No matter the situation, your health should always be a top priority for you. Specifically, hydration always needs to be a concern. You must have the proper balance between electrolytes and water, or you still may not be truly hydrated and you could encounter some health issues. The first step to achieving a proper balance is understanding what an electrolyte is and how to maintain a happy balance between hydration and electrolytes.
General Information About Electrolytes and Your Body
Electrolytes are charged minerals that your body requires to execute various functions. They play roles in managing your body’s pH level and keeping you hydrated. Additionally, your nerves and muscles require them as well. Sometimes, your electrolyte level may be too low, which means certain body functions suffer.
Generally, you receive electrolytes through the foods and beverages you consume, just like with hydration. However, if you’re working in a precarious situation, you could be at risk for an imbalance.
Examples of Electrolytes
Your body requires certain minerals, such as the following:
Sodium is one example of an electrolyte. This is one of the electrolytes that maintain a fluid balance in your cells. Both your nerves and muscles require sodium as well. In addition, sodium is a necessary electrolyte for maintaining a normal blood pressure level.
Calcium is another necessary electrolyte. Your body needs it for muscle contractions. Specifically, it’s responsible for your muscle fibers coming together and moving over one another when your muscles contract.
Magnesium classifies as an electrolyte as well. Your body needs it for your muscles to relax.
Your body uses the electrolyte potassium to balance your electrolyte levels and for nerve function. It’s essential for your bone health and heart rate.
Additionally, your body needs chloride to function. Your body uses this electrolyte for digestion, too.
It also plays a role in balancing your pH level. Your body has an internal pH balance level, which is how alkaline or acidic your body is. Your blood, for instance, is usually more basic than acidic. Generally, the pH range of a person’s blood is between 7.35 to 7.45. This electrolyte helps maintain this balance.
Consequences of an Electrolyte Imbalance
When your body doesn’t have a proper balance of electrolytes, you start to feel the effects. Symptoms of an electrolyte vary based on the electrolyte you’re missing. However, nausea, fluid retention, and lethargy are common with any electrolyte imbalance.
If your body doesn’t have enough potassium, you may experience muscle twitches, cramps, or weakness. Since your body needs potassium for your heart to function, a deficiency could lead to an abnormal heart rhythm.
When you don’t take in an adequate amount of chloride, you may develop dehydration. Your body requires it to balance the hydration in your cells. You may struggle to breathe or experience diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, or fatigue.
It’s possible to lack magnesium. Muscle cramps and twitches can occur, and so can fatigue and muscle weakness. It may even trigger high blood pressure and an abnormal heart rhythm.
Not receiving enough sodium can cause an array of health problems. For instance, you may feel drowsy or lack energy. You might become restless or irritable. Muscle spasms, cramps, and weakness can occur as well. You might also notice that you have a headache. In extreme cases, a sodium deficiency can lead to coma or seizures.
Consequences of Dehydration
Although you require electrolytes to maintain hydration, you require enough water for your body to function as well. Water serves the purpose of transporting nutrients to your cells. Your body requires it to send oxygen to your brain. Your body uses water for the absorption of various types of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. These are just some of the reasons to stay hydrated.
Initially, when you become dehydrated, you may experience mild symptoms like yellow-colored urine that has a strong odor. You might also feel lightheaded, dizzy, or tired. However, the symptoms increase in severity the more dehydrated you are.
Staying Hydrated and Maintaining a Proper Electrolyte
You should drink if you feel thirsty. It also helps to drink even when you’re not thirsty to prevent dehydration. Certain types of beverages have a balance of electrolytes, so if you’ve been dehydrated for any reason, drinking them could help. Additionally, you should eat a well-balanced diet.
Having a high-stress job requires a great deal of your time and effort. However, you should still consider your own health. Part of maintaining good health is by making sure you’re hydrated and taking in enough electrolytes. At Haven Gear, we understand how the daily grind has it’s stress factors so we do everything in our power to make sure our next-gen riot gear suits and accessories are beneficial to you in as many ways as possible. Our hydration pack adheres to all of our riot suits so the carrier always has a means of ample hydration. If you need to outfit your team with a means to hydration, check out our tactical accessories page on our website.