Good hydration is key for optimal health.However, keeping up with good hydration is even more important if you’re an athlete. Because volleyball players are often out in the hot sun, it’s especially important they’re getting adequate fluid and electrolytes.

Continue reading this article to understand why hydration and electrolytes are important and some tips to ensure you’re keeping up with your body’s hydration needs.

What Happens When You Sweat?

The more people exert themselves during exercise, the more electrolytes they lose. In other words, the greater the exercise intensity, the greater the losses. One study found that sodium and chloride losses increase by nearly 150% when athletes significantly increase the intensity of their workouts (1).

But what exactly causes a reduction in electrolyte levels?

Electrolytes are found in our body’s fluids.

Therefore, an electrolyte imbalance happens when the body loses a large amount of fluids, such as sweat. People can lose up to 6% of their body weight just from fluid losses from sweat alone.

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals that are essential for the body to function. When these minerals are in a fluid, they dissolve and are associated with a negative or positive charge. This charge enables them to carry out many necessary bodily functions.

Calcium, sodium, and potassium are a few of the most important electrolytes. Other electrolytes include chloride, magnesium, and phosphate. All of these are quite necessary for the body to function.

They’re important for proper nerve function, and they’re necessary for muscles to be able to contract. Perhaps most importantly, electrolytes are vital to keeping the body hydrated (2, 3).

Why are Electrolytes Important for Athletes?

Because electrolytes are so important for muscle function and hydration, they’re often mentioned when talking about the necessary health measures that athletes should take.

Athletes lose a lot of electrolytes through sweat, so it’s so important to replace them through sports drinks and other electrolyte-rich beverages.

If electrolytes aren’t replaced after an athlete loses fluids and electrolytes through sweat, this could lead to an imbalance in body fluids, low energy, inadequate muscle and nerve function, and cramping (4).

What’s more, electrolytes are needed to keep your heart pumping normally and to maintain blood pressure.

Staying hydrated with fluids and electrolytes can increase energy, improve movement efficiency, speed up recovery, increase endurance, and boost mental clarity.

What’s more, all of these benefits can also help reduce the risk of an athlete getting injured.

Proper hydration and electrolyte status is necessary for all athletes, but may be more necessary for athletes who are sweating a lot or doing any type of prolonged activity.

To avoid cramps and dehydration and to ensure optimal performance, athletes should be extra cautious about making sure they’re consuming adequate electrolytes.

Why Water isn’t Enough

Of course, it’s important to drink plenty of water.

However, with the electrolyte losses that occur during endurance exercise, such as a volleyball player, water is simply not enough.

The body needs to be replenished with the key electrolytes to restore proper hydration status and proper functioning.

Symptoms of low electrolyte status include fatigue, headaches, nausea, and muscle cramps. If you only drink water in effort to restore your body’s hydration status, you will not be giving your body what it needs.

Instead, choose one of the many sports drinks or electrolyte beverages available at most stores.

If you’re looking for something super easy to take on the go, try something like this clean electrolytes powder, Nakedade, from Naked Nutrition. It is a tasty powder you can simply add to any beverage you like.

Nakedade contains the most important electrolytes – potassium, calcium, and sodium – which will help to quickly restore your body’s hydration status to get you back to feeling and performing your best.

Key Takeaways

Electrolytes are minerals that are key to optimal functioning and hydration status. They include potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphate.

Electrolytes are important for maintaining adequate hydration status, ensuring appropriate muscle and nerve function, preventing cramping and fatigue, and reducing the risk of injury.

Because the body loses electrolytes through sweat, it’s important to rehydrate with an electrolyte beverage to ensure adequate hydration. Water is not enough to provide athletes with the minerals lost from sweat.

Athletes should drink an electrolyte beverage, such as Nakedade, during and after exercise to ensure optimal hydration status and performance.