Why Electrolytes are Vital for Athletes

Why Electrolytes are Vital for Athletes

When athletes at Straight Blast Gym Buford talk of feeling lethargic or weak, the most common diagnosis I dish out is dehydration.

 

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Sounds like something your parents used to tell you right? Drink more water. Well, despite the common misconception being dehyrdated doesn’t always equate to just needing to drink more water. It also means your body could be low on electrolytes.

An electrolyte is a substance that produces an electrically conducting solution when dissolved in a polar solvent, such as water. The dissolved electrolyte separates into cations and anions, which disperse uniformly through the solvent. In laymen’s terms, the imbalance of electrolytes in the body will make you feel lousy.

 

Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium, Calcium, and Phosphate are key electrolyes that are necessary for all human beings, but especially for those engaging in rigorous physical activity such as kickboxing, jiu jitsu, group fitness, and MMA.

 

Your body needs electrolytes to maintain proper fluid balance and for optimal muscle contractions. A shortage of etectrolytes can result in the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Nasea and other stomach issues
  • Weakness during exercise

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Here’s a common example that will resonate with almost every adult. Ever dealt with a hangover after having too much to drink the night before? The next morning you feel so thirsty and you just keep chugging glass after glass of water, only to urinate the water right back out without feeling any relief of your hangover symptoms. Yes, your body needs fluids to recover and feel better, but it also is experiencing a shortage of electrolytes that are causing you to feel bad. I’m sure you’ve noticed that when you eat and get some salt and sugar in your body you start to feel better. Well, a major part of that is you replenishing your body’s hydration levels with the influx of electrolytes.

When you’re having one of those days when you want to skip your training session because you just aren’t feeling it physically, try getting some electroylytes in your body and see if that doesn’t make you feel a whole lot better.

 

Some easy and efficient foods and beverages to get electrolytes in your system without resorting to super-sugary sports drinks are coconut water, watermelon, bananas, carrots, and pineapple.

 

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Keep your electrolytes stable both before and after workouts to enhance your athletic performance and aide in your recovery. Whether it is Cardio Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, or Group Fitness, maintaining a strong electrolyte balance is essential to getting the absolute best results from your training efforts.

 

Coach Jim is a Muay Thai and Cardio Kickboxing instructor at Straight Blast Gym Buford.



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