· By Dr. Alex M. Chan
The science behind your sweat
We all know sweat is salty and that salt represents some loss of electrolytes-but what does that really mean? Electrolytes are mineral substances that chemically dissipate into small electrically charged particles called ions when they dissolve in water. These ions are found in our blood and cells and their concentration is tightly regulated in order to regulate our body’s fluid balance. Sodium and chloride are probably the most well known electrolytes and they work together to maintain normal blood pressure, fluid volume and support muscle and nerve function. But did you know that this ion interplay is actually much more complex and also involves other electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, calcium, bicarbonate and phosphate?
When we exercise we lose water as sweat and our body’s electrolyte balance begins to shift. Sweat is salty because you are actually losing sodium and other electrolytes as they dry on your skin as mineral crystals. As your body dehydrates and electrolyte imbalance occurs you may begin to experience muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea, and even mental confusion. During this time you are actively losing water and electrolytes. If your electrolytes stores remain depleted these symptoms can persist and your muscles will continue to feel weak into your next exercise session. Long-term such imbalances can actually cause organ system dysfunction.
Water is the first step towards balancing fluid levels. We lose water faster than electrolytes so depending on the level of exercise intensity and duration mineral replacement may not be necessary. A good rule of thumb is that after 1+ hour of intense exercise warrants replacement of both water and electrolytes. As well, for every pound of body weight lost during exercise you should drink 16-24 ounces of fluid. The best times to replace fluids and electrolytes is during and after exercise.
We considered this science in creating Hidrate and that’s why we recommend you consume it during and after you exercise. Each ingredient in Hidrate serves a distinct health purpose. The key electrolytes are sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride and bicarbonate. Let’s break down what each of these electrolytes does:
- Sodium: Balances total water concentration in the body and enables proper muscle contraction and nerve conduction.
- Potassium: Used in muscle and nerve conduction and assists in proper function of the kidneys and heart.
- Magnesium: Is deficient in 75% of North Americans and prevents muscle fatigue and spasm. Due to its effects on muscle tissue it can also stabilize heart rate.
- Calcium: Prevents abnormal heart rhythm, works synergistically for magnesium absorption and is lacking in most sorts drinks.
- Bicarbonate: Decreases lactic acid build up that leads to muscle cramping and helps balance your body’s pH.
- Chloride: Works with sodium to maintain fluid balance and maintains your body’s acidity.
The amount and variety of the electrolytes found in Hidrate is unique as we have significantly more total and types of electrolytes which helps us make you feel better faster. We also use the most absorbable or bioavailable electrolyte forms which means your body can use these minerals more easily. In addition to the electrolytes Hidrate provides trace minerals which are essential for metabolic activity and assist in proper function of the kidneys and heart.
When you’re active and sweating or exercising your body is also burning fuel as energy. We use the minimal sugar to maximize hydration. At intensity your body prefers using certain types of sugar to fire muscles and keep working. The small amount of organic cane sugar in Hidrate provides this fuel and speeds up how fast the fluids can be absorbed through your intestines and start rehydrating you. When you’re working hard to stay active give your body what it needs to keep going. Hidrate is Naturopathic Doctor formulated to give your body exactly what it needs.