What are electrolyte drinks and how can they impact hydration?
Electrolyte drinks are those that contain electrolytes – salts like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and regular old table salt – that help the body regulate the flow of water in and out of the cells and spark nerve impulses. Electrolytes are critical to keeping the body functioning properly, and losing too many of them (from sweating, for example) can cause changes in blood pressure, breathing and other key functions.
When dehydrated, the body often experiences an imbalance in fluids and electrolytes. Hydrating with an electrolyte drink delivers a good dose of those crucial salts and helps re-balance things and keep the body functioning as it should.
There is lots of discussion about when you need an electrolyte drink instead of water. Water is fine for daily hydration needs. However, severe climates and intense work conditions will put workers in greater danger of dehydration requiring more to be replaced than just water for complete hydration. If you working in these type conditions or if you fall into any of the following circumstances, you should consider a fluid with electrolytes to boost the minerals in your body:
- You’re exercising or doing heavy work for more than one hour
- You’re sweating heavily during physical activity
- You will be exposed to heat for long periods
- You’re ill with vomiting or diarrhea
Depending on your work conditions and physical health, an electrolyte drink may help you to ward off dehydration and its ill effects on the body. Because optimal hydration is required for optimal physical and mental performance, properly hydrated workers are also less likely to contribute to workplace hazards.
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