Importance of Electrolytes After Workouts



Electrolytes are an example of the body’s production of an extremely vital mineral to support muscle function among other things. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends consuming three to eight ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise to maintain proper electrolyte balance. Today, choosing the best fluids to replenish your electrolyte loss offers a variety of unique, tasty choices.

The Need To Replenish

Electrolytes are chemicals regulated for nerve and muscle function, body hydration, blood pressure balance and rebuilding damaged tissue. As electrolytes are lost through sweat, muscles may continue to feel weak after the workout and can cause fatigue, dizziness and nausea. There’s a myth that drinking water alone is what’s needed during and after a workout. While it’s true that water is a fine source for pure hydration, water contains little to no electrolytes and must be supplanted.

Workout Liquids Dos And Don’ts

Sports drinks have long been touted as a great electrolyte solution, but they actually do a healthy body a disservice due to extremely high sugars, artificial colors and carbohydrate levels. Thus guzzling a sports drink is actually working against a productive workout. Several recent articles published by The British Medical Journal revealed that when you consume sports drinks in conjunction with exercise, you are wasting not only money, but also calories.

Today, nutritionists are touting the power of coconut water as a natural way to replenish the electrolytes you lose during your workout. Coconut water contains more electrolytes per serving than sports drinks without added sugar. For example, in one cup of a sports drink there are 37 milligrams of potassium and only two milligrams of calcium, two ingredients key to electrolyte production. In the same serving of coconut water, there are a whopping 600 milligrams of potassium and 58 milligrams of calcium. There are also two grams of protein per cup to help muscle recovery after workouts.

Do It Yourself Drinks

Chia seeds contain vital nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, omega-3s, iron, fiber, protein, and vitamin C that quickly raise the electrolyte levels while providing protein for sustained energy. Just add a tablespoon of organic chia seeds to a glass of freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice. Smoothie ingredients can also play a role to workout recovery and offer a healthy meal replacement post workout. Kale has been called a super food for quite some time because it is loaded with essential nutrients and minerals that are needed for good body function and contains electrolyte-producing power. Combine a hearty handful of kale, fresh or frozen fruits, ice and coconut water in a blender and mix until creamy. Your body’s electrolyte level will be booming almost instantly.

Whether running a marathon or simply hitting the treadmill for 30 minutes, refueling your body’s electrolyte levels is key to workout recovery. Drinking smarter and not sweeter will give the nutrients it needs to keep levels balanced. When it comes to healthy, sustained electrolyte levels, you are what you drink.