02 Apr What to Eat to Balance Your Electrolytes
Whether you’re a pro-athlete, a weekend warrior or just a regular gym-goer, you will know that your nutrition and hydration are of utmost importance for your performance and recovery. During exercise, the average person will lose between 0.8 and 1.4 litres of water per hour mostly through sweat. Sweat is made up of not just water, but electrolytes such as sodium, chloride and potassium which need to be replaced in order to ensure adequate hydration. Failing to replace these electrolytes can lead to symptoms such as cramping, fatigue, muscle soreness and dizziness. Extreme dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can even be life-threatening. So how do you replace these electrolytes?
On average, most people eat more than double their recommended amount of sodium for the day so replacing sodium is never usually an issue. However, most people only meet about half of their daily requirement for potassium. Potassium is abundant in fruits and vegetables; bananas are a well known one, but others that are rich in this balancing and needed chemical are oranges, grapefruit, sweet potato, mushrooms, cucumber and zucchini. And delicious and sweetener that you can add to your daily life; drizzle your veg or sweetener your morning cuppa is date syrup. Date syrup is a concentrated, versatile and convenient source of potassium for sports people as it has all the potassium content of fresh dates. Just 1 tbsp of date syrup provides 160mg of potassium, enough to replace the potassium lost during 1 hour of intense exercise. It also contains natural sugars, calcium and magnesium, which help to increase the uptake of water into the cells and can, therefore, improve hydration and recovery in sports people.