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 separate 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. If your electrolytes stores remain unreplenished 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 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. We considered this science in creating Hydrator Elite and that’s why we recommend you consume it during and after you get your sweat on.