The Science of Sweat: Understanding Electrolyte Balance for Athletes

The temperature is creeping up again, which means we’re approaching sweaty season more quickly than we think. And when you start sweating more, it’s important to remember to replace the electrolytes that you lose when you sweat. You’ve probably heard some form of this advice before, but we’re here to tell you why it matters more than you think it does, especially when you find out just how essential electrolytes are for so many different regular bodily functions, and even more so for athletic performance.

What Are Electrolytes, Really?

Electrolytes are essential minerals in your blood, sweat, and urine—sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and bicarbonate. The intake of electrolytes is primarily through fluids and foods, while the output is mostly from sweating and urination. Electrolytes help you maintain proper nerve and muscle function, acid-base balance, hydration, and more.

What Happens to Them When You Sweat Them Out?

When you lose electrolytes through sweat, you lose nutrients essential to maintaining body homeostasis. If you don’t put back as many electrolytes as you lose, you’re at risk of an electrolyte imbalance and severe dehydration, which can lead to symptoms such as extreme fatigue, fast or irregular heartbeat, numbness and tingling, confusion, muscle weakness and cramping, headaches, and convulsions. And when your electrolyte input and output is imbalanced, it’s harder to perform the way you want to in your workouts.

How Do You Get Them Back After Sweating Them Out?

Replenishing electrolytes is essential for keeping your body functioning properly and performing at a high level. While the electrolytes in your diet—such as the ones in fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts, and seeds—are usually enough to cover your losses, if you’re working out hard for over an hour in toasty conditions, you’ll need to supplement your diet to gain back those additional electrolyte losses. Electrolyte drinks are a simple way to add electrolytes into your post-workout or even mid-workout routine, as they help increase water absorption, regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, transport nutrients in the body, and prevent heat exhaustion.

More Than Just Water

Water alone won’t replenish your electrolytes because water doesn’t contain them, but drinks like PWR LIFT, which contains 650mg of key electrolytes in each bottle, will help you maximize your hydration, push through your workouts, perform your best, and recover quickly even when it’s hot out. Grabbing a cold PWR LIFT from the fridge on the way out the door is a quick and easy electrolyte booster that will power your hot weather workouts all spring and summer long.

So as the temperature heats up, let this article serve as your friendly reminder to stay hydrated, replenish those electrolytes, and, as always, PWR UP.

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