The Importance Of Electrolytes For Athletic Performance

I

n the sports context, bodily hydration is one of the best indicators of fitness in athletes, and sweat rates are often a limiting factor for performance. High sweat rates can result in dehydration, loss of fluid, electrolytes, muscle cramps, and fatigue. The intensity of your performance and your sweat rate are the determining factors to electrolyte imbalance.

Imagine receiving a phone call in an area where there are no bars, would you be able to connect to the person on call? This is how your body responds to electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are required to signal the inside bodily function as well as contribute to performance outside. Right electrolyte balance can ensure you get the most out of your workout, and an electrolyte imbalance can lead to dreaded performance.

WHY DO ATHLETES PERSPIRE MORE?

If you have ever noticed, endurance athletes, runners, cyclists, and fitness freaks sweat much more profusely than the normal untrained individuals. This happens so because the excessive muscle contraction in athletes creates friction and heat, when the body starts to overheat, the sympathetic nervous system stimulates sweat glands to begin perspiring in an attempt to regulate the body temperature.

Perspiring although is a cooling method employed by the body, also depletes electrolytes and causes low hydration levels.

 

BY THE WAY, WHAT ARE ELECTROLYTES?

Electrolytes refer to minerals that produce electrically charged ions when dissolved in fluids. Electrolytes can be positively or negatively charged ions, they play an essential role in many functions of the body. The main electrolytes include sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride.

SODIUM

Osmotically active extracellular cation

Aids in fluid retention

Assists in transmission of nerve impulses

Regulates osmotic pressure

Involved in muscle contraction 

POTASSIUM

Major intracellular cation

Regulates water balance

Critical for neurotransmission

Regulates muscle contraction

Plays crucial role in heart function

Critical for regulating blood pressure and blood pH

MAGNESIUM

Intracellular cation

Regulates energy production

Reduces neuromuscular excitability

Helps reduce muscle cramps

Essential for a regular heartbeat

Cofactor for many enzymatic reactions

CHLORIDE

Extracellular anion

Regulates osmotic pressure

Regulates body fluids

Regulates electrolyte balance

Regulates acid-base status

 

    SIDE EFFECTS OF ELECTROLYTE IMBALANCE

    • Fatigue, dehydration, muscle cramps, confusion, weakness

    • Post-workout recovery slows down when the fluid volume and electrolyte level are at a suboptimal level for quick delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the working muscles.

    • Cardiovascular and thermal strain

    • Degrades athletic performance

     

    WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM SUPPLEMENTING WITH ELECTROLYTES?

    • Electrolyte supplementation is ideal not only for those who engage in lengthy workout sessions but is essential if your workouts are intense and taxing on your central nervous system (like in the case of heavy weightlifting/rope workout).

    • Most beneficial for keto-dieters who have a problem with water retention and often witness muscle cramps, headache, low energy, weakness as a side effect of dieting.

    • Electrolyte supplement is ideal for bodybuilders, fitness freaks, aged individuals (who sweat a lot), cyclists, swimmers, gym enthusiasts, team sports, endurance athletes, marathon runners, those involved in rigorous physical activity to promote instant rehydration.

     

    WHAT IS THE AMOUNT OF ELECTROLYTE WE NEED TO SUPPLEMENT?

    Some people may lose pounds of sweat when exercising, while others may sweat minimal amounts. Conditions like climate, duration of workout, activity level are all the influential factors for sweating and demanding factors for replenishing the electrolytes. It is highly impossible to precisely say the exact amount of electrolyte you need to replenish during workout.

     

    WHEN TO CONSUME ELECTROLYTES?

    • Proper fueling during exercise not just requires replenishing calories and fluids, but requires adequate electrolyte support as well.

    • Consider taking electrolytes one hour prior to a heavy workout. This ensures your body functions run at optimal levels.

    • For exercises lasting more than an hour (like endurance sports), consider taking electrolytes after the workouts, and also during workout for effective replenishment.

    • Proper hydration and proper electrolyte replenishment is particularly essential for exercises performed in hot temperatures.

    WHY NOT SIMPLY DRINK WATER INSTEAD OF ELECTROLYTES?

    During your hard athletic performance, you tend to lose fluids as well as electrolytes via sweat. Now, hydrating with water alone can prevent overheating but it won’t protect you from electrolyte imbalances that can hinder your performance. Electrolyte-containing beverages have a clear advantage over water for promoting fluid absorption, electrolyte balance, rapid rehydration, in encouraging thirst, optimizing health and athletic performance.

     

    ZENCHARGE ISOTONIC ELECTROLYTE MIX

    ZenCharge Isotonic is a scientifically formulated energy and electrolyte mix that aims to meet energy, hydration, and electrolyte balance. ZenCharge targets your nutrition most smartly by supplying you with the right balance of electrolytes and instant energy carbohydrates. The energy and electrolyte mix is made with tangy orange and lemon flavour that helps promote palatability and fluid replacement.

    It is isotonic which means it contains similar amounts of electrolytes that are in balance with the body’s fluid. The isotonic energy drink allows for quick fluid and electrolyte replenishment.

    Proper on-time replenishment of water and electrolytes ensures the body is hydrated and this, in turn, improves the energy levels to prevent exhaustion and to workout more…

     

     

     

    Leave a comment

    All comments are moderated before being published