There is a huge amount of confusion and misconception regarding sports nutrition particularly with sports drinks.
There are a number of factors to consider regarding the use of specific products to assist health and consequent performance including but not limited to:
-The Sport itself; intensity, duration..
-Environmental conditions; hot, cold..
-Individual variables; hydrated state, ‘salty sweater’..
Lets keep it nice and straightforward. As athletes train and compete they lose fluids and electrolytes via sweat and urine. Hydrating with water alone may help prevent over-heating, but won’t necessarily protect the body against electrolyte imbalances that can hinder performance.
Research has shown in some cases drinking only water can actually dilute the electrolytes in the body, evidently causing an electrolyte imbalance and leading to hyponatremia.
Consuming an electrolyte containing sports drink (like our Impact Hydrate formula) can reduce the risk of muscle cramps and fatigue by replacing electrolytes lost in sweat.
Studies have also shown drinks containing electrolytes can enhance fluid absorption and encourage thirst, allowing for further rehydration benefits.
Now for a bit more detail if you are still reading!
When minerals dissolve in water they break up into electrically charged particles; electrolytes. The most important of these are :
Sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and chloride.
Electrolytes are vital for maintaining fluid balance in the body and helping regulate the balance of water within body cells.
Though electrolytes don’t contain energy themselves, they are essential for conducting electrical impulses used by the body’s nerves and muscles. Both nerves and muscles operate via electrical impulses activated by electrolytes in and around the cells. Muscle contractions require the presence of adequate sodium, potassium and calcium in particular. If theses electrolytes are not available in sufficient quantities, muscle weakness or cramping may occur.
If there is an electrolyte imbalance neurological functions are hindered. For example, the brain may be signalling the muscles to contract, but the signals are not transmitted well enough for the muscles to receive or respond to them very well, resulting in slow reflexes or reactions.
The message is clear; maintaining good fluid and electrolyte balance is essential to health and athletic performance.
Our Impact Hydrate formula was specifically designed with this in mind. Only 17 calories per 7g formulation and full of the electrolytes the body requires.