Are you struggling with low energy during tough workouts? Do you find that even decreasing the intensity, getting more sleep, or increasing your calorie intake doesn’t help?
You may be surprised that an electrolyte imbalance could cause low energy levels. Learn more about electrolytes, why they matter, and how they can be the key to energy for your workouts.
“If your electrolytes are imbalanced, you may notice a stark difference in your energy levels during workouts.”
What Are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals that carry a positive or negative charge. In water, they conduct electricity.
The electrolytes found in your body include:
These electrolytes are required for various bodily processes, including proper nerve and muscle function, maintaining acid-base balance, and staying hydrated.
Sodium and potassium are the key to hydration since they affect your body’s fluid balance. Without adequate hydration, your body cannot synthesize adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides cell energy. Calcium and magnesium are also essential to ATP production.
Electrolyte’s role in communication impacts healthy energy levels. If your electrolytes are imbalanced, you may notice a stark difference in your energy levels during workouts.
Severe imbalances don’t usually occur because of tough workouts, but a mild imbalance can happen if you sweat a lot. If your body doesn’t have the necessary electrolytes, your fluid is thrown out of balance and causes you to feel weak or tired.
What Electrolyte Supplements Give You Energy?
Electrolytes don’t provide energy alone, but they’re necessary to the processes that convert stored energy from food into ATP. The critical electrolytes for ATP production are:
Cellular respiration requires numerous enzymes to produce ATP. Calcium is essential to activating many of these enzymes to facilitate the process.
When calcium levels are low, these enzymes may struggle to activate and produce energy. Low calcium levels may also cause muscle cramps, spasms, or weakness.
Potassium is vital to every cell in the body. It produces energy, protects the heart, regulates fluids, and controls muscle contraction and growth. There are potassium channels that the cells use to communicate. As your body produces ATP and you store it, potassium channels are activated.
Potassium channels deliver messages to the body to secrete insulin, a hormone that helps control the amount of glucose. Your body needs potassium channels to guide how this stored energy is used.
The body uses magnesium to synthesize a complex called MgATP2, necessary to activate certain enzymes crucial to ATP production. It controls the messaging in the calcium and potassium channels, affecting how energy is metabolized.
Low magnesium levels can cause low energy, irregular heartbeats, and poor nerve function.
Sodium is a crucial electrolyte that affects the body by maintaining fluid balance, controlling nerve impulses, stimulating muscle contractions, and more. Sodium indirectly affects energy metabolism by balancing fluids in the body and ensuring that glucose is transported into the cells efficiently. If sodium imbalances disrupt this process, it can affect the delivery of nutrients to cells, which impacts energy production.
What Does Research Say About Electrolytes for Energy?
The role electrolytes play in energy levels is well documented, especially with physical performance and hydration. Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium are vital to maintaining proper fluid balance and reducing fatigue.
In addition, exercise, especially in hot and sweaty conditions, causes electrolyte loss through sweat. Low electrolytes can cause muscle cramps, weakness, and decreased performance. Consuming electrolyte-rich beverages or supplements during or after exercise can help maintain energy levels and improve athletic performance.
How to Use Electrolyte Supplements for Energy and Focus
Electrolyte supplements can be used to support energy and focus during exercise. You get some electrolytes from your diet, but you can ensure you have the right balance of electrolytes with supplements.
Instead of sugary sports drinks, put electrolyte supplements in water for a quicker and more convenient way to get what you need. There are unflavored electrolyte powders and options like cucumber melon or orange to suit your tastes.
Electrolyte powders are good for post-workout smoothies as well. Combine electrolyte powders in complementary flavors with protein powder, vegetables, fruits, and liquids like water or milk.
It’s also easy to create your homemade electrolyte drink with a supplement. Here’s a simple recipe you can make on your own:
Two cups of purified water
One tablespoon of honey
One serving of an electrolyte supplement like Core Culture
A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice
- Measure 2 cups of purified water and pour into a container.
- Add one tablespoon of honey to taste.
- Add a scoop of Core Culture electrolyte supplement and dissolve it into the liquid.
- Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice. Add more as desired and stir.
- Fill glasses with ice cubes and pour the drink over ice.
Core Culture Electrolyte Supplements
If you want to add electrolytes to your diet to improve your energy levels and workouts, Core Culture offers a range of electrolyte powders in unflavored, orange, lemon-lime, and more. Browse our whole collection today!