Electrolytes in Our Honey
The electrolytes in Wasatch Nectar include Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium. Electrolytes are a critical component in sports nutrition due to their role in water balance and muscle contractions.
These electrolytes are lost in various amounts in sweat, therefore are necessary to replete during adventures lasting longer than 30-45 minutes. Below is a brief description of the role of each electrolyte added to Wasatch Nectar.
Sodium is the body's most abundant extracellular electrolyte. It is lost in the highest concentration in sweat, therefore, needs to be replenished in higher amounts than the other electrolytes. Sodium increases thirst and also helps to retain fluid (both important during exercise). A common condition during endurance sport events is hyponatremia (low blood sodium levels). Some common symptoms of low sodium includes weakness, muscle cramping, nausea/vomiting, and headache. All of these problems can be avoided by adequately replenishing electrolytes during long bouts of physical activity.
The majority of the body's potassium is intracellular. Together with sodium they help maintain water balance and trigger muscles to contract and relax due to the electrical charges they carry. As with sodium, potassium is also lost in sweat, but in smaller amounts.
Potassium is found in a wide variety of food in varying amounts. In normal circumstances, people are able to meet their potassium needs through food. However, during long lasting exercise, it is usually not feasible to rely on real food during an event (due to carrying, chewing, perishable, etc), so that is where sports supplements such as Wasatch Nectar play a critical role.
Calcium is also an electrolyte that is lost in sweat, but in much smaller amounts. Therefore, corresponding amounts are added to Wasatch Nectar to match estimated losses during exercise. Calcium is primarily found in the bones, however, a certain level must be maintained in the blood for proper health. If low blood calcium occurs, it leads to muscle spasms. Eventually the body will pull calcium from bone marrow in order to keep the required amount within the blood, which over time can lead to weak bones if adequate amounts are not being consumed. It is important to eat calcium rich foods on a daily basis to maximize bone health.
As with calcium, magnesium is also lost in small amounts through sweat. The majority of the body's magnesium is found in bone and muscle. The major role of magnesium is to assist in food metabolism, thus energy production (by working with enzymes needed for digestion). Magnesium is also a very important component in muscle contraction by acting as a relaxant, while calcium acts as the simulator.