Improve your sports performance with electrolytes

Workout equipment and water

If you’re watching Wimbledon, or looking forward to the Tour de France, you might be feeling inspired to play more sport or do more exercise. Lots of factors can help to optimise your sports performance. Firstly you need to regularly eat healthy, wholesome food. Particularly, more fruits and vegetables, less inappropriate fat, and sufficient amounts of protein. Something which you may be less aware of, is the value of electrolytes. Especially when you’re hot, active, and sweating.

What are electrolytes?

Found in your blood and other body fluids, electrolytes are essential minerals that have an electric charge and affect how our bodies function. This includes helping to regulate our water levels, blood pH and muscle function. The most common electrolytes in our bodies are: Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, and Phosphorus. We need different levels of each of these electrolytes, and they work together to help optimise our health.

Sources of electrolytes in foods

Electrolytes are found in many foods and drinks that we should be consuming on a regular basis. If you eat a well-balanced diet with good fluid intake, you should get a balanced level of all these essential minerals. Good sources of electrolytes include:

  • Many fruits (e.g. bananas, apricots, prunes) and vegetables (e.g green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, avocado and potatoes (with skins))
  • Some legumes (lentils, soyabeans, and kidney beans)
  • Meats, poultry, fish, milk, yogurt, and nuts
  • For drinks, tomato juice, orange juice, milk, soy milk, or coconut water.

Replacing lost electrolytes

If you’re exercising (or doing any physical activity such as gardening, long walks, DIY), especially for a long time or when the temperature is high, you need more electrolytes. High intensity exercise, dehydration, restricted eating patterns (i.e., fasting, Keto diet) can also contribute to an imbalance in electrolytes. When we exercise, we sweat to help us control our body temperature, but as a result we lose water and electrolytes. The amount we sweat will vary in proportion to our work rate, the temperature and humidity. We need to ensure that we replace our electrolytes as we rehydrate.

Supplements

There are many commercial sports drinks that have become popular to help replace electrolytes lost during exercise. These are promoted to be taken before, during and after we exercise to help with exercise and recovery. However, many contain stimulants and large amounts of sugar. So we need to look for alternative products that:

  • Meet our individual needs
  • Have a wide range of electrolytes
  • Come from a reputable manufacturer
  • Have a pleasant taste (this is an importance factor).

Recommendations

At Bigvits, we offer a range of electrolyte supplements. Trace Minerals. specialise in electrolyte products, originating from the Great Salt Lake, Utah. Meeting a variety of needs, there are options to add a powder to a drink, effervescent tablets, one off shots or tablets.

For example, Trace Minerals Hydration I.V. paks contain a full spectrum of electrolytes, which helps you hydrate faster. When compared to a sports drink, Hydration I.V. has 3 times the electrolytes, one-third the sugar and carbs, half the calories, and five essential vitamins for energy and recovery. Take a look at Trace Minerals product range and be sure to ask any questions, so we can ensure you have the right product for your own needs.

Author: Dr Shane Thurlow PhD
Coventry University Group

N.B. All products and custom formulas supplied by Bigvits are made with ingredients from the most reputable suppliers in the world. With no hidden fillers, coatings, or binders, each formula is manufactured with strict compliance to FDA and cGMP guidelines.

If you have a specific interest or would like to see a particular product or nutrient reviewed, please email your request to info@bigvits.co.uk. Educating our customers about the importance of nutrients and the differences between formulas and products is at the heart of what we want to achieve.

This post is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or nutritional advice or act as a substitute for seeking such advice from a qualified health professional.