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Have you ever come home from a trail run or a sweaty session at the gym only to find yourself unable to resist the magnetic pull of your couch, or even your bed? This post workout slump is no joke, and can affect even the most seasoned athletes.
It’s all got to do with essential minerals, or electrolytes, which are lost during strenuous exercise. This means lowered hydration levels and even lower immune system function, which ends up leaving you susceptible to illness.
Unfortunately there is a large market of artificially colored, flavored and caffeine induced sport energy drinks that are highly advertised for being healthy that have many people fooled! They aren’t aware of the incredible amounts of sugar and often caffeine these drinks actually contain and added risk of health issues that can follow.
There are much better solutions available for you if you find yourself struggling with muscle fatigue, dehydration, nausea, and dizziness after a workout. In this article we’ll introduce you to what may just become your best workout pal.
But first let’s talk about…
For shorter, less intense workouts (e.g. 30 minute stroll in the park), drinking water to rehydrate may be enough since water is lost at a faster rate than electrolytes are in the body. Longer, more intense workouts however (e.g. 45 minute kickboxing or hockey practice), would require electrolyte replenishment.
While the amount of electrolytes needed certainly varies from person to person, the integral minerals are the same:
Sodium & Chloride
Warnings about sodium are abundant, but the fact remains that our bodies do require a certain amount to help in the regulation of healthy blood pressure. Keep in mind, increasing your sodium intake through table salt is not the best option. Foods like celery, beets, and chard all contain healthy, natural sodium your body can readily use.
Chloride is an important electrolyte in the body as it aids in homeostasis of fluid inside and outside the cells. It also helps with blood volume, and pressure regulation. Increase your intake of chloride through seaweed, tomatoes, olives, lettuce, and celery
Athletes’ fruit of choice is often a banana or orange, and for good reason. Potassium, which is found in bananas, oranges, avocados, coconut water, and beans, aids in muscle contraction, heart function, and skeletal growth.
Over a third of Canadian adults, and even more Americans are deficient in magnesium, an essential nutrient for proper nerve and muscle functioning. A deficiency in magnesium can lead to muscle cramps, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure. Increase your intake of magnesium through leafy greens, whole grains, seafood, chocolate, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
You’ll find a healthy amount of all of the integral minerals (and more) in the subtly flavored mixed berry mix, which contains less than 1g of sugar, necessary for the maximum absorption of these electrolytes.