Electrolytes are electrically-charged ions, or salts. Your body requires electrolytes because they maintain voltages across your cell membranes, carrying electrical impulses and keeping your vital organs, nerves, and muscles in check.
When you sweat, you lose necessary electrolytes like sodium and potassium. It’s a good idea to replenish with a sports recovery drink because these beverages are loaded with electrolytes that rehydrate and re-energize your body so you can get back in the game.
Read on to learn more about the importance of electrolytes in sport recovery drinks.
- Why is Potassium So Important?
- Isn’t Sodium Bad for Me?
- What Else is Good about Sports Recovery Drinks?
Why is Potassium So Important?
Potassium makes your heart, kidneys, and other essential organs perform normally. According to WebMD, Americans don’t get enough potassium due to eating too many processed foods and not enough whole foods.
A potassium deficiency may also occur if you’re an athlete. Athletes lose more potassium than the average person, because they sweat a lot more.
To avoid such fates, remember to replenish your electrolytes with whole foods or better yet, a sports recovery drink like coconut water, which has more potassium than a banana.
Isn’t Sodium Bad for Me?
Sodium plays an important role in muscle contraction and enzyme operation. It also maintains heart performance and glucose absorption. All of which are critical to your body, especially if you’re an athlete.
But why do so many people think sodium is bad for them?
Well, too much of anything is bad, as Mark Twain would say. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart and kidney disease. Most Americans consume too much sodium because they eat highly processed foods and sugary, salty sodas.
However, sports recovery drinks typically have lots of sodium too, so if you’re not breaking a sweat, try drinking regular water or coconut water, which is a low sodium sports recovery drink, to keep your sodium levels normal.
What Else is Good about Sports Recovery Drinks?
In addition to potassium and sodium, sports recovery drinks also contain other important electrolytes, including:
These electrolytes support bone and muscle strength, circulation, and proper cellular function.
The best sports recovery drinks will also contain good carbohydrates, or sugars, to boost your energy while supporting cell and muscle tissue.
Coconut water sports drinks are also an excellent source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber aids digestion while preventing digestive disorders. In addition, sports recovery drinks can be used to rehydrate and replenish your electrolytes when you are sick and losing a lot of fluids.
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