When Water Isn't Enough

Jun 14, 2022

 by Maggie Samanich


Drinking water but still feeling sluggish and dehydrated? You may want to consider adding an electrolyte supplement to your hydration routine...

Electrolytes are vital substances in our body that regulate body water and maintain our bodies natural daily functions. When we exercise strenuously or for long durations, these electrolytes can become imbalanced from sweat loss.

Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance after a workout may include muscle weakness, muscle cramping, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Yikes!

Sports drinks that contain electrolytes can help replenish us after a tiring workout, but there are many different types/brands serving various functions.

  1. Did you just finish a Hybrid class or recovery run? For individuals on a moderate training day that is lasting >1 hour with average sweat rates you want to aim for an electrolyte supplement with a moderate amount of sodium to replenish lost electrolytes. Examples of these include: Nuun Sport, Thorne Catalyte or Vega Sport Hydrator.
  2. Did Saturday Accelerate kick your butt, or did you just finish a soccer game? For individuals who are working out at a high intensity or for a long duration of time, the main focus is an electrolyte supplement with an adequate amount of carbohydrates. Examples of products with a 5-8% carbohydrate solution are: Tailwind Hydration, Ladder Hydration, Gatorade and Nuun Endurance.
  3. Can you visibly see sweat dripping from your head onto the floor? For individuals who are heavy sweaters or those who frequently sweat during workouts, or for those who are participating in a 2+ hour training session, game, or race in high heat and/or humidity, you want to choose a supplement with high amounts of sodium. Examples would be Gatorolytes, The Right Stuff, Liquid IV, and LMNT.

Hydration and electrolytes are a key ingredient to maintaining performance and health. Water is not the only way to achieve these goals, and for some an extra boost may be required. Sports drinks are all over the place and the key to finding the right one for you is to make sure you know what’s in the ingredients, talk to a registered dietitian if you need guidance and monitor how you feel as you begin to incorporate them into your hydration routine. Everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for you.

Cheers to staying healthy and hydrated!