How they benefit the body and why a balance is important. They consist of positive and negative ions which help to direct electrical pulses throughout the entire network of cells, tissues and fluids within the body.
Why are electrolytes important?
Maintain fluid balance inside and outside of the cell which is crucial for :
- Nerve impulses (proper nerve function)
- Muscle function (prevents muscle cramps)
- pH level
- Help to build new tissues
How many electrolytes are there?
- Sodium (Na+)
- Magnesium (Mg++)
- Potassium (K+)
- Bicarbonate (HCO3-)
- Phosphate (HPO4-)
- Calcium (Ca++)
Should I replenish electrolytes (especially after training?)
Electrolyte levels are very crucial. Electrolytes are lost as we sweat, how we maintain our electrolyte levels are very crucial especially after an intensive training session.
Opt for plain water and keep healthy diet of whole foods that are rich in electrolytes. Examples: Bananas, dates, raisins, coconuts, avocado, spinach, beans, lentils and potatoes.
Note : Balance of electrolytes in the body is key, one electrolytes that we might likely consume in excess will be sodium as it is present in most of our foods.
Even though sports drinks do help to replenish the body’s electrolytes, please consume in moderation as many of them are high in sugar levels.
By : Alvin Ho
B (Eng), MBA, Certified Allied Healthcare/Fitness Professional (EIMS), Master Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutrition, Resistance & Endurance Training Specialist (NFPT)