Sports drinks are popular with individuals who work out and play sports. The purpose of sports drinks is to replenish the body of what it has lost during exercise, such as fluids and minerals. Sports drinks also contain electrolytes, which are substances containing ions that the body needs to have good blood chemistry and muscle action. Since sports drinks contain sugar and calories, they may not be ideal for individuals who are looking to lose weight. Instead, water with electrolytes may be consumed.
Electrolytes are electrically-charged substances found in your urine, blood and other bodily fluids. They are needed to keep a healthy balance within the body. Electrolytes come in different forms, including chlorine, potassium, phosphate, magnesium, calcium and sodium. You must keep electrolytes balanced within your body to allow it to maintain proper water amounts in your body, balance blood acidity, allow for proper muscle action, and to allow other important processes to occur. Sweat releases electrolytes, so in order to replenish them, you must consume foods and drinks that contain electrolytes.
Electrolytes in Water
Water is the best fluid for hydrating and regulating the body’s temperatures. When you consume water with electrolytes during exercise, you replenish the body quickly. Your body needs to have a certain amount of water and electrolytes daily. Working out and sweating a lot increases the amount needed of each.
One of the benefits of electrolytes, according to "Fluids & Electrolytes Made Incredibly Easy," is that it prevents dehydration. By consuming water with electrolytes, those who exercise should be able to avoid an electrolyte imbalance within their bodies. The side effects of electrolyte imbalance -- when electrolytes are too high or low, which changes the amount of water in the body -- include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, sweating, diarrhea and problems with the kidneys.
Maintain pH Levels
According to Medline Plus, the body works at its best when the blood has a 7.4 pH level. PH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of your blood. In order to maintain the proper pH level, sodium and chloride electrolytes are needed. Without a healthy diet, your body’s pH level can suffer and drop to acidic levels. Levels 7.0 and higher are considered to be alkaline. In order to raise the pH level of the body, alkaline foods like fruits and vegetables can be consumed. These also contain healthy amounts of electrolytes.