We’ve all heard of electrolytes from various sports drink commercials, but why are they so important?
In this ingredient guide, you’ll learn what electrolytes are and why they’re vital for football players!
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are essential for football players.
In simple terms, they are a mineral with an electrical charge, which, when put in water, helps your body retain fluid.
If someone is low in electrolytes, they won’t be able to perform at their best because their body relies on electrolytes to conduct nerve impulses and perform muscle contractions. A lack of electrolytes, often in combination with dehydration increases the risk of muscle cramps.
Six of your essential electrolytes are sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium.
You get these minerals through food and drinks, especially meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables.
A great source of electrolytes is the Isotonic drink, designed to help replenish lost electrolytes and fluid during hard training sessions and matches. It also contains enough carbohydrates to keep you performing at your peak.
The Importance of Electrolytes for Footballers
We lose our electrolytes through sweat and urine, and you’ll be sweating quite a bit as a football player. Furthermore, urine losses of magnesium and zinc are increased after intensive exercise which can be a concern as a deficiency of magnesium can cause muscle weakness and a deficiency of zinc impairs immune function and wound healing.
You must replenish lost electrolytes during matches and training to maintain performance levels.
You can do this through a sports drink or isotonic solution, supplement, or a piece of fruit like a banana.
If you don’t replenish lost electrolytes, you’ll see your performance decrease throughout training or a match and feel tired and sluggish.
Electrolytes also help to keep you hydrated; the last thing you want in a match is to become dehydrated!
Staying Hydrated Daily and Before Your Match
Staying hydrated isn’t only about drinking water. Maintaining enough electrolytes will allow you to stay hydrated and perform.
Be sure to drink water throughout the day to decrease the risk of dehydration.
Simply drinking a pint or two of water in the morning won’t help you stay hydrated as you lose most of it in your urine within a few hours.
Your body needs water and electrolytes throughout the day to keep your body’s functions running smoothly.
You can get most of your electrolytes through your diet, but the more you train and practice, the more you’ll need. You can get more electrolytes in a supplement like Kick Off or a sports drink like Isotonic.
Electrolytes are just as important as hydrating with water for optimal performance as a footballer.
Without electrolytes, your body cannot do the necessary actions to keep you healthy.
You can get the necessary electrolytes to perform at a high level through a balanced diet and supplementation!