Drinks that contain electrolytes are often sold for those that are taking part in exercise and working out, but why is this?
You might be wondering if this is but another sales plot or if this is something that you actually need when you are working out.
Actually, electrolytes are really important when it comes to intense or prolonged workouts.
In this article, we are going to look at the uses of electrolytes and when you should or shouldn’t be consuming them. These types of drinks might not be necessary for all work-outs, but they can come in really handy for others.
To find out more about whether you need electrolytes after exercising, just keep reading.
What Are Electrolytes?
If you didn't already know, electrolytes are electrically charged ions that work to help the body function properly and as it should. They will assist the body in maintaining fluid balance, neural activity, and muscle contraction.
Due to the fact that sweating makes you lose extra electrolytes during an extended period of time, it is really important to replace them, so your body can continue to perform at its highest capacity.
Drinking a drink that contains electrolytes can help to replenish those that you have lost through sweating.
Do I Really Need Electrolytes After Exercise?
You do need electrolytes after exercising in certain circumstances, but the need for electrolytes will depend on how long you are working out for and how intense the workout is.
More often than not, most exercise sessions will not need you to replenish your electrolytes straight away, and water will be more than efficient. However, if you are exercising for more than an hour, you might want to consider upping your electrolyte levels.
Something that you should keep in mind is that the body will lose water faster than it will lose electrolytes. This is why it is really important to keep drinking water if you are only taking part in shorter workouts. Though, if you are taking part in longer workouts, you will need to think about replacing the electrolytes that your body has lost through sweating.
Should I Drink Electrolytes Before or After Workout?
Electrolytes are essential minerals that your body is going to need in order to stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise.
However, they are also able to do much more than this, like supporting the body’s vital functions, like muscle contraction, blood pressure, nerve signalling, and much more.
They will also help your body to retain fluid during intense exercise when you are sweating. This will work to keep your joints lubricated and maintain your energy levels, which can help you to avoid dehydration related fatigue.
Most people would think to rehydrate after a workout, but not as many would think to do this during and even before their workout. You really need to be thinking about supporting your body before, during, and after and athletic performance.
Hydrating before exercise will help to give your body the extra boost that it needs before getting started.
You can start drinking water and electrolytes around an hour before you begin, and this will ensure that the fluid has time to work its way around your body.
Pre-hydration will also work to get your heart pumping and blood moving through your body, which helps to prepare for exertion. This is essential if you are going to be exercising in hotter temperatures.
Once your body has been prepared to get started, you will need to keep this up throughout your exercise regime. It is not essential to drink electrolytes at this stage, but it is important to keep drinking small amounts of water during the activity.
It is important not to go over the top and drink too much water, as this can make you feel sick, so small and regular sips are the best.
If you are going to be working out for more than an hour, you should think about adding electrolytes to your water to support hydration and energy.
You have probably seen post-workout products in stores, but are they worth your money? These products are designed to help your body to recover, so they can come in handy when you need them.
During exercise, you are going to be sweating, which means that you are going to lose fluid. This will need to be replenished with water and electrolytes once you have finished your workout.
Which Electrolyte Should Be Replaced First?
The most important minerals that you should be focusing on are magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium.
These are the minerals that will help your muscles to contract and relax to avoid cramping, maintain body temperature, and help with any mineral deficiencies.
They will also help to keep your energy levels up and are really important for recovery.