What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are salts and minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium which are present in your blood, urine, and other bodily fluids such as sweat. These play important roles in the body:
- Sodium - Helps maintain blood volume and osmotic pressure, important for nerve transmission and muscle contraction
- Potassium – Helps to maintain fluid levels within our cells, aids in muscle contraction and supports normal blood pressure
- Magnesium – Plays a major role in energy production
- Calcium – Vital for muscle contraction and helps to maintain bone health
Sweating occurs during most vigorous exercise bouts. The more intense the activity the greater the sweat rate, and this is exacerbated by a hot and humid external environmental condition. Electrolytes are lost in sweat via water loss. A 2% reduction in body mass via fluid loss can reduce performance by up to 10% therefore consuming enough fluid (including electrolytes) is essential to offset the effects of dehydration and minimise any performance detriments.
Why We Love Electrolytes
Electrolytes are lost in sweat during exercise and so should be replaced by drink or food when appropriate. This is important because if only plain water is consumed, then the plasma sodium concentration and plasma osmolality can fall rapidly. This has the effect of reducing thirst, limiting further fluid intake, and stimulating urine output, all of which may delay the rehydration process. However, sodium is not the only electrolyte that is needed. Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are also important electrolytes that are lost in sweat therefore replacing these are essential given that they play vital roles in muscle contraction, nerve transmission and energy (ATP) production.
The Benefits of Electrolytes
Our hydration range has been formulated with athlete performance at the core, with both low-CHO rehydration drinks available (Hydra+ and Hydra10), as well as an isotonic hydration option (Hydra Fuel), offering an energy and hydration solution in one.