Electrolytes is an essential nutrient often neglected when it comes to bodybuilding. They hydrate your muscles, and without electrolytes, you tend to be prone to dehydration. These minerals has fantastic benefits if you workout regularly, helping to power up your training capacity each time you hit the gym or the track.
They're easy to consume as well, since electrolytes are found in a number of sports drinks, or in powder form that you can mix into your water. There's little excuse not to start integrating them into your nutritional repertoire. You can also ingest them through whole, natural foods, but one has to ensure that you're consuming enough to meet your physical needs. Here's how.
THEY HELP REGULATE YOUR BLOOD VOLUME
During high intensity exercises, your blood pressure spikes. This is a natural response that works hand in hand to increase your metabolic levels. However, this cannot happen if you have low blood volume. Blood is the highway for nutrients and oxygen to travel through your muscle cells, and with low blood volume, your muscles begin to lack oxygen and the necessary nutrition it needs to continue performing at optimum levels. Toxins also tend to accumulate and cause fatigue, as well as respiratory issues. Consuming electrolytes helps to increase your blood volume, eradicating all these issues and improving your health in the long term.
THEY MAINTAIN YOUR HYDRATION LEVELS
Electrolytes stimulate thirst. This sounds like a negative thing, but in reality, it amps up the amount of fluids you ingest during a workout session. They also prevent large scale fluid loss from sweat during intensive training. Many people preach that taking electrolytes after a training session is best for you, but when you do that, you're really remedying damage that is already done. Consuming electrolytes before or during your workout is optimal as it keeps your muscles satiated, and this makes you less prone to fatigue or exhaustion each training session.
THEY FACILITATE YOUR MUSCLE CONTRACTIONS
Your muscles need calcium, potassium and sodium to function properly. These are minerals that you hear often, but they're also known as varying types of electrolytes. Exercise relies on the effortless contraction and relaxation of muscles. Too little electrolytes in your system leads to dehydration, and this causes cramping — essentially a break down in the well-oiled system that are your muscles. Avoid this by keeping hydrated, and you'll find yourself less prone to painful cramps or soreness when exercising.
THEY ENSURE GLYCOGEN LEVELS ARE RESTORED AFTER A WORKOUT
Potassium is an electrolyte that performs an extremely important function: it restores the glycogen that has been lost in your cells during a workout. Glycogen is the primary source of energy for bodybuilders as they train. After a workout, your glycogen levels are low, and potassium incites the conversion of blood sugar to glycogen.
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