Today I intended to write solely about electrolytes, but I’m going to branch out and write a separate article on coconut water. Since Thursday’s are dedicated to chemicals and such, I decided to cover electrolytes. I’ve been getting Smart Water (since it’s water week), which is labeled as being enhanced with electrolytes. What are electrolytes? Most of us probably have heard of them, or at least know a common product who markets electrolytes. Ever heard of Gatorade? Before I trash Gatorade let’s look at what electrolytes are. Basically they are salts (ions if you want to get detailed). Ions are electrically charged particles which move toward a negative or positive electrode. The major electrolytes to humans are: sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, phosphate, and sulfate. These ions are used by cells (especially in muscle, nerves, and the heart) to maintain voltages across the cell membrane and to carry electrical impulses (such as muscle contraction) to other cells. The kidneys work to maintain electrolyte levels. These levels have to be restored to prevent dehydration and seizures. When you exercise heavily and sweat, electrolytes are released and need to be restored. Bring into play Gatorade, which contains electrolytes. Bad part is that Gatorade is also full of sugar (one of the three poisons), so what most think is helping is really making things worse. Gatorade contains high fructose sugar and drinking one a day can add 13 pounds in a year! What other options do you have? I found Smart Water, which is a vapor-distilled, electrolyte enhanced water. How perfect, a product that’s not artificially sweetened (it’s water, duh)! I’m not suggesting that everyone go out and stock up on Smart Water, but if you’re working out strenuously and sweating it’s not a bad idea to drink one and restore those electrolyte levels. I think this picture is a good reflection of life style, would you rather look like the Gatorade chugging cop or the water drinking Jennifer Aniston? (Next up is coconut water, which naturally contains electrolytes).