Feeling dizzy, sluggish, crampy or lightheaded on runs? Electrolyte imbalance and/or dehydration might be the problem!
The main functions of electrolytes are to help maintain fluid balance in the body and regulate nerve and muscle responses. The main five electrolytes are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride. The average American diet gets plenty of these substances, especially sodium. The only time I would make it a priority to get these electrolytes is for someone who loses a lot of electrolytes through sweat, for workouts lasting longer than 60 minutes, or for extreme temperatures. For more information about extreme temperature and hydration, CLICK HERE.
If you are one of those people who have a lot of sweat loss, or regularly are exercising for over 60 minutes, there are many supplements that can help. The different electrolytes have slightly different functions, so if you need an electrolyte boost regularly you probably want to go with a supplement that contains more than one. There are also some whole foods that pack in electrolytes – if you want to go that way, check out this article from Runner’s World Magazine.