Why Do I Need Electrolytes?
by Julianne Soviero, Athletic Performance Consultant
As an athlete or fitness enthusiast, you might be wondering why there is so much hype surrounding electrolytes. “Why can’t I just subsist on water alone?” you might ask. To answer your burning question, I decided to break down electrolytes and tell you exactly what they do in your body.
Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electrical charge. They have an impact on how your muscles function, how alkaline your blood is, and how much water you have in your body. Excessive water consumption without electrolyte supplementation will actually cause a dilution and, potentially, depletion of electrolytes. If you never take in any electrolytes but drink a ton of water, you run the risk of water intoxication. Water Intoxication occurs when the balance of electrolytes in the body is outside of a safe range, and it can be very dangerous. Even if that weren’t a risk, electrolytes have some major roles in the body. Let’s look at the major electrolytes and what these guys do for us:
You might recognize this as something that is associated with bone health. That is true, however, this tremendous mineral does a lot more! It has a role in muscle stimulation and regular heartbeat. It is also extremely important for nerve transmission, muscle growth, and powerful muscle contractions. Calcium deficiency can result in muscle cramps: something that can kill your performance in the gym or on the field.
This electrolyte helps to keep the tendons and joints healthy, but it also helps to regulate the balance of acid and alkali in the blood. Without enough chloride, you might suffer from poor muscle contractions and difficulty digesting.
Magnesium helps convert glucose to energy. It also helps to metabolize fat. It is necessary in order for the muscles to function correctly, but it also helps the body to properly use other vitamins and minerals. Magnesium deficiency is unfortunately very common and low levels can affect your mood and sense of well-being. Magnesium is extremely important for female athletes, since it can help alleviate signs of PMS.
This is used in nerve signaling, heartbeat, and is needed for the growth, maintenance and repair of cells and tissues. Phosphorous helps the body to make ATP, and those of you who are really into fitness know that you can’t perform your best without plenty of ATP on hand.
Potassium plays a part in how nerves transmit and muscles contract. It helps to regulate water balance in the body. You lose potassium when you sweat, so athletes need more than the average person.
Sodium is very important, but the American diet is typically very high in sodium in general. If you have too much sodium it can actually cause you to lose a lot of potassium in the urine, so don’t go eating a lot of junk foods high in sodium! When used appropriately, sodium works with potassium to help muscle expansion and contraction.
So there you have it – the wonders of electrolytes! It would be pretty much impossible to achieve peak performance without them! In addition to their individual roles, they often work in harmony with vitamins and other minerals in the body to keep you feeling good and performing at your best.
Ultima Replenisher contains a perfect balance of all 6 electrolytes plus 2 support minerals with no sugar and nothing artificial so you can feel and perform your best.
Julianne Soviero is an athletic performance consultant, speaker, Ultima Replenisher Ambassador, certified hypnotist, and author of the award-winning book, Unleash Your True Athletic Potential. She has helped hundreds of athletes to achieve their very best through her “triple threat” method: integrating nutrition, mechanics, and mindset for perfect performance.
Unleash Your True Athletic Potential is based on the groundbreaking True Athletic Potential Program designed by author Julianne Soviero. It addresses all the elements that affect athletic performance including: nutrition, sleep, hydration, cross-training, injury prevention, muscle recovery and so much more. This book is designed to help all athletes: from professional athletes to fitness enthusiasts and complete novices. It is a product of over a decade of research that included interviewing some of the best coaches, athletes, trainers, physical therapists and social workers that the world has to offer.
Make sure to try our Stick Packs to get your daily requirement of Electrolytes! Our Stick Packs are sold in a variety pack, or in your favorite flavor (grape, orange, lemonade, raspberry, and tart cherry)!