How Do I Hydrate?
What’s the most common health advice people get? Yep, you guessed right – it’s to drink “lots and lots of water”. Even though staying hydrated really is extremely important, there is actually a difference between hydrating yourself and drinking water. Plain water – whether bottled or from the tap – lacks some of the basic minerals, salts and electrolytes which are necessary for the proper hydration of your organism.
So, what should you drink, if water alone is not enough to stay hydrated? Try electrolytes, instead. Electrolytes are chemicals – such as sodium, calcium, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium – that form ions in the bodily fluid. These ensure that the processes in your body run at optimal level and speed. Drinking electrolytes after your workout will decrease your downtime and help you recover more quickly and more efficiently.
The majority of the focus, when it comes to electrolytes, has been on sodium, calcium and potassium, but magnesium can be just as important. Magnesium is essential for the muscular contractions and can prevent cramping – which is a definite advantage if you’re a professional athlete or very serious about working out regularly. Magnesium deficiency as the result of excessive workout and inadequate nutrition can result in a whole range of health issues, including muscular spasms, muscular weakness, impaired glucose breakdown and inability to sustain exercise intensity for longer periods.
In fact, magnesium participates in more than 300 nerve impulses and enzymatic reactions in the human body, which makes it incredibly important for the proper functioning of your organism. Long workouts can deplete the magnesium levels in your body and normal tap water won’t help you recover them. Instead, you should opt for an electrolyte drink that’s rich in magnesium, as well as other chemicals.
So, if you want to stay hydrated, you need to make sure you’re giving your body what it craves: electrolytes!