Whether you're an average Joe or a world-class athlete, you're going to sweat when you work out. When we sweat, our bodies lose electrolytes, the most common being sodium - along with small amounts of chloride, magnesium, and potassium; all four nutrients help maintain fluid balance in your cells so they’re important for preventing dehydration!
The process of sweating helps to keep your body cool, but it also causes you to lose essential electrolytes. If these electrolytes are not replaced, you may start to feel fatigued, dizzy, or lightheaded. That's why it's so important to stay hydrated when working out. One quick way to replenish these lost electrolytes is through sports drinks. Sports drinks contain a variety of electrolytes that can help you stay hydrated and feeling your best during and after a workout.
You might be surprised to learn that many sports drinks have an excessive amount of glucose (sugar). That's right - those drinks that are supposed to help you rehydrate and replenish your energy levels can actually do more harm than good if you're not careful.
Do you need glucose in your sports drink? There are plenty without it!
The answer to that is of course, no. Glucose is not necessary for electrolyte absorption.
It's a common myth that you need glucose in order to absorb electrolytes, but that's not actually true. Your body is perfectly capable of absorbing electrolytes without any glucose present. In fact, in many cases, it's actually better to avoid eating glucose when you're trying to absorb electrolytes.
In this article, we'll cover what you need to know about electrolyte absorption and why it's so important for athletes.
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are tiny particles that keep our cells functioning properly. They help regulate muscle contractions, blood pressure levels, and nerve signals throughout the body - even helping control your heart rate!
Put simply: They're like tiny batteries, and without them, you would not be able to perform any of the functions that make life worth living!
What are Some Common Electrolytes?
The most common electrolytes are: Sodium, Chloride, Potassium, and Magnesium
Sodium is an essential mineral that helps maintain fluid balance and supports the nerve system. It also plays a major role in controlling blood volume or pressure to keep our body functioning properly.
The body needs potassium for muscle contraction, fluid balance, and nerve activity among other things!
Magnesium is necessary for many important functions, such as maintaining heart rate. It also helps with the absorption of calcium in the body!
Chloride keeps your cells functioning properly, which is why it's so important for maintaining good health.
How Does Sugar (Glucose) Affect Electrolyte Absorption?
Sugar is often added to sports drinks to help the body absorb electrolytes, but it isn't necessary for this purpose. The body can absorb electrolytes without sugar, and in fact, sugar can impede absorption. When sugar is present, the body pulls water into the intestines in an attempt to dilute the sugar. This can cause diarrhea and cramping, and it can also lead to dehydration. For these reasons, it's generally best to avoid sugary drinks when trying to replenish electrolytes.
Are there any Non-Sugary Sports Drinks?
While sugar-filled drinks are more common, there are plenty of sugar-free options on the market as well.
One of the best out there is Hydrate from Truwild. Not only does it contain no sugar, but it is also vegan and gluten-free. Hydrate is an all-natural hydration powder and electrolyte drink allowing you to maximize your workouts and improve physical performance. Hydrate uses BCAA to restore muscle breakdown and glutamine to assist in reduction in cramping and muscle fatigue.
Hydrate is packed with electrolytes and is made to help athletes "Replenish, Rebuild, and Recharge". Made with all-natural ingredients, Hydrate is a go-to for anyone looking for a high-quality sports drink packed with electrolytes without all the excess sugar.
Click here to learn more about Hydrate, available in multiple flavors.