by Dr. Troy Van Biezen DC, ART, BPE
People can sweat for many different reasons, but most commonly sweat is a response to physical activity, anxiety, fear, or simply warm weather. Sweat is your body’s natural way of cooling down. When moisture leaves the skin, it acts as a coolant.
Sweating is a natural and important process of the body, but it’s important to understand what’s in sweat and how it contributes to dehydration to best understand how to counteract sweating in your day-to-day life.
What is sweat? & what’s in it?
Sweat is a combination of liquids, minerals, and electrolytes that leave your body in an effort to keep your core body temperature at a healthy level. Sweat leaving your body places you in a state of isotonic dehydration, which occurs when water and nutrients leave your body in an equal amount. These need to be replaced in a balanced way to ensure your body remains optimally hydrated.
When you sweat, it’s not just water that leaves your sweat glands, but a combination of liquids and nutrients that is composed roughly of:
|Minerals/Electrolytes||mg per liter|
As you can tell, sweat contains minerals and electrolytes that have essential roles in the body. Sodium and chloride are the most abundant electrolytes, followed by potassium, magnesium and calcium.
The average athlete can lose up to approximately 1–3 liters of sweat per hour. This means during only one hour of high intensity exercise, an athlete loses a two-liter soda bottle of sweat, give or take half. This sweat contains a significant amount of essential nutrients that contribute to continual hydration and need to be replenished as soon as possible.
Sweating without replacing essential nutrients can also have a detrimental effect on internal processes like heart rhythm, breathing, and muscle movement. Although you’re unlikely to experience serious side effects from working out too hard, you might have experienced something like extreme thirst or muscle cramping after a hard workout, both of which are simple indicators of dehydration!
However, just because you’re not dripping in sweat, doesn’t mean you’re not dehydrated.
Optimal hydration is difficult to gauge on your own — that’s why LivPür Hydrate was created. For a little over a dollar per use, you can rest assured your body has the water and nutrients it needs to stay happy and healthy.
Essential functions of the minerals & electrolytes in sweat
Sodium, chloride, and potassium work together to help regulate and maintain fluid balance. These minerals are what controls osmosis, which is the starting point for many naturally occurring bodily processes. For example, a lot of internal processes start with electrical signals, and sodium is the primary instigator.
This happens all across the body, in every cell, although the combination of electrolytes might vary from process to process.
Magnesium and calcium are essential for optimal muscle function and play a role in a person’s energy or metabolism. These two minerals work together to ensure a steady, continuing heartbeat, as well as aiding in creating electrical signals.
Losing as little as 3% of your body weight during a workout can result in strength losses up to 5% and resultant muscle cramping.
Ever hear of someone suggesting you eat a banana after significant muscle cramping? Bananas are high in potassium — the same electrolyte that helps muscles work smoothly and comfortably. This is a quick fix for a problem that has already gone too far and could have been solved with a balanced diet or a quick supplement before even starting your workout. You’ll likely notice when starting a workout after consuming a balance of water and electrolytes that you’ll be able to workout longer, harder, and more comfortably than without.
All of these minerals work together during high-intensity exercise. They play a role in muscle contraction, maintaining a constant heartbeat, and regulating breathing. An imbalance will likely not kill you, but it could severely detract from your athletic goals, and at serious levels, your quality of life.
How does working out dehydrate you?
While light to moderate activity might only release a very small portion of water and minerals onto the skin’s surface, sweating profusely on a hot day, or even during a moderate- to high-intensity workout can seriously detract from your body’s balance of water to nutrients.
Following these activities, many people think drinking water is enough, but without the right balance of nutrients within that water, we neglect the very nature of the problem we’re trying to solve — hydration is a balance, not a matter of how much you can chug.
There are many factors that might influence how much a person sweats, but paying attention to how you feel during your workout will tell you a lot! For example, if you exercise for an hour and for 55 of those minutes, you’re dripping in sweat, you’re likely losing water at a rate similar to an athlete. If you feel a few drops of sweat, but your shirt isn’t soaked, you’re probably not quite there yet.
How to replace nutrients lost in sweat
Water and electrolytes should be consumed throughout the day to maintain adequate fluid intake as well as optimal electrolyte levels. If maintaining strict control over your diet sometimes falls to the wayside, consider adding supplemental electrolytes to your water to make sure your body is optimally hydrated.
The best way to replace nutrients lost in sweat is to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. However, this isn’t as simple as just choosing a food that’s full of sodium, eating a calcium supplement, and chugging some water!
To fuel your body optimally, make sure to get an even mix of electrolyte- and mineral-rich foods, and make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
1. Foods that contain minerals & electrolytes
There is an optimal level of each nutrient that will allow your body to function at peak performance. It’s not about getting enough of one or two vitamins and calling it a day — rather, it’s the balance between nutrients that keeps your body happy and hydrated.
Our bodies are made up of water, and essential natural processes are instigated, sped up, or stopped depending on the minerals in the water that are stored in different areas of our bodies.
An imbalance of nutrients can cause changes in the way our internal processes work, so fueling your body with a mixture of these nutrients will help it much more than vitamin or nutrient overloads that might throw these delicate processes out of whack.
That’s why it’s important to consume foods high in minerals and electrolytes, including:
- Sodium-rich foods such as salted nuts, crackers, and Himalayan salt
- Potassium-rich foods like bananas, potatoes, dark leafy greens, and citrus fruits
- Magnesium-rich foods like almonds, cashews, spinach, beans, and pumpkin seeds
- Calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, almonds, and broccoli
- Chloride-rich foods such as sea salt, tomatoes, olives, and seaweed
It can be difficult to constantly watch what you eat to make sure you’re giving your body the essential nutrients it needs for hydration. Taking a supplement once a day might help you keep your hydration in check — and keep your body at peak performance!
2. Supplements like LivPür Hydrate
LivPür Hydrate combines essential electrolytes, BCAAs, vitamins, and easily absorbed, natural sugars that help ensure you stay hydrated throughout your day.
Our bodies are depleted during exercise and consistently replenishing it with water and key nutrients can result in fat loss, an increase in athletic performance, and boost your immune system.
Intense exercise isn’t the only thing that can cause symptoms of hydration, which can include excessive thirst, dry lips, or fatigue. Even mild to moderate exercise, especially for long periods of time, can use up valuable resources that keep you hydrated.
Trying to figure out what your body needs is always a little bit of guesswork, but the dehydration that’s caused by exercise or everyday living can be lessened with a mild supplement meant to aid in your body’s natural hydration processes.
LivPür Hydrate uses a scientifically proven combination of water and electrolytes to keep you hydrated and healthy.
Try LivPür Hydrate: