HEALTHY LIVING

What Are Electrolytes?

What Are Electrolytes?

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Duration
OCT. 21, 2021   2 MIN            
Description

Electrolytes are molecules that are critical to both your body's hydration levels and cellular function. Given their direct relationship with the body’s muscle and brain functioning, many people increase their intake of electrolytes when working out or playing sports. But what is the function of electrolytes in everyday use?

What Are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are specialized minerals, like sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphate, and magnesium. Transporters such as glucose allow your body's cells to effectively absorb electrolytes, and as a result, bring fluid in as well via osmosis. Without enough fluid and electrolytes, your body's risk of dehydration* — as well as complications including fatigue, headache, dizziness, reduced motor function — all increase.

As you sweat, your body naturally loses electrolytes, which is why they're especially important for athlete hydration or rehydration. During exercise, you lose sodium and chloride in great quantities. Together, sodium and chloride make salt, and when you sweat out the minerals, they can often form salt on your skin. 

But they're not just for athletic performance: Fluid and electrolytes are also lost through sweat during hot summer months and can be critical for those who work outdoors or those spending time on a tropical vacation.  

What Is the Function of Electrolytes?

One essential function of electrolytes is conducting electrical signals throughout the body. Every cell in the human body operates via electricity. The ability for cells to properly send and receive electrical currents is vital to health, function and well-being. It allows your heart, muscles and brain to work their best.

You can get electrolytes through both the foods you eat as well as electrolyte-containing beverages. Eating a well-balanced diet can help provide the electrolytes you typically need for good health. However, if you're sweating a lot from intense exercise or spending time in hot weather, you likely need to increase your fluid and electrolyte intake with a hydration beverage such as Pedialyte® Classic  or Pedialyte® Sport. These scientifically formulated drinks can help reduce the risk of mild to moderate dehydration. 

Drink these before, during and immediately after your workouts or outdoor time for less muscle fatigue or improved recovery and to help prevent symptoms of dehydration like headaches or muscle cramps. Keeping up with your hydration, including electrolytes can help you stay alert and feeling well hydrated.

Keto Diet Meal Plan | Abbott Nutrition

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The ketogenic (or keto) diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that can change the way your body fuels itself. Instead of running on easy-to-access carbohydrates, your body turns to its fat stores and breaks them down into usable energy. For some people, switching to the keto diet has resulted in weight loss, more energy throughout the day and fewer cravings in-between meals.

Keto-approved foods are high in fats, moderate in protein and very low in carbohydrates. Foods like salmon, lean meats, full-fat dairy and low-carb veggies like kale, spinach and broccoli are all excellent choices. Although the exact numbers vary based on your height, age and weight, keto dieters should generally aim to get about 5 percent of their calories from carbs, 20 percent from protein and 75 percent from fats. 

Hydration for Athletes | Abbott Nutrition

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Most people know that to stay healthy, you need to drink water. Hydration is part of what helps your body function properly, and it helps you feel at your best.

The effects of dehydration for anyone can be uncomfortable at best — at worst; they can be dangerous. That's true for athletes as well, and if the effects are too serious, it might become impossible for them to compete at all, let alone at the top of their game. Regardless if you are a weekend sports warrior, marathon runner, involved in adult recreational sports, or participate in a serious league, hydration is key.

Sometimes, staying hydrated during exercise isn't as simple as just drinking water, which is why it's important for any athlete to understand the relationship between hydration and performance. 

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