In today’s world, everybody wants to be fit and look smart. To achieve this goal we all work hard in the gym. When it comes to hitting a gym or performing other vigorous physical activities, carrying a water bottle is must, we all know that right but will be the best beverage that should be in your bottle, whether it should just water or some kind of sport drink flood with electrolytes, or coconut water mixed with a pinch of salt in it.
When we exercise, we sweat and through this sweat, we don’t only lose just water but also some electrolytes and minerals which is responsible to deliver fluids to cells and keep us hydrated during the workout session. Keep hydrated is essential for everything from muscle health to brain function.
The most important and critical electrolytes that we lost through sweat are potassium, sodium, and chloride—with magnesium and calcium. some research shows that sodium loses an average of about 1 gram per liter of sweat lost. Like, if you are working out very hard and losing almost 1 liter of sweat in an hour, then you are also losing almost 1 gram of sodium per hour. However, sodium loses can range from 0.2 grams per liter of sweat to 12.5 grams per liter of sweat have been recorded, according to some research.
Losing electrolytes can affect your performance while exercising and fitness results. Losing a sodium electrolyte to dangerous level can cause a medical issue called a hyponatremia. Hyponatremia can cause muscle cramps, headaches, seizures and even a coma. If the symptoms seems more severe then call your doctor and ask him to visit and in meanwhile you can try some home remedies according to your symptoms but in case of seizures and coma please do not try some home remedies without your doctor consultation. Depending on the extent and duration of these signs and symptoms, your doctor may recommend seeking immediate medical care.
The normal blood sodium level is 135 – 145 milliEquivalents/liter (mEq/L), or in international units, 135 – 145 millimoles/liter (mmol/L). The results may vary by lab to lab.
So as of now, we know ” why we should maintain proper electrolyte in our body?” but while keeping a close eye on electrolytes level you should make sure that your body can absorb and use whatever fluids you take in during a workout.
When you try to maintain proper electrolytes level in your body, electrolyte-containing beverages and salt tablets come into play. So, here is the question arise ” Do you really need those beverages and tablets need?”
So, here are the four condition and signs when you need to add more electrolytes to your regular water.
1):- When you are exercising more than an hour, lose more electrolytes
Generally, the experts will recommend you to rely on just simple water if your workout session is going to last just about an hour or less, which is right. But in a case of you are hardcore workout type of guy and your session is going to last more than an hour then just water is not such a thing that you can rely upon, especially if it’s at a higher intensity. In such a case, you must have some sports drink is likely necessary.
But before refueling yourself with sports drink, you must keep in mind the sodium sweat formula that we discussed earlier because sports drinks generally low in sodium content. But I would like to add something here that most sports drinks available in the market have enough sodium for athletes who are on a normal diet because the regular diet we have already contained soo much amount of sodium in it. But in the case of endurance or ultra-stamina events, athletes may need more electrolytes.
A study of triathletes published in 2016 proves that the athletes who taking salt tablets along with sports drink were able to replace 71% of sodium that they lose through sweat, while those who only rely on sports drinks were only able to replace 20% of sodium content they lose.
2):- When you are exercising in a humid and hot environment
Working out in hot and humid temperature cause you to sweat more than in normal or cold temperature. The result: You sweat even more – and lose more electrolytes. So you need more electrolytes in such conditions. Here, even the formula of working oy less than an hour tends to fail more frequently. However, if you do find yourself exercising in hot or humid weather, you can help combat excessive electrolyte losses through a combination of sports drinks and electrolyte tablets.
3):- When you have an issue of hyperhidrosis and sweat is salty
Hyperhidrosis is a disorder when you tend to sweat more than normal and while exercising the problem become even worse. Ok just forget the hyperhidrosis, even performing the same workout, different people sweat differently. Research shows that fat and heavy guy’s sweat more and lose more sodium electrolytes in comparison to their leaner and fit counterparts, if after a hard workout, your skin feels chalky and you see a thin layer of white, indicating salt coming through your pores, that means you are losing more sodium content.
In such a case, water is not enough to keep you hydrated in the long run. Some dietitians may recommend you to add a pinch of table salt to every 8 ounces of any sports drink you put in your water bottle or hydration pack.
4):- When you don’t feel good on water alone
The most important thing in the fitness world, first listen to your body what it needs. Body sends you some signals when it needs to be hydrated like fatigue, muscle cramps, nausea, and headaches can all point to either dehydration or mild hyponatremia, both of which warrant increased electrolyte intake. To understand these signals is extremely important.
Remember: Consuming too much water can also spur hyponatremia, so as you increase fluid intake, you should also increase electrolyte intake.