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So What are Electrolytes, Anyway?

September 21, 2018 by
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Sweating it out.

Let’s face it, this summer has been hot AF and sometimes the sweat puddle got a little much. And since we were kids running around on the soccer field, we’ve been told to replenish those chemistry-sounding things after a tough workout. Which got us thinking…

What are electrolytes, anyway?

The short answer. Electrolytes are chemicals (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium to name a few) that conduct electricity when mixed with water.

And why do our bodies need them?

Electrolytes control nerve impulses that keep your body functioning properly — think breathing, heart beating, and brain functioning. They regulate nerve and muscle function, hydrate the body, balance blood pressure, and rebuild damaged tissue.

So yeah, super important. This is why it’s crucial to replenish them after a serious sweat sesh. And if you want to geek out a little more, here’s a two minute video explaining it all.

How do we lose them?

During a WOD, electrolytes get deposited into sweat glands. Water follows the electrolytes and as the glands fill up, sweat is released. The water evaporates, which helps cool you down, and the remaining salt is left on the skin. Yay, science!

The takeaway?

Replenishing these electrolytes is important, but here’s the thing: unless you’re a pro athlete or an endurance athlete, chugging a Gatorade really isn’t necessary (especially when you consider all that added sugar).

You can replenish plenty of electrolytes by eating fruits and veggies and staying hydrated with good old fashioned H20.

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