Runner’s are told all the time that they need to replenish their electrolyte levels. But what are electrolytes and why are electrolytes for runners so important? Here is your guide to all things electrolytes!
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are natural chemicals that form ions in your bodily fluids. Those ions help promote proper bodily functions and for runners that means that your muscles are acting the way they should. Without the right amount, and right balance of electrolytes, your muscles can’t perform the tasks your brain tells them too. Electrolytes also helps with proper digestive, cardiac, and brain function.
Electrolytes are like the oil in your car’s engine. The oil doesn’t make the engine run, but it helps it run a heck of a lot smoother.
Electrolytes are sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca 2), magnesium, (Mg 2), chloride (Cl), phosphate (PO4 2), bicarbonate (HCO3), and sulfate (SO4 2). Sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium are the four major electrolytes that maintain the body’s fluid balance.
What Happens if a Runner’s Electrolytes Are Out of Balance?
Simply put, it’s hard for your body to function properly. For runners that usually means muscle cramps and fatigue, that can lead to poor performance. This doesn’t only mean leg cramps, it can also mean stomach cramps and side stiches. Runners can also be impacted in other ways from an electrolyte imbalance, including: dizziness, fatigue, nausea, weak muscles, constipation, and stiff and achy joints. See why electrolytes for runners are so important?
Are all Electrolyte Supplements the Same? NO!
Many electrolytes for runners only contain the basic minerals. However, Runner’s Electrolytes from Run Fit Nutrition contains chelated minerals. Chelation is the process of bonding a mineral to another substance to increase absorption. Chelated minerals are the form most often recommended because they provide greater absorption than their non-chelated counterparts. For example, magnesium is 87% absorbed when chelated, but only 16% when taken in a non-chelated form. Runner’s Electrolytes from Run Fit uses Bioperine, a natural food based element, as it’s binding agent. That means when you take Runner’s Electrolytes, your body is actually able to absorb and benefit from the electrolytes.
Also, most electrolyte supplements haven’t formulated their electrolytes for runner’s. Due to the high demand on your largest muscle groups, your legs, and the amount of physical exertion that comes from running, its critical that runners use a electrolyte formula that has been engineered for them. This ensures that you are getting the right electrolytes in the right amount to fit your need and help you run your strongest.
When Should Runner’s Use Electrolytes?
Everyone’s body is different, so as you take Electrolytes, whether in pill form or in sports drinks, listen to your body and fine tune as you go. We recommend that you take 1 Runner’s Electrolytes capsule 30 minutes prior to your run, and then one every 45 minutes or so during your run. If it is a much longer run than usual, it can be helpful to take another capsule 30 minutes after your run is complete.
However, you should be taking the electrolytes prior to your body asking for it. It’s best to replenish your electrolyte levels as you go, rather than waiting for cramps and muscle fatigue to set in.