Need a Boost? Electrolytes Are Related to Mood and Performance
by: Robbie Durand
It is often said that the human body is about 80% water. Drinking water is certainly essential during exercise performance. When you sweat you lose more than just water, you lose vital electrolytes. Refueling and rehydrating after intense training is second nature for some athletes. However, not everyone realizes the importance of replenishing key electrolytes lost through perspiration, and that it can make or break performance. Water alone, however, will not hydrate your body. Electrolytes—water with dissolved salts and minerals—are critical to keep the body hydrated. Electrolytes are substances that contain free ions making them electrically conductive, and physiologically the primary ions of electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, hydrogen phosphate, and hydrogen carbonate. These gradients are important to a variety of body processes including hydration, blood pH, and are critical to proper nerve and muscle function. Without the proper balance of these electrolytes muscle weakness, and/or sever muscle contractions can occur along with other medical emergencies
Electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, are electrically charged minerals that travel through the blood and extracellular fluid. They regulate the body’s hydration, blood pH, blood pressure, recovery of damaged tissues, and nerve and muscle function. Electrolyte levels are tightly controlled within a strict concentration range by the kidneys and a variety of hormones. While all electrolytes are important, special attention should be paid to maintaining sodium and potassium levels to protect against muscular and neurological deficits that can hinder performance, but your electrolytes are also tied to your mood as well.
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