Beat the heat (and sweat) this summer by boosting your electrolyte levels
It’s no secret that we sweat more in the summer, but we can forget about the effect of sweating on our electrolyte levels. As a study published in the journal Sports medicine1 explains that water and electrolytes are lost as a result of thermoregulatory sweating, “and in some situations, especially when exercise is prolonged, high-intensity, and/or in a hot environment, sweat losses can be sufficient to cause excessive water/electrolytes. imbalances and impair performance.”
Electrolytes are essentially a category of electrically charged essential minerals that the body both produces and obtains from food and drink. As leading functional medicine physician Bindia Gandhi, MD, previously told mindbodygreen, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphate, chloride and sodium are examples of important electrolytes.
“Mostly, you’re losing sodium and chloride through electrolytes lost through sweat,” explains mindbodygreen’s vice president of science, Ashley Jordan Ferreira, RDN, Ph.D., “but don’t forget those electrolytes (and important minerals!) you’re also losing — calcium, potassium, magnesium.”
According to Gandhi, electrolytes are important for maintaining a healthy body and mind because they help balance fluid levels, help support muscle, nerve, heart and brain cell function, and even help transport nutrients into our cells.