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When should we drink the electrolytes?Updated a month ago

At dawn, our bodies naturally prepare to awaken as hormones like cortisol and growth hormone stimulate glucose production in the liver, providing the energy needed to start the day. Adding sodium to this process triggers a hydration efficiency mechanism—the sodium-glucose co-transport system—allowing fluids and electrolytes to swiftly move from the intestines into the bloodstream, ensuring rapid and effective hydration at the cellular level. The first hour after rising, which follows the overnight fast, presents an optimal period for nutrient uptake. This is the prime moment for hydration, emphasising the crucial balance of minerals and water for overall health.

Who should consider starting their day with an electrolyte boost? 

Here’s a brief overview:

  • Individuals on low-carb diets

  • Those with chronic illnesses

  • People experiencing acute illness, including symptoms like vomiting or diarrhoea

  • Individuals under chronic stress

  • Those with nutrient deficiencies

  • Individuals who consume alcohol (to aid hangover recovery)

  • Athletes seeking optimal performance and recovery

Apart from the morning, another critical time to consider electrolyte supplementation is around exercise (or any form of excessive sweating). Here's why and when it's beneficial:

  • Before ExerciseTaking electrolytes about 30 minutes before starting your workout can help prime your body’s hydration levels, ensuring you're well-hydrated and ready for physical activity. This can also help prevent muscle cramps and fatigue.

  • During Exercise: For workouts lasting longer than an hour, especially in hot conditions or those that cause a lot of sweating, supplementing with electrolytes can help replace what's lost in sweat, maintain stamina, and prevent dehydration.

  • After Exercise: Post-workout, electrolytes are vital for recovery, helping to quickly restore the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance, support muscle repair, and reduce the risk of post-exercise fatigue and cramps.

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