Electrolytes - How Much is Too Much?
When you play 18 holes of golf, you sweat. A lot. And when you sweat, you lose electrolytes. So, it's important to make sure you're replenishing those electrolytes by adding them to your diet. But why are electrolytes so important? First, let's start with the basics. Electrolytes are minerals (sodium, magnesium, potassium) that conduct electricity in your body and they're important for a variety of functions, including:
-Regulating blood pressure
-Maintaining fluid balance
-Supporting nerve function
-Preventing muscle cramps
If we don't replace lost electrolytes, we can become dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, reduced urine output, headache, dizziness, and fatigue. In severe cases, dehydration can lead to shock and even death. Therefore, it's important to drink plenty of fluids—preferably ones that contain electrolytes—when exercising or spending time in hot weather for long periods of time.
How Much Should You Consume?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including your activity level, how much you sweat, and whether you're trying to prevent or relieve cramping. It is recommended that any activity which lasts longer than 60-90 minutes (which is typically the case for a round of 18 holes), should be replenished with electrolytes; 6-8 ounces per hour. This can be achieved with a sports drink or an electrolyte powder mixed with water. A few great electrolyte options are “Hydrant Electrolyte Powder,” “Nuun Sport Tablets,” and “BodyArmor Lyte.” Just be careful not to overdo it on the sugar—some sports drinks can contain a lot of calories and can pull water from cells to help dilute those high sugary drinks!
If you want to perform your best on the golf course, it's important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and replacing lost electrolytes. Sports drinks or other products that contain electrolytes can help you do this. So next time you hit the links, make sure you bring along a cold one!