If you’re an athlete you probably have heard every now and then, “make sure you stay hydrated!” But what exactly does that mean? These days no matter who you are, there is a big trend about drinking enough water. It’s true, drinking enough water is very important when it comes to staying hydrated but being properly hydrated is so much more than just drinking tons of water. Whether you’re an athlete or soccer mom, it is important that we maintain a proper balance of electrolyte minerals and H2O in our body to maintain appropriate hydration. If you are lacking either electrolytes, fluids, or the right mix of both it can significantly affect your performance.
What Are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are micronutrients that ingest into the body from our diet. These micronutrients play a big role in assisting the “mind to muscle” connection. There are four main electrolytes that help the brain send a signal to each muscle telling it how to move.
- Magnesium – This mineral interacts with motor proteins within the muscle fiber. At rest, magnesium helps the muscle stay in a relaxed state. When there becomes a shortage of magnesium, there is a likelihood of muscle cramping.
- Calcium – When the brain sends a signal to the muscle to move, calcium is triggered into the muscle cell helping activate muscle contractions.
- Sodium & Potassium – Both assist with nerve function. When the brain sends a signal through the nervous system to the muscle fiber to contract, sodium pumps into the cell and potassium has the opposite effect and filters out. When a muscle relaxes, these micronutrients perform the opposite action sometimes acting as a pump.
When you are dehydrated, your body lacks enough fluid to help transport these electrolytes to the cells of the muscle. Think of it like a city bus system. The kids are the electrolytes and the busses are water. The kids(electrolytes) are all standing around waiting for the bus(water) but the bus(water) never comes to take the kids(electrolyte) to school(muscle). If your body lacks enough water to properly transport the electrolytes this could significantly affect your performance and more importantly health, if this becomes chronic.
When you’re “over-hydrated” your body now lacks the right number of electrolytes compared to the amount of fluids within the body. The body now has enough water to transport these electrolytes to the muscle, but it does no good if there aren’t any electrolytes to transport. When the body is in a state of over-hydration, the nerves and muscle cells are not able to function properly which in turn will significantly hinder your performance.
Strategies for Proper Hydration
Proper Diet – The best way to get these micronutrients is making sure we are eating the right foods. Whole foods contain tons of micronutrients and it’s imperative to make sure we are getting plenty of these within are diet and staying away from processed items.
- Magnesium: Greens, beans, nuts, whole grains
- Sodium: Celery, tomatoes,
- Potassium: Sweet Potatoes, Bananas
- Calcium: Oranges, some leafy greens
Sole Water – Sole water, pronounced So-Lay, is water that has been infused with Himalayan pink salt. Sole water has the electrolytes needed as well as 80 plus other minerals that help the body function optimally. To make Sole water, take a mason jar and fill up 1/3 of the jar with Himalayan pink salt, fill the rest with water and let it sit over-night.
Purium Coco Hydrate– Coco Hydrate is a supplement from an organic whole food supplement line called Purium. Coco hydrate is filled with whole food ingredients that contain the much-needed electrolytes required to perform at a high level. All that is needed is a couple of scoops mixed in with your water and you’re off to the races.
We Can Help!
If you want help to be at the top of your game, book an appointment with our sports nutritionist at Infinity Sports Institute. Invest in being the best and let us help you reach the top of your game. Call (786)591-7586 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.