you might be onto the other one: electrolytes.
In nutrition, the term “electrolytes” refers to a group of particles that are either positively or negatively charged and usually come from the consumption of essential minerals. These particles are found floating around in the liquids in your body (such as your blood, sweat and urine) where they aid in metabolism, acid/base balance, hydration, nerve signalling and muscle contraction. Basically, they are play a role in keeping your body functioning as it should.
Main electrolytes in the body include:
Electrolytes are vital for maintaining your body in peak shape while exercising. When your electrolytes dip too low, it causes an imbalance, and may seriously affect your health and even kill you, if not corrected. Symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance include:
Muscle cramping and Weakness
The fact of the matter is that most of us consume enough electrolytes in the foods and beverages that we consume on a daily basis to make electrolyte replacement unnecessary, even when we sweat a lot. However, if you workout more than two hours in extreme heat or suffer losses due to repeated vomiting or diarrhea, electrolyte replacement (along with water) may be a good idea. As a safety note, check with your doctor before starting electrolyte replacement and always follow the directions on the packaging. Drink up!