- You need electrolytes for optimal physical performance, and you need more when you’re sweating buckets on a hot summer day.
- Whether you drink from the tap or purified water, there aren’t enough electrolytes naturally present to keep you well hydrated.
- We recommend adding electrolytes to all of your plain water intake, whether you’re exercising heavily or not. But there are other fun ways to get more electrolytes too, like fresh fruit, coconut water, and mineral water.
Ugh, winter sports training. Probably the worst time of year to be an athlete.
You’re locked in a warehouse or gym and forced to practice your mechanics over and over without seeing the light of day.
Half the point of practicing your soccer skills or going on competitive bike rides is to experience the sun and the fresh air.
The good news is, it’s finally summer and you can get back to living your best life outside. And to your shock (the bad news), outdoor training has majorly slowed down your performance. What?
If your skills suddenly take a turn for the worse when the sun comes out, you may be experiencing electrolyte deficiency.
The physical fitness world praises electrolytes (usually sugar-filled Gatorade), as a preventative measure for symptoms of heatstroke and dehydration. But did you know that electrolytes can be the key to your best physical performance, too?
Yep, you are more likely to beat your fastest time when you’re properly hydrated.
As the temperature rises, these tips will help understand healthy electrolyte use (hint: sugar not included) and help you perform at your best throughout the hottest months.
Table of Contents:
- What are Electrolytes?
- Why are Electrolytes Important for Summer Athletic Training?
- Staying Hydrated in the Heat
- Signs Your Body Needs Electrolytes
- Stay Hydrated This Summer
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are more than just minerals. In your body, they are the minerals that create an electric charge when exposed to water.
Since the human body is about 60% water, electrolytes have the important job of regulating and balancing that water — keeping the body hydrated and fully functional. Electrolytes also work to support your nervous system, muscles, and brain performance.
Not to mention, they play a vital role in hydrating your cells! (aka, the building blocks of you.)
Some of the major minerals that work as electrolytes in your body include potassium, chloride, sodium, magnesium, and calcium.
Why Are Electrolytes Important for Summer Athletic Training?
Whether you’re biking, hiking, surfing, or refining your parkour moves in the concrete jungles of NYC, electrolytes work behind the scenes to keep you moving and feeling good.
The problem is, electrolytes are lost in sweat.
Excessive sweating excretes essential minerals and can sometimes deplete our bodies beyond what is healthy. That’s when we begin to experience symptoms of dehydration.
In order to perform at our best, it’s essential to replenish the supply of electrolytes our body has to work with. Regular hydration with water and mineral supplementation may help you get the most out of each workout session and can:
- Reduce exercise-induced cramping
- Build stronger muscles
- Increase your endurance
- Keep your body out of a stressful fight-or-flight state (aka, control cortisol output when your body is being put through the physical stress of exercise)
- Help you feel alert
- Boost your brain function (Improve that reaction time!)
Staying Hydrated in the Heat
Keeping your internal fluids at a healthy balance isn’t as easy as chugging a bottle of Gatorade. Plain water isn’t enough, either.
If you’re drinking purified water, many of the natural minerals get filtered out and are no longer present once the water reaches our glass. Even if you’re drinking tap water or well water, the mineral content is much lower than it used to be. ( ...And you really shouldn’t be drinking chlorinated tap water. Ew.)
The solution? For many, it’s sports drinks. But these contain excessive amounts of sugar, which can slow electrolyte absorption and negatively impact our health.
Here’s what you can actually do to stay hydrated.
Consume Water-Rich Fruits and Vegetables
The earth provides us with tons of fruits that are high in water and electrolytes. When you’re preparing to spend a few hours training outside, prep your body with a snack of kiwi, cucumber, avocado, kale, or bananas. Plus, a little extra fiber in these fruits is good for digestion and better nutrient absorption, including electrolytes. (Is there anything better than ripe juicy fruit on a hot summer day?)
Take Off Your Shoes (Start Grounding!)
Grounding has a lot of health benefits and allows us to connect with the electrons on the surface of the earth. Some studies show that the simple practice of walking barefoot outside, gardening, or sleeping under the stars can drastically alter the body’s concentrations of minerals and electrolytes.
Know When to Take Electrolytes
Should you drink electrolytes before or after a workout? The answer is… both! And during your workout, too.
Drinking your minerals before, during, and after an intense workout is best practice. This helps you cover all your bases and elevate your performance. Especially if you’re working out in a place that has a lot of sun exposure, you should start drinking minerals before you leave the house.
Care About Your Water Source
It’s important to know what’s in your tap and bottled water — and whether the mineral content is enough to fit your needs. When you’re consuming mineral-rich water regularly, you will be able to handle the heat better than someone who is consuming poorly mineralized water. Test your local water source to see if you need to include supplements in your diet.
Signs Your Body Needs Electrolytes
The body is brilliantly evolved to exhibit symptoms of dehydration. The signs are different for everyone — and it’s important to pay attention to your individual reaction.
Here are some common signs your body needs more electrolytes:
You’re Sweating… A Lot
It’s simple science, when water and minerals leave your body in the form of sweat, you’ll need to replenish them. Opt for healthy options like sugar-free electrolyte drinks, fruit, and vegetables.
You Spend Significant Time Exercising in the Heat
If you’re exercising outside in the heat for longer than 20-30 minutes, it’s even more important to feed your body with healthy electrolytes. Constant exposure to the sun without replenishing your body with proper nutrients could result in long-term stress or symptoms of heatstroke.
It’s so tempting to take advantage of the beautiful summer weather and spend as much time outside as possible. However, when your body isn’t used to so much heat exposure, it can become overwhelmed very fast. It’s important to balance your workouts and spend time indoors when needed. (Relax! Your body needs rest and a break from cortisol heavy workouts.)
If you’ve got a big game coming up, commit to practicing indoors for a few days and hydrate well so your body can catch up on fluids.
You Experience Frequent Headaches, Dizziness, or You Feel “Off”
These are all warning signs of dehydration. When you begin experiencing symptoms, take some time to cool off in the shade while you replenish with coconut water or mineral water. Give your body time to recalibrate before continuing on with your workout.
You’re Not Peeing Enough… Or Way Too Much
Yep, your trips to the bathroom can say a lot about your hydration levels. If you’re chugging water and hardly peeing, then your body needs electrolytes to help it regulate fluids.
And if you’re guzzling down H2O and peeing constantly, then your body is just filtering all of that water out through your urine because you don’t have enough electrolytes to get it into your cells. Either way, you need more electrolytes!
You Have a Chronic Illness
People with chronic illness are more likely to experience dehydration—since their body is doing extra work in order to stay functional. Optimizing your hydration will help your blood flow, organ function, and brain health so your body can focus fully on healing.
Stay Hydrated this Summer with BodyBio
Summer is a beautiful season …and it allows you to enjoy your favorite outdoor sports to the fullest. But dehydration is serious and can ruin the fun in a flash. If you’re looking for a healthy electrolyte supplement that doesn’t contain any refined or artificial sugars, we’ve created the right product for you.
E-Lyte helps you to get ahead of your hydration, by replenishing you with the charged minerals that your body craves. It absorbs quickly, too, so that you can get right back to the activity you love.
Take E-Lyte every day for optimal hydration or supplement when needed.
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