Your physique wants electrolytes. These wonderful substances assist your physique perform in quite a few methods. They work to take care of fluid balances. They flip vitamins into vitality. They help muscle management and coronary heart rhythm.

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It’s a powerful resume of health-related awesomeness — which explains why electrolyte-enhanced drinks are so well-liked, particularly among the many health crowd.

So, if electrolytes are that fabulous, extra can be higher for you … proper? Not precisely, says registered dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD, LD. Here’s why an excessive amount of of an excellent factor will be problematic.

Worries about electrolyte imbalances

There’s a protracted scientific clarification for what electrolytes do — however on the most simple degree, the job focuses on one main factor: Maintaining stability in your physique.

We sometimes consider an electrolyte imbalance as that means you’re low on them. In equity, that’s how electrolyte-enhanced merchandise equivalent to sports activities drinks are marketed. The entire concept behind them is to replenish depleted reserves.

That’s why electrolyte merchandise are excessive in sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate and different key electrolyte-boosting parts. It’s all about resupplying your physique.

But electrolyte imbalances will be on the excessive aspect, too, and that brings its personal set of issues.

“An imbalance of electrolytes can occur when the concentration is too high for your body — specifically, your kidneys and hormones — to regulate,” explains Zumpano. “Any of the elements in excess can lead to negative health outcomes and harmful effects.”

What occurs in case you have too many electrolytes?

Having an excessive amount of of a specific electrolyte factor in your system can result in signs like:

Is it protected to drink sports activities drinks all day?

It’s not a good suggestion to show electrolyte drinks into your go-to beverage all through the day. “It’s certainly possible to go overboard with them,” warns Zumpano.

Guzzling a sports activities drink isn’t the identical as sipping water for fundamental hydration, in any case. View electrolyte-enhanced drinks as a specialty product for use when essential ­to replenish your physique’s misplaced sources.

Moments while you may need to think about reaching for an electrolyte drink embody:

  • After a exercise or bodily exercise.
  • On an especially scorching day while you’ve been sweating so much.
  • During an sickness that causes dehydration.

“Replenishing your electrolytes in those cases will make you immediately feel a little better,” says Zumpano. “Listen to your body and take in what you need — but don’t overdo it.”

Sports drinks will be excessive in sugar and energy, too — another excuse for moderation.

How many sports activities drinks can you’ve every day?

Show some restraint in downing electrolyte drinks even when it’s a really perfect time to tip one again. (A warning, too: Electrolyte drinks enhance your thirst; due to this fact, making them simpler to drink when in comparison with water.)

“One or two electrolyte drinks should be enough for most people to reach a safe and healthy balance after you deplete resources,” advises Zumpano. “If you’re still thirsty after that, try to drink water.”

If you battle consuming plain water as a result of it’s … effectively, plain, strive including some lemon, lime, mint or cucumber to naturally improve the flavour.

Other sources of electrolytes

One other thing to think about when deciding whether or not it is advisable randomly crack open a sports activities drink: You additionally get electrolyte parts by what you eat.

“Electrolytes are found in a whole slew of foods — and especially in fruits and vegetables,” clarifies Zumpano. “If you’re eating a diet rich in whole foods, you’re going to meet your basic electrolyte needs unless you do something extra [like exercise] and need to replenish.”

Final ideas

Sports drinks will be an efficient strategy to replenish misplaced electrolytes after a troublesome exercise or sweating throughout a blistering scorching day. But these electrolyte-heavy concoctions aren’t meant to be an all-day drink.

“It’s important to keep your electrolyte levels balanced — and that includes not pushing those levels too high,” says Zumpano. “So, don’t take in what you don’t need.”

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