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WHAT ARE ELECTROLYTES AND WHY DO YOU NEED THEM? ~ KIM MCDEVITT MPH RD

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WHAT ARE ELECTROLYTES AND WHY DO YOU NEED THEM? ~ KIM MCDEVITT MPH RD

As a runner, and honestly just an active mom, I have learned to recognize the importance of both hydration and electrolytes.

For starters, I don’t know about you, but just getting in the recommended servings of water a day to keep myself well hydrated can feel like a feat on its own. I’ve come to recognize that having a beverage that’s more than just water, and specifically one that contains electrolytes, helps me to hydrate faster while also replenishing the minerals that my body cannot produce on its own.

Hydration Basics

Before I dive in and tell you a bit more about why I’m loving withinUs ReHydrate + Collagen, let's first just take a step back and do a quick refresher on hydration and electrolytes.


Your body depends on water for survival (it’s the main component in blood), and it’s necessary for critical body functions including:

  • Delivery of oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to your cells
  • Removal of waste from cells
  • Regulation of body temperature
  • Control of intracellular and extracellular fluid levels

We lose water daily, through the obvious sweating and going to the bathroom, but also when we do things like breathe. Water loss is more rapid in warmer weather, or with excessive sweating (hello hot sweaty summer long run, something most all of us are dreaming about right now, no?).


There are different beliefs around how much water you should be drinking in a day, though most follow the “6-8 glasses per day” recommendation. One of the easiest ways to test your hydration is through bathroom frequency and urine colour. Your urine should be light yellow and you should be emptying your bladder on average 5-8 times per day.

Fitting Electrolytes In

Electrolytes help the body reach optimal hydration more easily. The word ‘electrolyte’ groups a handful of minerals together - including sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride and calcium. And these minerals are what help the body perform its natural functions. Remember that our body can not make any of these minerals, so it requires us to get them from food and drinks. Once in our body, they are broken into electrically charged ions, which work both independently and with each other to perform roles such as helping to move glucose and other nutrients into your cells, and helping to remove waste products and extra water from your cells.


If you consider yourself an athlete or are vigorously working out and sweating, it’s imperative to replenish these electrolytes because we lose them at a rapid rate through sweat, and electrolyte balance is key for both successful training and optimal performance. When you have an imbalance of electrolytes, your body starts to send you not-so-subtle reminders in the way of stomach cramps, muscle cramps and spasms, side stitches and if it gets really extreme, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and more.


But to be honest with you, even if you’re just doing light to moderate exercise or not exercising daily, you might not need to replenish at the rate of someone who is sweating or working out each day, but we can all still benefit from adding electrolytes into our diet.

 

Why I’m swooning over withinUs ReHydrate + Collagen

And working out or not, can we all agree that sometimes drinking plain water can just be boring?

So, beyond providing the essential electrolytes that I just went over, I’m loving withinUs ReHydrate + Collagen for a few more reasons - taste being one of them!

Flavor + Ease of Hydration

Sometimes I need a little encouragement to keep drinking water! And I’m trying really hard to not put any gross artificial flavours or colours in my body (which to be honest is easier said than done sometimes). The natural lemon flavor coming from organic freeze dried lemon juice in this product and the fact that there are zero artificial flavors or colors makes me feel really good about reaching for the product, and really helps me to drink more. 

That Collagen Boost

Replenishing with electrolytes post-workout is necessary. Replenishing with collagen and protein is smart. This product makes it SO easy to do both. The presence of collagen helps with muscle recovery and repair post-workout, but I love that it’s another way to get in my daily collagen boost, which I like to take to support healthy skin, hair and nails, as well as to protect my joints.   

 

While I’ll always use this after a hard workout, lately I’ve putting one scoop of this into my usual morning lemon water and I’ve been really noticing a difference. While room temperature water with lemon is a great way to start your day and get hydrated, I’ve found that adding the ReHydrate + Collagen not only allows for a less jarring taste first thing (sometimes lemon water can be intense at 5:00 AM!) but also makes me feel SO hydrated almost immediately after I drink it.

 


Have you tried this product yet? If so, what’s your favourite way or time of day to drink it?

 

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Kim McDevitt is a Registered Dietitian (RD) specializing in sports nutrition and  lifestyle optimization. She is a mom on a mission to help educate and empower other moms to get back to their pre-babe nutrition and fitness goals. Spurred by her love of running and devotion to clean, healthy eating, Kim left a career in advertising/marketing to pursue her passions professionally.