Many sports drinks on the market these days tout the restorative power of electrolytes, but what exactly are electrolytes anyway and why are they so important?
Electrolytes are minerals found in our body that carry an electric charge. The most common electrolytes in our diets are sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and they keep our body's PH in check. Electrolytes are also responsible for regulating our hydration levels, which is why sports drinks are constantly harping on their power to "replenish" and "rehydrate."
Electrolytes are extremely important, but they're also commonly found in most nutritious foods and drinks in our diets, and it's pretty hard to significantly deplete them unless you're very dehydrated. Electrolytes are lost during sweat, but unless you're exercising at a high intensity for a long duration, water can be just as effective at keeping you hydrated. Check out this Washington Post article to see other information on when it may be a good time to have sports drink.
Another thing to keep in mind is that lots of sports drinks are also loaded with sugar, which may give you a quick energy boost, but hey, so will a candy bar. If you are going to be exerting yourself and want to reach for an energy drink or a sports drink, here are a few good options:
Who knew Gatorade had an organic line? It tastes as good as the original, without the chemicals, and there's no added color.
Nooma uses stevia, a natural sweetener without the high calorie profile, so it tastes great and won't be a diet buster.
If you're looking for something simple but still want the added benefits of electrolytes and nutrients, propel is just your average water with a boost. Can't get much simpler than that.
Another enhanced water alternative, deionized water with added electrolytes for optimum hydration. No sugar, no artificial flavoring or anything!
The bottom line is you may want to reach for a healthy sports drink if you're really exerting yourself, but it's not always necessary. Our bodies are very good at naturally keeping our electrolytes in balance as long as we're properly nourished, so you don't need to micromanage them unless you're losing significant fluids, in which case go ahead and enjoy a sports drink. Just remember not all sports drinks are created equal, so always check the label if you're trying to steer clear of sugar and chemicals!
Sometimes the world seems so dangerous. We worry about accidents, cancer, and criminals potentially lurking around the corner. Actually, there's a much quieter, much closer concern that many of us overlook.
Inactivity is currently the world's fourth leading cause of death. It's a problem often confused and conflated with laziness and personal choice, but in reality the issue is geographic, systemic, and woven into the structure of modern living. (EuroNews)
That statement may sound shocking, but the numbers back it up.
Biking is an enjoyable hobby for people of all ages. Whether you're tooling around the neighborhood or participating in road races, cycling is a great way to get fresh air and exercise.
Unfortunately, cycling can be dangerous. And it is important for us to bring awareness to the dangers of cycling to help all riders become highly alert of their surroundings when riding on the road. In 2020, nearly 700 cyclists were killed in crashes involving vehicles. Of those, a quarter were hit-and-runs, which means the driver fled the scene before police arrived.
Ever dream of thru-biking across the interior of the United States? Thanks to a decades-long project spearheaded by the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy, that trip is one step closer to fruition.
When completed, the Great American Rail-Trail will stretch from Washington D.C. to Washington state, encompassing nearly 3,700 miles along the way. The idea has been in the works for 50 years and more progress is being made every day.
About 80 miles of the trail are considered complete, but the Great American Rail-Trail already connects with existing bike trails. It's built on old railroad lines, hence the name. The path is made from paved asphalt, crushed stone and other materials.