It is summer! The days are longer, the climate is warmer, and kids are off from school. We all want to play extra in the summer time, taking benefit of longer days and nicer weather. With our coastline and mountains, San Diego is a Mecca for outdoor activity. Surfing, swimming, in-line skating, running, bicycling, mountain biking, rock climbing, and a wide range of team sports are the tip of the iceberg for our summer activities.
We’re all taught to make confident we drink enough water during exercise. Several overall health care providers advise drinking at least eight glasses of water per day, and more through the summer season or though working out. What does not get pointed out is that drinking much much more than this can dilute necessary minerals and electrolytes which can bring about a entire host of difficulties. I learned this firsthand whilst on a bicycle tour in the midwest for the duration of one of the most extreme heat waves Missouri has noticed in June! I discovered myself drinking practically 3 gallons of water each day to hold from getting thirsty, which filled my belly so a great deal it was difficult to eat enough calories to sustain 70-mile days on a bicycle. Even eating salty snacks, salting my meals a lot more than usual, and taking a double dose of my usual potassium, multi-mineral, and calcium supplements had me barely maintaining up with electrolytes. Several persons on the ride spent an afternoon in the emergency space for an IV of Ringer’s answer immediately after suffering serious heat exhaustion and electrolyte depletion. This sort of emergency can quickly be avoided if you pay interest to electrolytes in addition to fluid intake alone.
What are electrolytes, and why do we will need them?
In chemistry, each atom has a specific quantity of protons (positively charged) and electrons (negatively charged). A stable atom has an equal number of protons and electrons, and has no electrical charge. An ion is an atom that has an uneven number of protons and electrons, providing it a good or adverse electrical charge. elektrolyty is any substance containing totally free ions that behaves as an electrically conductive medium.
In physiology, the major ions of electrolytes are sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), and chloride (Cl−). The electric charge symbols of plus (+) and minus (−) indicate that the substance in query is ionic in nature and has an imbalanced distribution of electrons.
Each muscles and nerves are deemed electric tissues. Muscles and nerves are activated by electrolyte activity among interstitial fluid (fluid in between the cells) and intercellular fluid (fluid within the cells). Electrolytes may enter or leave a cell by way of the cell membrane and are necessary for a wide variety of cellular functions. For instance, muscle contraction is dependent upon the presence of calcium (Ca2+), sodium (Na+), and potassium (K+). With no sufficient levels of these important electrolytes, muscle weakness or severe muscle contractions may happen.
Electrolyte balance is maintained by intake of electrolyte-containing substances, and is regulated by hormones as well as by the kidneys. back to top
Which electrolytes do we want?
When sodium gets a bad rap from the persons concerned about blood pressure, it is actually essential for a variety of cellular functions and we cannot live with out it. A human getting demands approximately 500mg of sodium per day for fundamental physiological functions. Sodium is 1 of the minerals necessary for nerve impulses to happen (nerve impulses facilitate each and every message from the brain to our muscles and internal organs). It is also vital for maintaining suitable blood volume.
For most of us, the situation with sodium is overconsumption rather than underconsumption. Most processed foods include outrageous amounts of sodium, so it is quick to consume far additional than 500mg/day. Consumption of big amounts of sodium can turn out to be problematic for people with kidney issues or high blood pressure.
When we exercising on hot days, thirst generally drives us to drink far additional water than we ordinarily would. This is very good to a point – once you turn out to be thirsty, you are currently dehydrated. But, drinking also significantly water can lead to water intoxication or hyponatremia (low levels of sodium in the blood). Symptoms of sodium imbalance include things like headache, general malaise, nausea, and vomiting. When levels drop beneath a specific point, hyponatremia can be life threatening.
Almond et al. (1) located hyponatremia in as several as 13% of runners in a recent Boston Marathon, with life-threatening hyponatremia in .six%. The runners at greatest danger of really serious water intoxication had moderate weight get for the duration of the race due to excessive water consumption.
Sodium is not the only mineral which becomes diluted when we drink as well a great deal water. Potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, selenium, and other trace minerals can also become diluted in the bloodstream. back to top rated
Potassium is required for all cellular communication and nerve conduction. It is present in a variety of foods, including almonds, bananas, cucumbers, apricots, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes (especially the skins), wheat germ, and other folks. Low potassium in the blood stream is named hypokalemia.
Mild hypokalemia is often without the need of symptoms, though it could cause a tiny elevation of blood stress and can occasionally lead to an irregular heart beat. Moderate hypokalemia may perhaps bring about muscular weakness, muscle aching, muscle cramps (due to disturbed function of the skeletal muscles), and constipation (from disturbed function of smooth muscles). back to top rated
Calcium is expected for healthy bones, regular muscle contraction, and nerve conduction. Dietary sources of calcium include things like milk items, broccoli, cauliflower, pinto beans, aduki beans, soybeans, almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, molasses, and others.
Mild calcium deficiency (as could happen throughout exercise as opposed to lengthy term dietary deficiency) can cause muscle cramps, heart palpitations, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, irritability, and mental confusion.
A current study showed that competitive cyclists have a substantially higher than average possibility of osteoporosis because intense physical physical exercise more than long periods of time can deplete calcium in the body. (four,5)
Magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin D are needed to help absorption of calcium. back to top
Magnesium is involved in several hundred enzymatic reactions in the human physique, many of which contribute to production of energy (conversion of glucose to ATP) and cardiovascular function. It is the “anti-strain” mineral as it functions to loosen up skeletal muscles as nicely as the smooth muscle tissues of the blood vessels and digestive tract. It is vital for modulating the electrical potential of cell membranes which enables nutrients to get into and out of cells.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include things like fatigue, lack of appetite, irritability, insomnia, muscle tremors, and muscle twitching. Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle cramping, mental confusion, and spasm of the coronary artery.
Dietary sources of magnesium involve dark green vegetables, almonds, pecans, cashews, brazil nuts, wheat bran, wheat germ, millet, brown rice, avocado, dried apricot, and soy solutions. back to top
How do we get adequate electrolytes although staying hydrated?
For mild to moderate physical exercise (say 60-90 minutes of moderate-intensity activity), consuming some salted almonds, dried apricots, avocado, bananas, or pickles just after your workout is most likely adequate. 1/eight tsp of sea salt in a single of your water bottles or a single bottle of sports drink would not hurt, but you happen to be most likely OK without. Plain old iodized salt contains only sodium chloride, and lacks the other trace minerals discovered in sea salt, so sea salt is what you need to have for this application!
For additional extreme physical exercise (say riding a mountain bike for 4 hours in 100 degree heat), you will require an electrolyte replacement sports drink for at least 50% of your fluid intake. You may well will need further supplements for potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Camelbak’s Elixir solution contains all these minerals in an easy to carry tablet form which dissolves promptly without the need of powdery residue in your water bottle. (No, I am NOT a representative for Camelbak, nor do I sell their merchandise. I’ve just been happy with my practical experience with the Elixir!) Several corporations are now producing jelly beans, jelly blocks, and other chewy electrolyte replacement goods. My favorites (based on my taste preference AND a high percentage of organic components with minimal artificial stuff) involve Sharkies electrolyte chews and Cliff Blocks.
If you are routinely doing intense exercise (more than one day per week), you need to also take a standard multi- mineral supplement which offers the macro minerals discussed in this article along with a whole host of trace minerals. I would be content to make recommendations, and I do carry a multi-mineral supplement in my workplace.