Why electrolytes can boost your performance at the gym?
Our bodies depend on various microelements, vitamins, and electrolytes. In fact, the more we exercise the more we run short of electrolytes. But what are they actually and why are they so important?
Try to think of them as an essential part of your body’s “electric” (read nervous) system. They are usually capable of conducting electricity when mixed with water. Now you get the idea. Since the human body primarily consists of water, electrolytes play a crucial role in the proper functioning of our nerves and muscles.
Electrolyte deficit symptoms may include changes in the blood pressure, twitching, weakness, and heart rhythm abnormalities. If you feel faint after a regular training, it may be that you’re short of electrolytes. Muscle convulsions and unconscious finger or limb movements should sound the alarm in your head.
The good news is that fruits and vegetables are rich in these precious nutrients. Simply said, a balanced diet should keep your body well-stacked with them.
However, sometimes we lose electrolytes faster than we think and it’s impossible to recover that fast just through an electrolyte-rich diet. Your other option includes food supplements, which is always a good choice especially if you train on a daily basis. Active people lose electrolytes mainly through sweat. Some of you might have noticed that white spots on your T-shirt after a hard day at the gym. These salty spots are literally the electrolytes that left your body along with sweat.
In short, these are the electrolytes that keep us alive and kicking:
- calcium – apart from keeping your bones strong and healthy, calcium is essential for muscle stimulation and heartbeat rhythm. Hold on, there’s more about this mineral that you should know about. It plays a vital role in the transmission of the nerve signals, which leads us to our next point – your muscles are as powerful as the nerve signals they receive. Plus, muscles need calcium in order to grow. On the other hand, calcium deficiency leads to muscle cramps.
- magnesium – Mg has similar functions like calcium but it also takes part in the energy production as glucose needs magnesium to turn into energy. You cannot metabolize fat without magnesium. Moreover, our bodies do not take full advantage of vitamins and minerals if there is not enough magnesium. See, this mineral is your friend.
- chloride – chloride deficiency often leads to poor digestion and muscle contractions. It also keeps our tendons and joints healthy, which makes it even more important for people who are regularly training. Furthermore, chloride keeps the optimal blood acidity levels.
- phosphorous – in short, our bodies need phosphorous for several reasons. It keeps the regular heartbeat, it repairs and maintains cells and tissues, and it is also vital for the proper nerve signaling. Not to mention that plays a role in the production of ATP, which in turn gives us energy.
- sodium – sodium deficiency is very rare as our diet is usually rich in this element. In fact, you are more likely to suffer from too much sodium in your body rather than being short of it. The downside of having too much sodium is that it makes you lose potassium when urinating.
No, you are not training too hard. It’s just your body telling you it needs more electrolytes.