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Electrolytes!

Water~How important are they for you?~

Hi, my name is Desiree Winkel, Owner and founder of Fitness Coaching. For years I work with Martijn Steffens, a Manual Therapist who runs his office in the same studio as I do. We work with clients, who are in pain, need to exercise and want to get healthy.

My clients now and then ask me, "What are Electrolytes and do I need to drink them and if so how much can I drink?" The answer is that electrolytes are substances containing ions that the body needs to have good blood chemistry and muscle function. Consider these factors: 1. The amount of perspiration you have in a day. 2. The heat we live in, especially now!

Electrolytes are electrically-charged substances found in your urine, blood and other bodily fluids. They are needed to keep a healthy balance within the body. Electrolytes come in different forms, including chlorine, potassium, phosphate, magnesium, calcium and sodium. You must keep electrolytes balanced within your body to allow it to maintain proper water amounts in your body, balance blood acidity, allow for proper muscle action, and other important processes. Sweat releases electrolytes, so in order to replenish them; you must consume foods and drinks that contain electrolytes.

Electrolytes are substances, usually salts, acids or bases that contain ions. These ions are electrically conductive and help receive and send messages throughout the body. Electrolytes can be lost by heavy exertion and sweating, vomiting, diarrhea and alcohol!!! All which can cause dehydration.

The signs and symptoms of dehydration range from minor to severe and include:

-Increased thirst.

-Dry mouth and swollen tongue.

-Weakness.

-Dizziness.

-Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)

-Confusion.

-Sluggishness

-Fainting

As a sports instructor, I should know how important electrolytes are for your body. When I was in Sulawesi I found out that electrolytes are very important, especially if you have a poor diet. And so I was very dehydrated. I felt so annoyed that that happened to me since I should know better.

You can drink all the water you want, but that is not the only thing that keeps you hydrated. YOU NEED ELECTROLYTES IN ADDITION TO YOUR WATER.

There are a few things you can do to replenish the body with electrolytes.

• Sports drinks are popular with individuals who work out and play sports. The purpose of sports drinks is to replenish the body of what it has lost during exercise. Sports drinks contain fluids, minerals, and electrolytes; however, they also contain sugar and calories, so they may not be ideal for individuals who are looking to lose weight. Instead, water with electrolytes may be consumed.

• Drinking fresh fruit juices is also a good way to replace lost electrolytes.

Another way, which is also the most cost effective, is to make your own! Just add a few household ingredients to a glass of water. Things You'll Need: 32 ounce bottle,salt or baking soda, citrus juice, honey. Follow these steps:

Step 1

Fill a 32-oz. bottle with 16 oz. of water. Distilled water is ideal because it's the closest to pure water, but bringing tap water to a boil in a kettle will provide adequately clean water. Spring water may also be used. Bottled water might be an alternative too.

Step 2

Add a dash of salt to the water. A pinch of salt will add sodium to the mix, a necessary electrolyte for keeping the nerves healthy for sending and receiving messages in the body. Baking soda has a similar makeup to salt and may be substituted if desired.

Step 3

Add 16 oz. of fresh citrus juice. The citrus family of fruit contain calcium and potassium, which combined with salt provides a balance for pH and fluid levels in the body. Lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit and orange juice all have the necessary minerals for electrolyte replenishment.

Step 4

Add a half teaspoon of honey to the drink. Honey will provide glucose and help for better absorption of minerals within the body, while bringing a pleasant taste to the drink.

Step 5

Put the cap on the bottle and shake well. Drink the mixture after heavy physical exertion, when the weather is hot, or after an illness.

Words of warning

Electrolyte replacement drinks contain ingredients intended to sustain optimal physical performance and prevent dehydration in people engaged in intense exercise. To accomplish the job, these drinks are a mix of water, carbohydrates for energy and electrolytes such as sodium, which are lost due to excessive sweating. While these drinks are beneficial when you need the nutrients, the extra sugar and sodium can lead to problems if you drink too much or consume sports drinks instead of water.

Consume Too Many Calories

After an hour of exercise, you need to replenish carbohydrates to supply fuel for your muscles. Electrolyte drinks designed to meet this goal contain carbs in the form of sugars, such as glucose, sucrose and fructose, which also deliver calories. Sports drinks should contain 60 to 80 calories in carbs per 1-cup serving. Check the nutrition label because the amount of carbs varies depending on the brand. If you drink electrolyte replacements when you're not burning the extra carbs, these calories may contribute to weight gain.

Blood Sugar Concerns

The carbohydrates in electrolyte replacement drinks pose another problem: They have a high glycemic score, which means they cause a significant spike in blood sugar. If you're healthy and drink a moderate amount, your body will get blood sugar levels back to normal without a problem. But if you're pre-diabetic or diabetic, drinking too many electrolyte replacement drinks will interfere with maintaining a healthy and balanced level of blood sugar.

Exceed Healthy Sodium Levels

Sodium is an electrolyte that regulates the volume of blood in your body that helps keep your muscles, nerves and heart working. When you sweat, sodium is also excreted, so you may need to replace it when you sweat more than normal. But getting too much sodium from electrolyte replacement drinks may raise your blood pressure. Sports drinks contain different amounts, but may have as much as 252 milligrams of sodium in 1 cup.

Erosion of Tooth Enamel

Some brands of sports drinks contain citric acid, which adds a tart flavor. On a scale where zero represents a strong acid and seven is neutral, two brand name sports beverages have scores of 3 and 4. This is about the same level of acidity as vinegar. The problem is that citric acid erodes tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities. Now check this out. When researchers at the University of Tennessee compared an electrolyte replacement to carbonated cola, they found that the sports drink dissolved more tooth enamel than the soda, according to a study in the "Journal of Contemporary Dental practice" in November 2007. Isn't that interesting?

For more information If you have questions or need more information about Fitness training. Please call: Desiree Winkel 5247700 we are located on the welfare road next to Blast and North eastern insurance first level of the building

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