We’ve all heard about these things called “electrolytes” that we’re supposed to put in our body before, during, and after exercise or playing sports. But you probably have no idea what electrolytes actually are and what they do. Do they just help to keep you hydrated, do they provide energy and focus, or do they do something else?
In this post we break down what electrolytes are, how they work, and what benefits you get from them.
What Are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are essential minerals, such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, to name a few. These minerals help your body regulate chemical reactions, maintain the balance of fluids inside and outside your cells, and do much more.
When electrolytes are dissolved in water they provide natural positive or negative electrical charges. When you consider our bodies are made up of 60% water – nearly every fluid and cell in your body ends up containing electrolytes and being impacted by them!
What Are The Benefits of Electrolytes?
As we previously mentioned, electrolytes provide natural positive or negative electrical charges in water which affect cells – but what does that actually mean and how does it affect your cells and body as whole?
The answer is actually pretty complex, because there’s a bunch of different electrolytes and they all do different things. For instance, Sodium, which is the most abundant electrolyte found in your body, helps your cells maintain the correct amount of fluid.
Calcium on the other hand helps to control your muscles and nerves, and helps manage the pace of your heart beat – along with building strong bones and teeth. Having too much or too little calcium can cause a bunch of problems.
Ultimately, electrolytes do a lot in the body and we’re still learning how they all work together to make our bodies run smoothly. The bottom line is that too much or too little of these minerals can have severe impacts on your health.
Do Electrolytes Give You Energy & Focus?
The answer to this question is: kind of. Electrolytes don’t provide any calories or carbohydrates which is what your body needs to fuel itself. They do however support functions in the body that impact energy levels. Another way to think about this is that electrolytes won’t give you an energy boost, but a lack of electrolytes will drain your energy.
What that means is that if you’ve been eating a poor diet and are deficient in these essential minerals, you’ll definitely have to work harder to focus and get moving. Then when you take an electrolyte supplement, you may experience improved energy levels and feel a lot better.
That may give the illusion that electrolytes can help with energy and focus. But if you’re already keeping your levels in a good place, additional electrolytes are unlikely to provide you with larger benefits. In fact, too many electrolytes can cause a variety of unpleasant health issues.
Electrolytes are very important for a healthy and smooth functioning body. And while they're an important component of maintaining your energy and focus, they aren’t going to directly wake you up or help you maintain focus when you need it most.
The best way to think about electrolytes when it comes to energy and focus is that they’re the teammate that is getting the assist, not the person scoring the goal.
If you’re looking for a great source of energy and focus, we suggest you check out Proper Wild’s plant-based energy shots which will directly boost your energy and focus, without the jitters or crash so often associated with other energy drinks and shots.