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What happens when your body is low in electrolytes?

Did you know that electricity runs through your body? If you think “electrolyte” is just an insignificant wellness buzzword, you’re wrong. Electrolytes are essential for your body to perform vital functions. They are minerals that carry an electrical charge and are found in sweat, urine, and blood.

Body processes affected by electricity include muscle and brain functions. Metals with electrical charges include sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and chloride. If the electrolyte levels in your body drop too low, your body will not be able to function. Muscle contractions, blood clotting, fluid regulation, and acid balance can be affected.

Your heart is a muscle, so without enough electrolytes, your heartbeat will become irregular, and may even lead to death.

In this article, we’ll tell you what happens when your body is low in electrolytes and how you can ensure that your electrolyte levels don’t get too low.

Dehydration and low levels of electrolytes are often confused and mistakenly seen as the same condition. Electrolyte imbalances can affect your fluid levels, leading to dehydration. Dehydration is a condition in which fluid loss exceeds fluid intake. It can also occur due to an electrolyte imbalance. However, drinking water and staying hydrated is crucial.

If you’re serious about optimal performance in your chosen physical activities, whether it’s strength-building, weightlifting, bodybuilding, field and track, or just a fitness enthusiast, you’ll want to make sure your heart and muscles are armed with adequate electrolytes.

such as oral rehydration therapy HYPERADE Steel It is an effective solution to ensure the required electrolyte balance.

Low electrolyte levels can also accelerate muscle fatigue, and hydration during strenuous physical activity can prevent slowing muscle contractions while also reducing muscle tone development.

What do electrolytes do?

Even though electrolytes don’t run your body, they definitely keep it running smoothly. Similar to your car battery, electrolytes in your blood and body fluids stimulate voltages that carry electrical impulses between your cells as muscle contractions and nerve impulses. The electrical energy provided by these minerals maintains organ function and optimal functioning of the nervous, digestive, muscular and heart systems.

Electrolytes - Image from Shutterstock

The following are electrically charged metals and their functions.

  1. sodium Adequate sodium levels control body fluid levels and help with muscle and nerve function.
  2. calcium Calcium helps your muscles and blood vessels contract and expand to help regulate your heartbeat and prevent high blood pressure. It also helps the nervous system send messages by secreting enzymes (proteins) and hormones.
  3. potassium Supports muscle, nerve and heart functions. Potassium is also responsible for transporting nutrients into cells and removing waste from them as it supports metabolism. Moreover, it helps in muscle contraction, conduction of nerve impulses, and regulation of heartbeat.
  4. magnesium When it comes to chemical reactions such as supporting muscle contraction, regulating heart rate and more, adequate magnesium levels are vital.
  5. chloride It plays a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure and blood levels while also helping to support the internal and external fluid levels of the body’s cells.
  6. bicarbonate – Helps move waste products such as carbon dioxide through the bloodstream, and balances alkaline and acidic compounds in the blood (pH balance).
  7. phosphate Nerve and muscle functions, along with the skeletal system, depend on the support of adequate levels of phosphate.

Causes of electrolyte and water loss during physical exercise

Loss of sweat is usually the main cause of electrolyte loss during exercise. Sweating plays an important role in the loss of electrolytes, which compromise the body’s ability to regulate itself. The more you sweat during exercise, the greater the loss of electrolytes.

Sweat Power Builder - Image from Shutterstock

Keep in mind that each person is unique and the level of fluid loss during exercise involves many factors. Excessive sweating from exercise is only one of many contributing factors to fluid and electrolyte loss, the others are listed below.

Exercise conditions:

  • Exercising in humid or hot weather conditions
  • Ill-fitting clothing that does not breathe
  • Physical activity lasts longer than 60 to 90 minutes
  • High intensity exercises

Personal considerations:

  • age
  • gender
  • Body size and composition
  • hydration condition
  • diet

Other factors:

Avoid exercising if you have a bout of vomiting or diarrhea after taking laxatives for constipation, two conditions that can deplete electrolytes.

What are the conditions and types of electrolyte imbalances?

An electrolyte imbalance occurs not only when levels are too low, but also when there are excessive levels of minerals in the blood. Medical terminology for these imbalances typically begins with hypoglycemia in deficiency and hyperglycemia in excessive states, as discussed below.

  • sodium: Hyponatremia or hypernatremia

  • Potassium: Hypokalemia or hyperkalemia

  • Calcium: Hypocalcemia or hypercalcemia

  • chloride: Hypochloremia or hyperchloremia

  • magnesium: Hypomagnesemia or hypermagnesemia

  • phosphate: Hypophosphatemia or hyperphosphatemia

  • Bicarbonate: acidosis (high levels of acidity)

  • alkalosis: High alkaline levels.

Symptoms of electrolyte deficiency

The most common sign of low electrolyte levels is muscle cramping, which can be both painful and debilitating. But many other symptoms can indicate a mineral deficiency, and the following list may help you identify your specific mineral deficiency.

  1. Not enough sodium: Low sodium levels occur when excess amounts of water move into the cells. Symptoms include mental confusion, apathy, and other cognitive changes, and seizures can also result from hyponatremia.
  2. Insufficient potassiumSymptoms of low potassium may be insignificant at first, but the lower the potassium levels, the more severe the symptoms. They include muscle weakness, spasms, convulsions, irregular heartbeat, and kidney damage.
  3. Insufficient calciumSymptoms may be absent in acute situations, but if you have chronically low calcium levels, an endless list of changes can occur, most notably in your muscles and brain. Changes may occur with increased muscle contractions or spasms. Hypocalcemia can alter your reactions and cause behavioral changes or mental confusion. Chronic calcium deficiency can cause changes in your hair and skin.
  4. Insufficient magnesiumSymptoms of magnesium deficiency are similar to calcium and potassium deficiency. Symptoms of hypomagnesaemia include muscle spasms and severe muscle weakness that can lead to difficulty breathing, abnormal heart rate, and even cardiac arrest.
  5. Not enough chlorideLow levels of chloride often occur after the use of diuretics or due to excessive vomiting. Symptoms include loss of muscle control, muscle spasms, and confusion. Hypochloremia and hyponatremia usually coexist, because chloride and sodium together make salt, so when one is low, the other is low.
  6. insufficient phosphateLow phosphate levels can result from taking diuretics, diabetic ketoacidosis, poor diet, or excessive alcohol intake. The most common symptom at first is muscle weakness. However, extremely low phosphate levels can lead to tissue breakdown leading to kidney damage, seizures, decreased respiratory health, and heart failure.
  7. Not enough bicarbonateHyperacidemia leads to low levels of bicarbonate. Common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, mental confusion, and increased breathing rate.

Many of the symptoms of electrolyte deficiency are often confused with other health conditions. However, if you are physically active and spend a lot of time doing exercise and are experiencing muscle weakness, cramping, irregular heartbeat, or any of the above symptoms, see your doctor without delay.

Untreated electrolyte imbalances can have serious consequences. In serious cases, seizures or other life-threatening conditions such as kidney disease, heart failure, or cardiac arrest may occur.

Electrolyte test - Image from Shutterstock

Your doctor will explain the testing procedures, which usually include blood work to test your electrolyte levels. A comprehensive or basic metabolic panel will determine fluid and electrolyte balance, glucose levels, and blood urea nitrogen levels to test kidney function.

How to replenish electrolytes

Although sports drinks can help you maintain safe electrolyte levels right away Before, during and after strenuous exerciseYou should also ensure that your diet contains the necessary minerals. Some gym-goers and athletes tend to believe that hydrating and replenishing the body’s electrolytes can be done by drinking a sports drink after a workout.

Foods to help replace electrolytes

  • sodium Canned vegetables, soup and vegetable juice. Don’t ignore the salt you take in in your daily diet, so you may not need to add additional sources of sodium.
  • chloride Tomatoes, celery and seafood. Remember that the salt content of your daily diet includes both sodium and chloride, so you may not be deficient in chloride.
  • potassium Coconut water, banana, spinach and orange
  • calcium Leafy greens like spinach, yogurt and milk
  • magnesium Avocado, cashews and pumpkin seeds

More examples of mineral-rich foods to balance electrolytes include potatoes, turkey, beans, beans, soybeans and strawberries.

How to stay hydrated during workouts

Staying hydrated is crucial to maintaining balanced electrolyte levels. Although water is the most natural option for hydration, it does not contain the electrolytes needed for optimal health while exercising. Drink an electrolyte-filled solution Hybrid very effective.

Athletes and gym-goers who sweat more than usual due to strenuous workouts usually prefer sports drinks with added minerals to replace electrolytes lost through perspiration. The added flavors and sugar in sports drinks also make them more popular than water.

Woman re-moisturizing - Image via Shutterstock

Pro tip: Do not rehydrate with soda or energy drinks. It may cause a sudden rise in blood sugar levels.

What do you look for in a sports drink

Whether you train for a triathlon, lift weights, ride motocross, skateboard, or play baseball, soccer, or hockey, you cannot adequately restore muscle electrolytes and glycogen with food alone. You need a sports drink like HyperAde, which is designed to be taken before exercise, during exercise, and/or after exercise.

HyperAde rapidly replenishes depleted muscle glycogen and electrolytes from an intense burst of energy. Contains 25 grams of Cluster Dextrin’s fast-digesting carbohydrates, a supercarb that provides smooth, steady energy and replenishes muscle glycogen storage without increasing blood sugar levels, making it more absorbable and readily available for your body to burn as energy.

HyperAde is a non-stimulant electrolyte A glycogen supplement that can be stacked with any of our other steel products.

HyperAde is the superior alternative to sugar-laden sports drinks, with a full profile of BCAAs, and available in three delicious flavors. It will fuel even the most grueling training sessions and empower your body to train longer and harder.

Read the science behind HYPERADE by Dr. Paul Henning here.

Something small

Electrolytes play vital roles in many essential bodily functions. For optimal performance in your chosen physical activities, maintaining electrolyte balance is critical.

You’d be surprised how many electrolytes you lose during exercise that leads to excessive sweating. Therefore, it is important to keep your electrolytes balanced throughout your workout and beyond.

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