When it comes to exercise, replenishing electrolytes is essential to performance and post-performance recovery. For example, a study on triathletes found that those competitors who took electrolyte replenishing sodium tablets with a sports drink replenished 71% of lost sodium from sweat. In contrast those who drank sports drinks alone only replenished 20% of lost sodium. Additionally, the sodium-taker competitors also finished on average 26 minutes faster than their competitors. Energy during exercise does not only rely on the foods we eat, but consuming and maintaining proper electrolyte levels to stay hydrated is absolutely crucial.
Avoiding the dreaded headache and fatigue
There’s nothing worse than having a killer workout followed by muscle fatigue, a pounding headache and dizziness. This is your body telling you it desperately needs its electrolyte levels replenished. When you exercise, your body is depleting its glycogen storage and subsequently electrolyte levels are reduced. The Guardian recommends that consuming electrolyte rich drinks – more than just water – can help replenish those critical electrolyte nutrients to help avoid unwanted symptoms of dehydration. Those who eat ketogenically should especially be cognisant of their body’s keto electrolytes, and consume electrolyte fuelled drinks like coconut water or sugar-free sports drinks. This is because in a keto or palaeo diet, your body relies on fat for energy instead of traditional use of glycogen. Keeping those electrolytes levels high and balanced can help avoid the pounding headache and post-workout fatigue.
Alternatives to keep you hydrated
If the you don’t fancy a sports drink, there are other electrolyte rich-alternatives to keep your muscles and body happy. One such simple way to pump up your electrolyte levels, particularly sodium levels lost in sweat, is to add salt into your water. A pinch of himalayan pink salt is not only keto-friendly to dieters, but is also a simple solution to help your muscle recovery during exercise and to stay hydrated. Add a squeeze of lemon to help with flavour, and benefit from lemon juice potassium levels. Additionally lemon helps restore PH levels, and is a good source of vitamin C.
Want something other than water? Try coconut water or celery juice. Coconut water helps replenish the body’s levels of the electrolyte potassium, and is widely available at most shops. Or you can opt for the super drink that is celery juice. Full of a variety of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, the recent hype and trend of celery juice is backed by many nutritionists for its nutrient-dense benefits to the body’s hydration levels.
Whether you opt for a electrolyte fuelled sports drink or a more natural alternative like lemon water, it’s essential you replenish your electrolyte levers to stay hydrated during exercise. Make your muscles and body happy by giving them some proper fuel.