Prior to this year, I’d drink 100 ounces of water a day. When I weighed in with my personal trainer, over 70% of my body would be water weight. It was amazing. My skin was always clear, body hydrated and elastic, and most importantly, I felt great. As someone who only drinks water, I am constantly reaching for more and more of it. But all that changed when I moved back to NYC a couple months ago.
The social hangouts turned into all day benders and I was drinking more alcohol than I ever had — somehow reducing my desire for water. I went from 100 ounces daily to maybe 100 ounces in a week. It was pathetic. Especially since drinking water is one of the most fundamental needs for the human body.
In an effort to get my water intake back to what it used to be (and drop a couple of extra pounds) I started researching what water would be best, and how much of it I needed to drink. As it turns out, there are several sources of water: CBD-infused water, alkaline, sparkling, flavored, and more.
And my favorite, which turns out to be the most beneficial for athletes like myself, is electrolyte water. Avid athletes understand that electrolytes are needed to replenish after an intense sweat session. But do you know what electrolytes actually are and their purpose in water? Well, I drank electrolyte water every day in the month of April to uncover its benefits. The results, I’m happy to report, are great. Read on for more.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes, the small minerals in our bodies that are needed to function, include: calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and several others. They help the muscles, cells, and nerves to optimally perform. Not to mention, they are key to hydration, as they balance the amount of water in your body. To start with, electrolytes are being lost every day through sweat and urine. You can of course consume more through food and tap water. Essentially if you stick to a healthy diet, you won’t have to worry about counting electrolytes.
When should I consume them?
Fortunately, if you are low on water (on a long run, doing intense exercises that are causing sweat), you can consume extra electrolytes to pump up hydration levels. It might even be that you are sick and due to diarrhea or vomiting, are losing a lot of electrolytes. It’s important to always replenish what you lose.
According to the Federal Drug Association (FDA), each day you should have about 2,000 mg of sodium and 2,600 mg of potassium. It’s important to know where you are and if you’re deficient, to safely consume enough electrolytes without it being harmful to your body. Basically, if you don’t need any more electrolytes, adding more sodium or potassium could pose health risks. Overindulging in electrolytes can cause vomiting, pain, and irritation.