What are electrolytes? Electrolytes are essential minerals that have either a natural positive or a negative electrical charge when dissolved in water. Did you know that an adult’s body is 60% water? That means nearly every fluid and cell in your body contains electrolytes! Electrolytes help our bodies regulate chemical reactions and maintain the balance between fluids inside and outside of our bodies. For your cells, muscles, and organs to work properly, you need both fluids and electrolytes. Types of electrolytes are:
Sodium and Potassium are the most critical of the electrolytes, they play major roles in nerve, muscle function, fluid balance, and blood volume. Sodium is a mineral that carries an electrical charge, known as an electrolyte. Sodium, potassium and chloride trigger muscle contractions and nerve impulses when they shift places across cell membranes. Sodium also works with potassium to maintain normal water balance in the body. Each of the minerals chemically attracts water to itself, assuring that optimal levels of hydration are maintained both inside human cells and outside the cells. Closely related to sodium’s role in the maintenance of normal fluid levels is the part it plays in controlling your body’s blood volume and thus blood pressure. Your body constantly monitors sodium concentrations and blood volume, if either blood volume or sodium levels get too high, your body stimulates your kidneys to excrete excess sodium, returning blood volume to normal levels.
What exactly do electrolytes do?
Muscle contraction occurs when cells use electrolytes to conduct electrical charges. These same electrical charges are also responsible for assisting with chemical reactions. Specifically, hydration and the balance of fluids inside and outside of our cells.
In addition to regulating fluids, electrolytes have several other important functions such as transmitting nerve signals, building new tissue, supporting blood clotting, maintaining the beat of your heart, and regulating the fluid level in blood plasma. So, you could say that electrolytes are a pretty big deal.
Natural electrolytes: Your body gets electrolytes through what you eat and drink. Your kidneys filter excess electrolytes out of your body and into your urine. You also lose them through sweating. There are many foods that can assist you with replenishing electrolytes naturally such as spinach, kale, avocados, broccoli, potatoes, beans, almonds, peanuts, tofu, strawberries, watermelon, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, milk, yogurt, chicken, olives, raisins.
Electrolyte supplementation/what is the best electrolyte powder? Intense workouts can cause essential vitamins and minerals to be lost through sweat. This can alter hydration status, performance, and recovery. Typically, sodium losses range from 460-1,840 mg per liter of sweat, depending on factors such as the individual, the weather, and the intensity of the workout. It is important to note the electrolyte concentration of different beverages to ensure adequate electrolyte replenishment and rehydration. Certain electrolyte powders can help restore healthy levels of minerals in the body, even after the toughest workouts.
Hydrate by Muscle Feast is a unique product because it helps restore healthy levels of minerals in the body.
Hydrate with Electrolytes++ is designed to help:
— Improve electrolyte balance in athletes, or anyone engaged in physical activity. — Eliminate painful muscle cramps — Eliminate deficiencies in Calcium, Phosphorous, Iodine, Chloride, B3, B6, B12, Magnesium, Sulfur, Boron, Sodium, Potassium, and Zinc.
Why can’t I just drink water to replenish my electrolytes? There is an increased fear of ingesting contaminated ground water caused by things such as pollution, because of this, many individuals have turned to consuming bottled water. Unfortunately, bottled water does not provide the same vitamins and minerals that drinking tap and well water once did. Genetically engineered crops have also changed the mineral content in many foods which ultimately leads to various health issues.
What are vitamins? There are 13 essential vitamins that we need to help keep our bodies working properly; vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate), each one has its own specific job. Vitamins are organic substances that are generally classified as either fat soluble or water soluble. Fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) dissolve in fat and tend to accumulate in the body. On the other hand, water soluble vitamins (vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins such as vitamin B6, B12, and folate) must dissolve in water before they can be absorbed by the body, and therefore cannot be stored. Any water-soluble vitamins unused by the body is primarily lost through urine.
What do vitamins do? A well-balanced diet is the first step to getting your body the nutrients it needs, however, taking a vitamin or supplement can help you fill any nutritional gaps. Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, support normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs.
— Vitamin A (retinol) is a nutrient important to vision, growth, cell division, reproduction, and immunity. It also has antioxidant properties. Sources of Vitamin A are Leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli), orange and yellow vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and other winter squash, summer squash),tomatoes, red bell pepper, cantaloupe, mango, milk, and eggs.
— Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a nutrient your body needs to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, and collagen in bones. It also vital to your body's healing process and is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation from the sun, X-rays, or other sources. Sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits (oranges, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit), bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower) and white potatoes
— Vitamin D is a nutrient your body needs for building and maintaining healthy bones. That's because your body can only absorb calcium, the primary component of bone, when vitamin D is present. Vitamin D also regulates many other cellular functions in your body. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties support immune health, muscle function and brain cell activity. Your body also makes vitamin D when direct sunlight converts a chemical in your skin into an active form of the vitamin (calciferol). Sources of Vitamin D are fatty fish (cod, trout, salmon, tuna, swordfish, and sardines), mushrooms, eggs, and products fortified with Vitamin D such as orange juice and milk.
— Vitamin E is a nutrient that's important to vision, reproduction, and the health of your blood, brain, and skin. Sources of Vitamin E are sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pumpkin, and spinach.
— Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins that play a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels. Sources of Vitamin K are green leafy vegetables including collard and turnip greens, kale, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and lettuces.
— Thiamin (vitamin B-1) helps the body generate energy from nutrients. Also known as thiamine, thiamin is necessary for the growth, development, and function of cells. Sources of Thiamin are pork, fish, beans, lentils, peas, sunflower seeds, and yogurt.
— Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) is a key component of coenzymes involved with the growth of cells, energy production, and the breakdown of fats, steroids, and medications. Sources of Riboflavin are eggs, organ meats (kidney and liver), lean meats, milk, mushrooms, and spinach.
— Niacin is vitamin B-3 and is made and used by your body to turn food into energy. It helps keep your nervous system, digestive system, and skin healthy. Sources of Niacin are red meat, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, and bananas.
— Pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5) helps turn the food you eat into the energy you need. It’s important for many functions in the body, especially making and breaking down fats. Sources of Pantothenic acid are mushrooms, avocado, broccoli, sweet potatoes, corn, cauliflower, kale, chicken breast, nuts, and seeds.
— Biotin (vitamin B-7) plays a vital role in assisting enzymes to break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in food. It also helps to regulate signals sent by cells and the activity of genes. Sources of Biotin are eggs, pecans, walnuts, legumes, whole grains, cauliflower, and bananas.
— Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) is important for normal brain development and for keeping the nervous system and immune system healthy. Sources of Vitamin B-6 are dark leafy greens, bananas, papayas, oranges, and cantaloupe, chickpeas, salmon, and tuna.
— Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) plays an essential role in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA, the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information. Sources of Vitamin B-12 are trout, salmon, tuna, clams, milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs.
Folate (vitamin B-9) is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. The nutrient is crucial during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine. Sources of Folate are beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, dark green leafy vegetables (turnip greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli), and whole grains.
*As always, consult your primary care physician before adding supplements into your diet.