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Sports Drinks: Understanding the Electrolyte Myths

Sports Drinks: Understanding the Electrolyte Myths

February is one of the busiest months of the year for sports fans, as nearly every sport in North America has either a championship, pre-season, or All-Star Game. On every sideline we still see conventional sports drinks ready for athlete consumption, and science is questioning this practice. One of the requests we sometimes hear is to add salt to the watermelon juice we produce. The truth is, added salt for exercise or even heavy training is unecessary for nearly everyone, including elite athletes. In fact, based on current research, science is moving toward the argument that fatigue to the nervous system, not a depletion of sodium and other electrolytes, is the culprit of cramping.

Hydration is a confusing topic for recreational athletes because marketing sometimes misinforms the public of what current science is telling us. Evidence shows, that the cramps we sometimes experience from exercise or running are not likely because of sweat loss, but from exhaustion to the muscles we use. Sports drinks might help fight fatigue because they provide glucose, but not because they have higher sodium levels. In fact, drinking more sports drinks may not move the needle much even if you’re consuming them as directed by the industry’s marketing information. What we now know from cutting edge science, is that the old electrolyte theory is slowly fading away and losing credibility.

Sodium, just one of the numerous electrolytes in our bodies can be easily found in many typical diets, and just a trace amount each day is more than enough to take care of the demands of a hard workout program. Other minerals such as calcium and magnesium aren’t typically found in sports drinks either, and for good reason as they are not lost in sweat and can also be found in a well balanced diet. Potassium, on the other hand, is an extremly important electrolyte essential to cell function. Potassium supports the brain and heart, and performs countless other roles in maintaining the health of the body. Tsamma Juice is loaded with potassium, and this most important nutrient is found naturally in our watermelons. We didn’t need to add any potassium to our Tsamma Juice, as nature provides a healthy serving for everyone, not just athletes.

Being that performance nutrition is about hydration at all times, and not just during a workout, more and more of our customers are turning to us as their sports drink of choice. As science continues to discover the truth about what happens inside the human body, Tsamma’s commitment to science will be right there every step of the way.


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