In athletic performance Electrolytes play a crucial role in the function of muscles and in adequate hydration. They are especially important during intense physical activity and in extreme temperatures, notably in the hot weather of the summer months. Endurance athletes have long known the crucial importance of potassium, sodium and magnesium in preventing heat stroke and severe dehydration, as well as in avoiding the muscle cramping and injury that can be caused by a lack of electrolytes. These aforementioned trace minerals allow for proper functioning of muscles and are excreted when an individual partakes in physical activity (strenuous or otherwise), hence the importance of these trace minerals in electrolyte replenishment.
ENJOY BETTER JOINT HEALTH
Perhaps one of the most telling signs that one is getting a little on in years is the pain and stiffness one feels in the joints. This often becomes self-reinforcing as reducing one’s activity leads to further impairment in our ability to remain flexible and mobile as we age. The boomer generation entering their 50’s and 60’s are increasingly seeking “natural alternatives” to the prescription medications that at best offer some palliative pain relief. But what is the best natural alternative? Because we all have our own unique biochemistry the natural approaches can deliver inconsistent results. While there are many options for managing joint pain and inflammation (many covered in previous issues) the main thrust of this article this article is to address ways one can minimize damage to the joints themselves The importance of magnesium bears noting, especially in regards to muscle relaxation post-workout. Magnesium is key in avoiding muscle spasms (any muscle twitching is indicative of a magnesium deficiency). Most individuals get an abundance of sodium chloride (salt) in their diet, yet healthier alternatives such as sea salts with adequate trace minerals are a healthier choice.
Some foods are great sources of these minerals: bananas post-workout are a good source of potassium, and almonds provide magnesium. Some great electrolyte products such as E-Load and Amino Vital are good choices for endurance athletes and anyone looking to increase their athletic performance and avoid injuries and heat exhaustion. Don’t forget your electrolytes!
Author: Robert Saliwonczyk, RHN, RNCP/ROHP