Scientists and researchers have long been aware of the importance of electrolyte replenishment for athletes. When working out or performing on the field, athletes lose electrolytes through perspiration. An excess depletion can affect performance levels, and lower stamina and endurance during the game. Severe depletion can cause cramping, dizziness, nausea, mental confusion, and muscle fatigue. As a result, affected athletes may have to sit out the game. To avoid these possible effects, they must replace the lost minerals with an adequate intake of fluids and foods that contain the necessary minerals.
Athletes Need Customized Electrolyte Replenishment
New research into electrolyte replenishment shows that each athlete needs a customized program to replace the lost minerals. To remain compliant with the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), athletes may want to choose natural foods and fluids to replace the lost minerals.
Scientists at the National Center for Biotechnical Information recommend that medical trainers conduct in-depth sweat tests using certain paradigms. These standards can help them identify the exact requirement of each athlete.
- Age and sex of the athletes
- Size and composition of the body
- Rate of sweat loss
- Composition of the sweat with water and electrolytes (sodium and other minerals)
- Variations in weight
- Assessing the sweat soaked up by clothing
- Collection of samples from a specific section or whole body
- Timing of sample collection
- Duration of sample collection
- Skin cleansing systems used
- Storage and handling of samples
- Analysing methods used
- Environmental conditions
- Kind of protective equipment worn
- Intensity of the workout or sport
- Heat acclimation
- Individual aerobic capacity
Currently, athletes follow a basic rule of the thumb. They weigh themselves before and after each workout session and assess the difference. Next, they consume 16 to 24 ounces of fluids for every pound they lose. However, scientists now warn against the dangers of branded drinks. These fluids may contain an excess of sugar that can lead to consuming too many calories. Further, a salt intake can upset the electrolyte balance in the body leading to water retention and bloating. A smarter option is to choose an ideal blend of minerals and nutrients that matches the natural balance in the body. And, specialized testing can help with optimum electrolyte replenishment.