Nutritional blogspothydrationmorethanwater


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Find out more about hydration.

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Nutritional blogspothydrationmorethanwater

  1. 1. Hydration: More Than Water A lot of awareness has been created on the need to stayhydrated. We are bombarded with media messages regarding drinking plenty of waterevery day. What many people do not realize, however; is that drinking water alone willnot ensure that you stay hydrated. Hydration is a much more complex process thansimply replacing lost water. To stay properly hydrated requires that we replace bothwater and electrolytes.Electrolytes are simply various minerals that when dissolved in water change itsproperties. One of these properties involves the conduction of electricity. You mayremember from science class that pure water does not conduct electricity. Whenminerals are dissolved in the water, however, they allow the water to conduct electricalpulses. This is necessary for our body to work. Electrolytes are necessary for ournerves to conduct electrical pulses throughout our body.To function properly, our cells need the right amount of water. The membrane of ourcells acts as a gatekeeper allowing just the right amount of fluid in or out of the cell.Electrolytes are necessary for the membrane to function this way. Without them, thecell might take on too much water.Fortunately, there are a lot of sports drinks on the market today that claim to replenishelectrolytes. Unfortunately, they do not contain all the necessary minerals to replenishour electrolytes and they often contain undesirable ingredients such as sugars, artificial
  2. 2. flavorings and colors. Electrolytes are much more than just sodium and potassium,which are the ingredients in most sport drinks. To properly maintain hydration we alsoneed magnesium and chloride. Magnesium is important because it helps our musclesrecover from strenuous exercise. When magnesium is low, it can cause painful musclecramps. Since we typically need electrolytes after intense exercise, an electrolytereplacement should include magnesium for the maximum benefit.Sweating also causes the loss of a number of trace minerals which our body needs insmall quantities. An ideal electrolyte replacement should contain some trace mineralsas a supplement. This allows you to replace these important nutrients while drinkingyour water.Electrolyte replacements are most needed after 60-90 minutes of exercise. This levelof exercise generally leads to the greatest loss of electrolytes through sweating. Theideal way to replace electrolytes is to do so slowly. Replacing them too quickly and inhigh concentrations, like those found in many sports drinks, can lead to cramping andbloating as it is a shock to your system. You should also avoid electrolyte drinks thatcontain sugars and carbohydrates.It is no secret that good hydration is important for our body to work at its peak.However, simply drinking water will not achieve the best level of hydration. Electrolytesare necessary for our system to maintain the proper balance of water and minerals.The best electrolyte drinks should not contain unnecessary sugar, colors or flavors.They should also be complete formulas which include often neglected electrolytes likemagnesium and chloride.