We all are told to hydrate, but what exactly should we be hydrating with?
It’s probably a fact that most people need to drink more water, but often times we forget a vital component of hydration – electrolytes. There are 6 electrolytes that are essential to our bodies: sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate.
Electrolytes affect the amount of water held in your body, blood PH, and muscle function. Without electrolytes you will be peeing out all of the water you take in and quickly pushed to the sidelines cramping with insufficient hydration levels.
Essentially, just drinking water will simply hydrate the blood, often leading to peeing it all back out in clear urine. You think you are hydrating, but in reality that water is just passing through your body. Electrolytes provide the cells the ability to take in the water, hydrating them intracellularly. Pulling the water into the cell demonstrates true hydration and can only occur via electrolytes. Too much water without electrolytes can also cause a problem called hyponatremia, which can be life threatening.
Although proper hydration is vital for all humans, the importance is most prevalently seen in endurance athletes. Fully hydrating the body doesn’t just happen in one sports drink. You should also be taking electrolytes in the days and week prior to athletic events. Even in times without a competition on the horizon, especially in the humid climates of the world, a daily electrolyte supplement can be vital to achieving both peak performance and health.
If you are currently looking for a supplement for electrolytes, we currently recommend Salt Sticks, Base Salts, and Nuun (available for purchase at the gym).
Sean Spire is the Owner and Head Coach of Aspire. Athletically, he enjoys lifting heavy shit, running in the middle of the day, and tough MetCons. Personally, he likes spending time with his amazing wife, Erika, and dog, Reef.