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Modern Guide to Hydration, Electrolytes and Recovery

Hydration and Recovery, cornerstones to any successful training plan, are too often overlooked or misunderstood.

Hydration and Recovery, cornerstones to any successful training plan, are too often overlooked or misunderstood.  We all hear "stay hydrated", but what does hydration mean and why is staying hydrated important, especially for athletes?  

Hydration

"Muscle is made up of 79% Water"


Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. According to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.1

Every part of your body, including your muscles, needs water to function properly.  Therefore, staying hydrated can make a real difference in athletic performance with hydrated athletes' bodies being able to perform critical functions more optimally than those of dehydrated athletes.

When are You Dehydrated?

"Dehydration can quickly impact your mental and physical performance."

In general, you are dehydrated when your water intake does not meet your body's water requirements.  However, when you train or compete, your body utilizes water at a much greater rate causing dehydration to set in much quicker. 

Dehydration can quickly impact your mental and physical performance negatively, so staying hydrated is always important, but it's even more important to athletes wanting to perform their best.

Electrolytes

"Electrolytes play critical roles in Muscular Performance and building new tissue" 

What are Electrolytes and How do They Work?

Electrolytes, when dissolved in water, are electrically charged minerals that play critical roles in hydration, muscular performance and other critical body functions.  

Electrolytes include sodium, phosphate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, and bicarbonate.

Your body needs both water and electrolytes to function properly, in part because electrolytes regulate the balance of fluids.  Additionally, electrolytes aid in building new tissue, maintaining pH levels, transmitting nerve signals.  

How do I stay Hydrated?

Eat a healthy diet full of foods high in electrolytes and drink plenty of water without overdoing it.  If you're an athlete, consider a water-based intra-workout product that contains electrolytes for hydration and Amino Acids (BCAAs or EAAs) for Recovery Support.

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References: 

1. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/water-you-water-and-human-body?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
2. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-nutrition/electrolytes-food#electrolyte-imbalance