• Titus "Coach" Florence

Hydrate Like An Athlete!


Summer is here and it has hit with a vengeance! Football training camps are also approaching quickly and being prepared for those 2 a days camps is critical. Smoldering heat can wear down even the toughest people fast. Keep that ☀️screen close by and your water bottle in your hand.

On these hot summer days, hydration becomes more important than ever to help combat heat exhaustion and heat stroke. And sadly, drinking just water isn't enough to stay hydrated on these days.

As we sweat, we also lose electrolytes that plays a vital role for our muscles and organs in our bodies.

There are 5 very important electrolytes that you MUST consume with your water.

Sodium

Magnesium

Potassium

Bicarbonate

Chloride

These 5 electrolytes help you retain water in your body as you perspirate. You can drink plenty of water, but eventually, your body makes you have many unwanted meetings to the white porcelain god.

Now let's go over each electrolyte to learn how each one keeps you from looking pale like goblin from Lord of the Rings, and help prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke (nope, you don't want this). Then I will list the best items for hydration.

Sodium

Salt has been taking a bad rep the last decade as a heavy contributor to helping people have heart attacks due to salt water retention. This can lead to high blood pressure by have having a higher blood volume in the arteries stressing weak walls within them.

However, salt is needed in the hot summer days, especially if you are an athlete competing and training in the hot sun and high humidity. You are sweating out sodium and if you lose too much salt from sweat, it can lower your blood pressure during exercise and that can cause your heart work harder due to the lower blood volume.

Magnesium This mineral has numerous jobs within the body making it a undercover important nutrient needed for hydration. According to Organic Fats, this mineral has 13 benefits for the human body and here is a partial list:

Improve vitamin absorption

Aids in increasing bone density

Cognitive function

Better thyroid health

Regulation of glucose metabolism

Supports digestion (be careful with the dosage, its toxic if ingested too little or too much)

Boost metabolism

Controls diabetes

Magnesium is most important during exercise because it helps regulate glucose metabolism as it aids the muscles and organs absorb carbohydrates such as sports drinks, glucose goo and etc.

Potassium

If you eat bananas to get your daily potassium, you are bananas if you think bananas (422mg potassium per banana) have tons of potassium. Foods that have higher potassium levels are sweet potatoes (542mg meduim size), white potato (941mg medium size), watermelon (641mg 2 wedges), frozen spinach (540mg 1 cup), butternut squash, and tomato sauce (728mg 1cup) (Rodale, 2017).

Potassium is a mineral that helps with electrical nerve impulses in the body and muscle contractions, especially the heart. It also helps with regulation of fluids and nutrients in cells, while helping keep your blood pressure in-check by counteracting with sodium (Gerstenblith, G. & Margolis, S. 2015).

Bicarbonate

Yes, this is an electrolyte and it is a very important one at that. This electrolyte helps with regulating the body's ph levels by binding itself to hydrogen from the lactic acid produced from working muscles, to then allow the carbon dioxide and water to be exhaled from the lungs (Wedro, B. 2017).

Chloride

This electrolyte is a negatively charged that works with other minerals, such as sodium and potassium by helping to regulate acidity in the body.

Best Options for Hydration

Water Infused with Electrolytes: Of course this is first

Pedialyte:

(Click photo to learn causes and symptoms of dehydration)

Buffered Salt Tablets

(Includes: Chloride, Sodium, and Potassium)

BodyArmor

(A better drink that provides more electrolytes and less sugar than others)

Fruits and Vegetables

(Provides all the minerals needed to stay hydrated with adequate consumption of water)

References

Gerstenblith, G. & Margolis, S. (2015). Electrolyte Imbalance: Too Much or Too Little Potassium. Retrieved from http://www.healthcommunities.com/electrolyte-imbalance/too-much-potassium-too-little-potassium_jhmwp.shtml

Rodale, M. (2017). 7 Foods That Have More Potassium than a Banana. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-rodale/7-foods-that-have-more-po_b_10400018.html

Wedro, B. (2017). Electrolytes. Retrieved from https://www.emedicinehealth.com/electrolytes/article_em.htm