Electrolytes are a combination of essential minerals and salts that contribute to the body’s normal functioning. A mix of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, the charged metallic ‘ions’ work by bringing about a balance in the fluid pressure in one’s body cells. They also control the blood’s pH balance. A deficiency in these minerals can hamper the performance of one’s heart, muscles, and nervous system.
While water is a major source of minerals, it does not provide an adequate amount of minerals anymore. The reason being that in the past people drank water that was sourced from mountains and springs, and this water was usually free from pollutants. However, today water must be purified and distilled before being consumed and this can lead to an imbalance in the electrolytes. This growing concern has caused a rise in the number of electrolyte drinks proliferating the market. There is a slew of options with varied nutrient profiles and flavors, but which one is the right pick? Here are some inclusions to look for when selecting an electrolyte drink.
The right ingredients
Electrolyte drinks are scientifically formulated and should compose of the right amount of ingredients. One should look for the appropriate levels of mineral and vitamins that can make up for the loss of minerals when the body is under physical stress. The drink must specifically serve the needs of anyone who participates in extreme physical activities and thus, can aid in their performance.
Water is a vital component of electrolyte drinks. Obviously, the goal is to hydrate one’s body. The fluid maintains the levels of hydration that is essential for optimized performance during physical activities. A pivotal part of the product, one must avoid water that is carbonated or sparkling, as that can be unhealthy. Drinking sparkling or carbonated water can lead to discomfort in the short and long run. The need for fluids depend upon several factors and one should drink them only when there is a need.
An ideal electrolyte drink should contain about 50-150 mg of sodium in every 8-ounce serving. This inclusion is important to provide the body with all the lost sodium. Sodium is essential as it maintains one’s blood pressure levels.
In case of high endurance activities, the drink must contain at least 30-40 grams of carbohydrates as it aids in reducing fatigue and exhaustion. There must be about 13-19 grams of carbohydrates in every 8-ounce serving of an electrolyte drink.
There must be an inclusion of 20-50 milligrams of potassium in every 8-ounce serving. Potassium controls the flow of nutrients and fluids in and out of the body’s cells. Potassium also helps in keeping one’s blood pressure in check.
While electrolyte drinks aid in replenishing the lost electrolytes and recovery post high-energy activities, one should stay away from popular drinks that are packed with artificial ingredients. Not only do these ingredients make the drink unhealthy but they also lead to high consumption of sugar. The artificial sweeteners undoubtedly make for the quickest gush of energy supply but can be extremely harmful in the long run. Thus, one must preferably opt for electrolyte drinks and energy supplements that are devoid of the same. It is also imperative to try out a given drink and test how the body responds to it as the formula may cause digestive distress.
Tags – Electrolyte Drinks, Glucose Meter, Energy Supplements