"Ramadan suhoor meal being consumed by a Muslim man"

Rehydration During The Holy Month Of Ramadan

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. This can be a challenging time for the body, as it can lead to dehydration and nutrient deficiencies. Those observing Ramadan need to consume rehydration drinks and vitamins to maintain their health and well-being. Rehydration drinks can help replenish the body's fluids and electrolytes lost during fasting, while vitamins can help ensure the body gets the necessary nutrients to function properly. By taking these steps, individuals can help avoid potential health risks associated with fasting and ensure that they are able to fully participate in the spiritual and cultural practices of Ramadan.

Healthcare experts develop tablets for workers to counter dehydration

Workers in the UAE have been urged to take O.R.S Hydration Tablets by healthcare experts to counter dehydration due to soaring temperatures during the summer months in Gulf countries

by Jumana Abdel-RazzaqJuly 16, 2017

Healthcare experts develop tablets for workers to counter dehydration
Healthcare experts develop tablets for workers to counter dehydration

Workers in the UAE have been urged to take O.R.S Hydration Tablets by healthcare experts to counter dehydration due to soaring temperatures during the summer months in Gulf countries.

UK-based consumer healthcare company Clinova has developed O.R.S. Tablets, a balanced formula of glucose, electrolytes and minerals which when added to water help maintain optimal hydration for outdoor workers.

The tablets are designed to help maintain hydration at work, especially for workers on construction sites and indoor workers who are exposed to high temperatures with poor ventilation.

Miners, construction workers, office workers, transport workers, air hostess and pilots, domestic workers, warehouse workers and fire-fighters can also benefit from the use of the tablets.

Arsalan Karim, director, Research and Development, Clinova Ltd, said: “Improving hydration is the key to self-protection for workers in hot climates. These workers should drink a lot of water and consume O.R.S. Tablets.

“Heavy outdoor work in the heat can cause substantial electrolyte losses. As such, O.R.S. Tablets which are rich in electrolytes and minerals replenish the lost electrolytes, helping labourers perform at peak.”

More than half a million unskilled workers work at construction sites in Dubai alone, according to statistics issued by the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs (PCLA).

Daytime summer temperatures in the Gulf regularly exceed 40 degree Celsius for prolonged periods of time, often with high humidity, and particularly in the morning and afternoon.

As a result, these extreme environmental conditions make heat-related illness the most important health issue facing outdoor workers in the region.

“Drinking enough water is not the only solution. O.R.S. Tablets should be consumed as it has enough electrolytes necessary for the bodies to function properly,” added Karim.

“The hydration tablets not only keep the workers properly hydrated, but also make them healthier, safer and more productive, no matter what the weather or working conditions.”

Original Article:

Keeping Workers Hydrated and Cool Despite the Heat

Many areas of the country have been experiencing extreme temperatures this summer, and sadly the news has been full of stories about the lives lost due to heat stroke. While newscasters warn to stay out of the heat, many workers do not have that option. Keeping workers cool and well-hydrated are the best ways to protect them when working in hot environments.

Risk factors for heat illness

Workers should be made aware of the many risk factors that may affect their heat tolerance. Risk factors that may influence heat illness include high air temperatures and humidity, direct sun exposure, indoor radiant heat sources (ovens, hot manufacturing processes, etc.), limited air movement, physical exertion, not drinking enough fluids (dehydration), personal protective equipment or clothing, certain medications, physical condition, lack of recent exposure (not acclimatized), and advanced age (65+). Workers should discuss their individual risk factors with their healthcare provider.

Staying hydrated

The average person has 2.6 million sweat glands. These glands are activated when a portion of the brain determines that the body needs to be cooled down. Sweat evaporates off our skin which allows for heat loss and cooling. However, when we sweat, we also lose water and electrolytes (i.e., “salts” such as sodium, chloride, potassium). Drinking enough water and having enough electrolytes is necessary for our bodies to function properly. This is why it is so important to stay hydrated; a dehydrated person is likely to start having symptoms of heat illness.

NIOSH recommends that for moderate activity in moderate conditions, each worker should drink 1 cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Workers should be reminded to drink water frequently before becoming thirsty in order to maintain good hydration. While some workers may prefer the taste of sports drinks, often these types of drinks are not necessary for electrolyte replacement. Workers that eat regular meals and salt-containing snacks will usually be able to replace electrolytes lost during sweating.

In addition to providing plenty of water in convenient locations close to the work site, employers can provide urine color charts near toilet facilities. These charts show the urine colors of a hydrated person compared to a dehydrated person. The darker the urine, the more likely your body is dehydrated.

Keeping cool

Even when the body is at rest, we are internally producing heat through metabolism (breaking down the food we eat into energy). However, during physical exertion, working muscle produces heat at a much higher, faster rate. This increased heat production can result in an increase in body temperature, which above a certain temperature, can be difficult to control. Therefore, it is important to develop ways to cool down the body to help maintain core temperature and reduce the negative effects of thermal stress.

Workers should be allowed to take regular rest breaks. Breaks should be held in a shaded or air conditioned area. Employers and supervisors should be monitoring weather reports daily, and if possible, jobs with high heat exposure should be rescheduled to cooler times of the day. The use of reflective clothing, water-dampened cotton clothing (although this may not work when the humidity is very high), and cooling vests with pockets for cold packs may also be beneficial for keeping workers not only cooler for longer periods of time, but also safer.

Myths about heat stress

There are many misconceptions about heat stress, heat illnesses, and what a person should do when they are required to work hard in a hot environment. The following examples are a few of the myths and common misunderstandings about heat stress and heat illnesses.

MYTH: The difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke is there is no sweating with heat stroke.

Exertional heat stroke victims may continue to produce sweat [Dept. of the Army and Air Force Technical Bulletin 2003; Armstrong et al. 2007; Navy Environmental Health center 2007]. If a worker is experiencing symptoms of heat stroke (confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, high body temperature), whether they are sweating or not, it is a life-threatening emergency! Call 911 and try to cool the worker down.

MYTH: Taking a break in the air conditioning will ruin your acclimatization.

Acclimatization can usually be maintained for a few days of non-heat exposure, so taking a break in the air conditioning will not reduce a worker’s level of acclimatization. And it is a very effective way for workers to cool down in a fairly short period of time.

MYTH: Acclimatization will protect you during a heat wave.

Acclimatization occurs when a person is exposed to extreme environmental conditions over a 7-10 day period. However, during heat waves air temperatures rise above normal quickly, and workers will not be able to immediately acclimatize to the new, hotter temperatures. During heat waves, workers will need more breaks and rescheduling some of the harder and hotter job tasks may be warranted.

MYTH: Salt tablets are a great way to restore electrolytes lost during sweating.

Salt tablets should never be used unless a worker is instructed to do so by their doctor. Most people are able to restore electrolytes through normal meals and snacks. Workers should drink plenty of water with their meals and snacks, not only to stay hydrated but also to aid digestion. Moreover, ingestion of too much salt may cause nausea and vomiting which can worsen the level dehydration already present.

MYTH: My medications/health condition will not affect my ability to work safely in the heat.

A worker’s health and medication usage may affect how their body handles high temperatures and heavy physical exertion. Some health problems that may put a worker at a greater heat illness risk include: obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even common colds and the flu—especially if the illness is accompanied by a fever and vomiting. Certain medications may affect the body’s ability to cool down or may cause the body to heat up more quickly. Examples of medications that increase risk are diuretics, antihypertensives, and anticholinergics. Workers with health conditions or who are taking medications should discuss with their physicians about how they may be at additional risk if working in a hot environment.

NIOSH heat illness resources

NIOSH is working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other partners to provide heat illness information for employers and workers. Please share with us how you stay cool on the job. For additional information on heat stress, heat illnesses, and hot environments see:

Ms. Jacklitsch is a biologist and epidemiologist with NIOSH’s Document Development Branch.


  1. Armstrong LE, Casa DJ, Millard-Stafford M, Moran DS, Pyne SW, Roberts WO [2007]. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exertional heat illness during training and competition. Med Sci Sports Exerc 39(3): 556-572.
  2. Navy Environmental Health Center (2007). Prevention and Treatment of Heat and Cold Stress Injuries. Vol Technical Manual NEHC-TM-OEM 6260.6A. Portsmouth, Virginia. Available at:
  3. Department of the Army and Air Force Technical Bulletin (2003). Heat Stress Control and Heat Casualty Management. Available at:

Posted onAugust 12, 2011 by Brenda Jacklitsch, MS

CategoriesExposureHearing LossManufacturingOutdoor Work

Original Article:,our%20bodies%20to%20function%20properly.

Why Are Electrolytes Important For Athletes?

An electrolyte imbalance can seriously affect your hydration and overall athletic performance. But let’s be honest, the term “electrolytes” is confusing. Do everyday athletes even need to worry about electrolytes?

If you’ve ever looked at a bottle of Gatorade, you’ve likely seen the term “electrolytes”. If you’re confused how to get electrolytes or what they even do, you’re not alone. You may be wondering:

woman drinking water
What the heck are electrolytes and why are they important?
Do you need to replenish electrolytes after every workout?
Should I be taking in a certain amount of electrolytes?
How do I get electrolytes?
Can I ditch the sports drink and get electrolytes naturally through food?

This post is going to give you all the info you need to know about electrolytes, so you can master your hydration, no matter your sport.

What are electrolytes?

Quite simply, electrolytes are minerals that have an electrical charge and play a central role in many bodily functions, specifically fluid balance. The important electrolytes for athletes are sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Electrolytes are necessary  for a variety of things, like hydration, muscle contraction and blood pressure. Certain electrolytes, like sodium and potassium, are lost in sweat and need to be replaced to maintain the proper fluid balance in the body. As a matter of fact, electrolytes help with fluid absorption during exercise.

The body tightly regulates its electrolyte balance. Certain electrolytes stay in the cell, while others stay outside the cell. If electrolytes become imbalanced, you may experience fatigue, dehydration, cramping, weakness, tingling, or confusion–none of which are pleasant during your workout!

That’s why sports drinks always contain electrolytes– to replace those lost in sweat and help with fluid intake.

sports drinks in a bucket

When do you need electrolytes?

If you workout for an hour or less, chances are that your electrolyte losses are minimal. In other words, you can probably just drink water for hydration during these types of workouts.

The same goes for a longer workout that doesn’t make you sweat much, such as strength training, walking or yoga. And of course, electrolytes do not need to be replenished on rest days. In these situations, water should be enough to keep you properly hydrated.

That said, you will need to think about electrolyte replenishment in these situations:

  • you perform endurance exercise for longer than an hour
  • you exercise a really hot climate, which causes profuse sweating
  • you are a heavy sweater (you sweat through your clothes or have chalky white spots on your skin after exercise)

If any of these conditions apply and you don’t replenish electrolytes, you may experience dehydration and fatigue. In the end, your performance will suffer from an electrolyte imbalance.

Do they help performance?

Taking in electrolytes when you don’t need them will not increase performance. But ensuring that you have adequate stores of electrolytes in the body will ensure that you can perform at your best.

Since athletes lose electrolytes in sweat, having a negative electrolyte balance can negatively affect hydration status. Dehydration is associated with fatigue, increase perceptions of exertion and a decrease in performance. That’s why it’s important to replace any electrolytes that are lost during exercise.

How much do you need?

This is a question I get asked often… “If I’m sweating heavily during a workout, how many electrolytes do I need to take in to replace those lost in sweat?” Unfortunately there is no good answer to this question because people are so incredibly varied in their sweat rates.

Some people may lose a pound of sweat when exercising in the heat for an hour, while others may sweat minimal amounts. Plus, the conditions (climate, duration, activity level) for every workout are different. That’s why it’s nearly impossible to say how many electrolytes you need to replenish during a workout.

That said, you can calculate your sweat rate to determine how much sweat you’re losing during a workout. This will help you determine how much fluid you need to take in during exercise.

Some estimates say that you lose 500 milligrams of sodium for every pound of sweat, but that is a VERY rough estimate. When thinking about electrolyte replenishment, pay attention to your body and how you feel rather than the exact measurement.

A good way to assess hydration is to take a look at the color of your urine. If it’s pale yellow, you are properly hydrated. If it’s darker yellow, you’re dehydrated. You can also tell if you’re dehydrated if you get a headache, dizziness, extreme fatigue or muscle cramps during a workout.

Foods with electrolytes

While sports drinks contain the electrolytes you need to stay hydrated and fueled during an intense workout, you can also find electrolytes in whole foods. Let’s dive into the essential electrolytes and how to eat and drink natural sources of each.


This mineral aids in fluid retention and plays a role in nerve and muscle function, as well as blood volume and blood pressure control. Without enough sodium, blood pressure may drop or you can become dehydrated.

It’s true that most Americans meet (and exceed) their daily sodium recommendations (2300 milligrams per day). But if you’re an athlete who loses a lot of sodium from sweat, taking in more than the 2300 milligrams per day likely won’t have any negative side effects.

Pretzels contain the electrolyte sodium
For those who workout intensely or sweat profusely, it may be necessary to add an extra pinch of table salt to your meals. Sodium is found in your favorite salty snacks and most canned and packaged foods.
If you meet any of the criteria listed in the bullet points above, try adding some of these salty foods to your diet:
olives (Try them in this Mediterranean Bulgur Salad)
pretzels (these Pretzel Date Balls are a delicious pre-workout snack)
table salt
saltine crackers
beans (add beans to this Southwestern Quinoa Bowl)
bread (make a post-workout Egg Sandwich)
soup (Moroccan Lentil Soup)
Everyone knows calcium as the mineral responsible for bone health. Although 99% of calcium is stored in our bones, the rest functions as an electrolyte in the in the the body.
Calcium helps with nerve signaling, blood clotting, hormone secretion, muscle contraction, and normal heart function. Without ample calcium consumption, the body pulls calcium from the bones, causing them to weaken overtime.
Milk is full of the electrolyte calcium

Most adults need 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day, and these foods provide at least 10% of that recommendation in one serving. They make a great addition to any athlete’s diet:
Dairy foods (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese)
Tahini (Maple Oat Tahini Bites)
Dried Figs
Chia Seeds
Leafy Greens
Soy Products (Tempeh Stir Fry)
Fortified Oatmeal
Fortified Orange Juice
Enriched Milk Alternatives
Canned Fish with soft edible bones
While calcium helps muscles contract, magnesium causes them relax. Magnesium also allows muscles to take in oxygen and plays a role in maintaining a normal heartbeat and muscle function.

Leafy greens are a natural source of magnesium
Women need 310 to 320 milligrams of calcium per day, while men need 400 to 420 milligrams. Not eating enough magnesium may negatively affect athletic performance and can cause weakness and even muscle spasms.
Great sources of magnesium include:

Spinach (try this gorgeous Spring Strawberry Salad)
Edamame/soy (Vegan Sushi Bowl)
Quinoa (Quinoa Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette)
Lentils (Greek Lentil Power Bowl)
Nuts & Seeds – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds/butter, almonds, flax seeds, cashews, chia seeds
A vital part of hydration and muscle contraction (including heart muscles, digestive muscles, etc.), potassium plays a major role in proper heart function. Similar to the other electrolytes, a potassium deficiency can cause muscle weakness, cramping, and abnormal heart rhythms.
Bananas contain tons of potassium, a natural way to replenish electrolytes

You need 3500 to 4700 milligrams of potassium in a day. You can find potassium in:
Bananas (Banana Chia Oat Cups)
Winter Squash (Butternut Squash Risotto)
Orange Juice
By incorporating whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean sources of protein, and adequate water, most of us can meet our electrolyte needs. Be sure to drink water before, during, and after your workouts to ensure proper hydration, energy, and muscle function. A balanced post-workout meal or snack can easily replace lost electrolytes and aid in recovery.

Original Article:



We all know that the worst part of a night of drinking is what always seems to come after: a hangover. While there is no magical cure to a hangover, there are a number of things you can do to help. First and foremost, drink lots of water and load up on electrolytes before you go to bed. Electrolytes and water will not prevent all hangovers, but they will help relieve its effects and, if you’re lucky, might stop a minor hangover from happening at all.


Everyone knows that if you drink enough alcohol you’ll end up hungover in the morning, but not everyone knows why. Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons to why alcohol causes hangovers.


Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it causes higher than normal levels of urination. Normally, our bodies naturally regulate the levels of fluid to keep it at a healthy level. With a diuretic, the excessive urination drains our bodies of fluid and dehydrates us. This leads to headaches, nausea, muscle aches, and dizziness.


According to a study by The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, alcoholic beverages cause acute gastritis. This means that alcohol upsets the stomach and intestines causing inflammation. It also causes the production of gastric acid and other secretions that can lead to nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

While these are all symptoms of a hangover, vomiting actually compounds the problems by ridding your stomach of water and further dehydrating you.


Vomiting and excessive urination also cause your body to lose electrolytes. An electrolyte imbalance is one of the biggest causes of hangovers. Without electrolytes, our bodies are unable to properly balance hydration levels, maintain efficient muscle function, or balance pH levels. This contributes to headaches and muscle weakness.


Vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels, is a direct result of dehydration and alcohol intoxication. This causes your brain to swell and results in a headache.


Even though alcohol makes you tired, it actually inhibits your body’s natural REM cycles and prevents quality sleep. This causes muscle weakness, drowsiness, and difficulty forming memories. Enough alcohol and your REM cycles may simply not happen, resulting in a “blackout”.


Alcohol inhibits the production of sugar (glucose) in the body and depletes the body’s glucose reserves. Glucose is the main source of energy in the brain and low blood sugar levels can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, and mood swings.


There are a number of electrolytes--such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium--that each serve one or more important functions within the body. Maintaining the correct electrolyte levels in your body is key to staying (and feeling) healthy and avoiding the worst effects of a hangover. (For a full guide on electrolytes click here)


This is what most people tend to think of when they think of electrolytes--and for good reason. Without electrolytes, your body would not be able to balance the levels of water between cells. When you work out, or simply engage in day-to-day life, different cells use more water than others. This naturally creates imbalances throughout the body.

Without getting too much into the science, water is able to correct these imbalances through osmosis. This is a process in which water naturally moves from areas with a lower concentration of molecules, to areas with a higher concentration of molecules within the water. Electrolytes serve as the molecule that allows water to move to areas with depleted water.

With an electrolyte imbalance, water molecules will not properly move to dehydrated areas.


Our brains are able to send messages and communicate with the rest of the body by using electrical signals caused by changes in the electric charge on the outside of nerve cells. Electrolytes are what make this possible.

Sodium and potassium, two important electrolytes, alternate within nerve cells to allow electrical signals to pass through them. Without enough electrolytes, these signals will slow down and make us feel groggy, slow, and weak.


Electrolytes in our muscles are what allow them to contract and relax. When triggered by the brain, a muscle will use calcium to contract and magnesium to relax. Without enough of these two electrolytes, muscle contractions may be slow and/or the muscles will lose much of their strength.


Movement of muscles naturally creates lactic acid, which can be toxic to other cells. The electrolyte bicarbonate neutralizes the lactic acid and balances the body’s pH levels.


There is no such thing as a “hangover cure”--but electrolytes and water are by far the best thing you can use to help minimize hangover effects. 

Drinking alcohol causes you to lose a lot of water and creates electrolyte imbalances. When parts of your body become dehydrated (like when you drink high amounts of alcohol), your body attempts to balance body fluids. It needs electrolytes to do this.

Normally, you would have an electrolyte imbalance from the alcohol, but if you make sure to hydrate and replenish your electrolytes while drinking or shortly after, you might be able to avoid the worst effects of dehydration.

Reloading your electrolytes also replenishes the electrolyte stores in your muscles, which can help prevent muscle fatigue and weakness.


Electrolytes can help remedy some of the worst effects of a hangover, but don’t count on them to cure every one. Even though water and electrolytes solve many of the negative effects of alcohol, there is no universal cure. Luckily, there are other things you can do to complement water and electrolytes that may stop a hangover--or at least remedy the more unpleasant effects.



Consume plenty of water and electrolytes while you drink, after you drink, and when you wake up to continuously hydrate and replenish your electrolyte reserves. Some good sources of electrolytes include bananas, coconut water, and pickle juice. One of the best sources is sports drinks; an electrolyte hydration mix mixed into water can hydrate you and provide all the necessary electrolytes.


You’ve definitely heard this plenty of times, but it really does help. Drinking a ton of alcohol can overload your body before it has a chance to recover. If you are set on drinking a lot, try to consume it over a longer period of time and drink lots of water. This can give your body a better chance to regain strength between drinks.


Congener is a toxic chemical byproduct created in some drinks during fermentation. It is known to worsen hangovers and prolong the negative effects. Drinks with little to no congeners are vodka, gin, and rum. Drinks with a lot of congeners are tequila, bourbon, whiskey, and cognac. A good rule of thumb is that darker beverages contain more congeners.


Some of the worst effects of alcohol are caused by low blood sugar. Eating hearty meals before and after you drink, as well as the following morning, can help your body replenish glucose levels and provide vitamins and minerals essential to a quick recovery.


A lack of sleep itself does not cause a hangover, but it can worsen its effects. Sleeping puts your body in a prime state to recover, especially if you don’t drink too much right before going to bed. Consider drinking earlier in the day or night to allow your body to recover enough to get a good night’s rest.


Having another drink the following morning does show some signs of easing the negative effects of alcohol. According to a study by PubMed Central, Alcohol can help slow the conversion in your body of methanol into formaldehyde, a toxic compound. However, this does not actually contribute to recovery and may form an unhealthy cycle.


Here at ATAQ, our Electrolyte Hydration Mix gives you all the electrolytes you need with less than ⅓ of the sugar than other sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade. While Gatorade only includes sodium and potassium, our proprietary formula also includes calcium and magnesium, as well as 2x the potassium. We only use natural cane sugar in our products and our hydration mix includes betaine, a unique ingredient that actively metabolizes carbs and proteins. Our electrolyte hydration powder (mix) was formulated for athletes but can come in handy for a lot of other people and reasons too.


Original Article:

Why Do Electrolytes Help Hangovers?

Any of us who have suffered from a severe hangover know how awful a night of boozing makes you feel. Dizziness, nausea, a stabbing headache, dreadful fatigue, inability to concentrate — these are all common symptoms. While there are multiple causes for these side effects, dehydration is definitely one of them. Many try to prevent it with electrolyte supplements, but why do electrolytes help hangovers? You might be asking yourself if it actually even works or if it’s just a myth. But does it work?

First of all, alcohol is incredibly dehydrating because it inhibits the hormone vasopressin1 2, which helps your kidneys reabsorb water and stops you from urinating. Without vasopressin, you end up going to the bathroom more and losing more water. While this might not be a big deal during happy hour, you'll certainly feel the effects of dehydration — headache, dry mouth, fatigue — when you're hungover, which is why you need water ASAP.

So plain drinking water is your first line of defense while you're drinking alcohol, because it essentially slows the effects of intoxication, meaning you'll get less drunk and feel less hungover the morning after. Drinking about a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have will keep your kidneys working the way that they should be.


Electrolytes are key to hydration, and electrolyte-rich drinks are often lauded as solutions to basic everyday problems and ailments, including hangovers. Some might even refer to these electrolyte drinks as a hangover cure in a bottle.

When your body becomes dehydrated, it has to ration the water it has left. Your heart and lungs are pretty important, so it focuses on those and a few other organs and starts sending water from places like your muscles and brain.

With less water, the brain starts to contract, pulling on the nerves around it creating a massive headache. Your muscles, depleted of water and electrolytes, become sore and fatigued as if you’d overexerted them the day before.

As that water is streaming out of you and into the toilet, it’s pulling electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium out with it, which you need for normal muscle and nerve function4.


Electrolytes are chemical compounds that can break down into ions when dissolved in water. The main examples of electrolytes are sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate.

Once electrolytes are in our bodies, they dissolve into positive and negative charges. These charges have two main functions: regulating the flow of water in and out of cells, and sparking nerve impulses. 

Sodium and potassium work together to maintain the correct balance of fluids inside and outside of your cells, ensuring that your cells neither shrivel up like raisins nor explode like over-filled water balloons. Calcium and magnesium are important for building strong bones. 

More importantly, these electrically charged minerals help to stimulate contractions in the heart and other muscles, and also help maintain proper pH, keeping your blood from becoming too acidic or too alkaline.


Sports drink Gatorade and Purple Tree's Hydration Drops advertise themselves as electrolyte-replenishers because they contain sodium, potassium, magnesium, and other ions. 

When humans sweat, we lose ions necessary for vital bodily functions; to replenish them, we need to consume more ions, often in the form of an electrolyte solution. In the human body, electrolytes have many uses, including helping neurons conduct electrical impulses.

In other words, electrolyte supplements are the ideal way to replenish the body's water and electrolyte concentrations after dehydration caused by exercise5, excessive alcohol consumption (hangover), diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, intoxication or starvation. Athletes exercising in extreme conditions (for three or more hours continuously, like marathon or triathlon) who do not consume electrolytes risk dehydration (or hyponatremia).


Timing is everything. When it comes to an electrolyte supplement (liquid or powder), it can be more helpful if consumed before you go to bed. While that’s a prescription that can be hard to follow if you’ve already had too much to drink, rehydrating before sleep will lessen your chances of waking up dehydrated and reduce the symptoms of a hangover.

Furthermore, we want to reduce the amount of vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormone) downregulation that happens when we drink so that we don’t have to be as worried about the dehydration. A good option is to consume more potassium. Potassium has been shown to increase vasopressin production, so if you start eating more white beans, spinach, or baked potatoes, you can potentially spike your vasopressin production before you go out drinking.

Even if you can increase your vasopressin, you’re still at risk of it going below normal and dehydrating you, so you want to take every precaution.

The best way to prevent dehydration is to make sure you’re hydrated before you go out, while you’re drinking alcohol, and before you go to sleep. You can use regular water for this, but a better option is to mix it with electrolytes.

Of course, the ultimate hangover cure is abstaining from alcohol entirely. It’s truly the only way to prevent the dreadful side effects of booze. 


  1. Role of plasma vasopressin in changes of water balance accompanying acute alcohol intoxication
  2. Vasopressin and alcohol: a multifaceted relationship
  3. Effects of two different strategies of fluid administration on inflammatory mediators, plasma electrolytes and acid/base disorders in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery
  4. Electrolyte
  5. Influence of Hydration and Electrolyte Supplementation on Incidence and Time to Onset of Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps
  6. High potassium intake increases the plasma concentration and urinary excretion of vasopressin in the rat

Original Article:

Electrolyte Drinks: Beneficial or Not?

These minerals play a vital role in the body

Female athlete drinking sports drink

There’s no shortage of neon-colored sport and electrolyte drinks claiming to improve physical performance and help you recover. Whether you’re sipping these drinks because you just had an intense work out or you’re getting over the flu – are the health benefits really paying off?

According to registered dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CCSD, LD, there is a proper time and place for electrolyte drinks. 

What are electrolytes and what do they do?

Electrolytes are minerals found in your blood that help regulate and control the balance of fluids in the body. These minerals play a role in regulating blood pressure, muscle contraction and keep your system functioning properly.

The big three electrolytes are:

The right amount of electrolytes in your body is needed for optimal health and physical performance.

If you lose a significant amount of these minerals (either by intense exercise, sweating, vomiting or diarrhea), you’re going to experience dehydration and feel pretty lousy. You might also experience muscle cramping and spasms.

Cue dehydration

Most of us have felt the effects of being dehydrated at one point or another – dry lips and tongue, headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, cramps.

The main sign of dehydration? Thirst.

How many electrolytes you lose during exercise depends on weight, fitness level, intensity, duration of activity, humidity and how much you sweat.

The primary electrolyte we lose through sweat is sodium.

“Sodium sometimes gets a bad rep, but it helps us retain fluids,” explains Patton. “When you’re sweating from exercise or sweating from a fever, you’re losing fluid, and overtime it will cause dehydration.”

Electrolyte drinks: What to look for

Electrolyte drinks come in a variety of forms – from tablets that you drop into water, to powders that you mix up, to liquid that comes in a regular water bottle.

Not all electrolyte drinks are created equal though, so Patton recommends reading the label first. If you’re working out for an hour or less, regular H20 will do. But if you’re exercising upwards of 75 minutes or more (of if it’s very hot out), then an electrolyte drink is a good idea during or after your work out.

A typical 8 ounce electrolyte drink has approximately 14 grams sugar, 100 milligrams sodium and 30 milligrams potassium. There are even specialty electrolyte drinks for endurance and ultra-endurance athletes with greater potassium and sodium, plus additional minerals like magnesium and calcium.

If you’re naturally a heavy sweater or looking to replenish hydration after you’ve been sick, focus on choosing zero or low-calorie options, says Patton.  

She also recommends reading the labels on immunity and vitamin drinks. Some of these options don’t necessarily have electrolytes in them, so they won’t do much for replenishing hydration.

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We can all picture athletes chugging down sports drinks to replenish their lost electrolytes. But, athletes aren’t the only ones who need to keep their bodies hydrated and fluid levels balanced. The demands of construction can really throw workers’ bodies off balance both physically and mentally. Understanding the importance of hydration for construction workers keeps us safe and ultimately more productive. During the summer months we need to find effective ways to beat the heat and get the job done!

Even Slight Dehydration Causes A Drop In Productivity

A 1% drop in hydration can decrease a worker’s productivity by 12%, and they may begin experiencing decreased cognitive abilities, lower concentration and alertness, and slower reaction times. As a worker becomes more dehydrated their effectiveness drops rapidly. A 3-4% decline in hydration can result in a 25% (or more) drop in productivity.

Delayed Reaction Time

At 3% dehydration, a worker’s reaction time is equivalent to someone with a blood alcohol content of .08%. At that blood alcohol level, you are about 5X more likely to cause an automobile accident. So at 3% dehydration not only does productivity suffer drastically, but accidents are likely.

A new study in the April issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that:

“… athletes can stave off fatigue 37% longer if they drink sports drinks — the kind with electrolytes and carbohydrates in them. They also run faster, have better motor skills, and are mentally sharper”.

How Do Electrolytes Work?

Electrolytes are chemicals that form electrically charged particles, or ions, in body fluids. Since electrolytes form ionic minerals they possess a positive or negative charge. This electrical energy is needed for all sorts of bodily functions and processes. All bodies at work or play need electrolytes to keep the nervous system and muscles functioning properly at optimal levels.

Although there are more, the five key electrolytes are:

  • Sodium – helps maintain the balance of water in and around your cells. It’s important for proper muscle and nerve function. It also helps maintain stable blood pressure levels.
  • Chloride – is a negatively charged ion that works with other electrolytes, such as potassium, sodium, and bicarbonate, to help regulate the amount of fluid in the body and maintain the acid-base balance.
  • Magnesium – helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heart beat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein.
  • Calcium – essential for bone development and also nerve transmission and muscle growth
  • Potassium – helps regulate fluid balance, nerve signals and muscle contractions, and the ph. level in blood (should be 7.35-7.45, slightly alkaline). Also can lower blood pressure.

The problems begin when the sweating starts. Excessive sweating during exercising—or when pouring concrete, hanging sheet rock, fitting pipe, or swinging a hammer—is what leads to dehydration and subsequent electrolyte loss. When bodies sweat, they lose both water and electrolytes, particularly sodium and chloride.

Not Just For “Athletes”

No matter what our task at hand is, chances are it’s going to involve sweating. Put that job outside in the heat and exposure to the elements, add in hard hats and Hi-Viz apparel worn over our clothes, and it’s easy to see why the heat is usually on for construction workers.

So, while weekend warriors may face electrolyte loss a couple times a week, construction workers face a daily battle with electrolyte loss, especially in the summer, or in areas with hotter climates. Keeping jobsite productivity up when we’re out in the heat means being aware of signs of lost electrolytes and knowing how to replenish them efficiently.

How To Know If You’re Getting Dehydrated

Working through the conditions of dehydration is not only physically uncomfortable, but can be downright dangerous when operating heavy equipment and working with tools. For our safety, and everyone on our crew, the need to replenish electrolytes is vital.

Signs Of Dehydration

  • Low blood pressure
  • White fingertips
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Skin that takes longer to return to its normal shape after you pinch it

Symptoms Of Electrolyte Loss

  • Muscle cramping or twitching
  • Fatigue, dizziness, nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Loss of focus or confusion
  • Headache

Even mild dehydration can have negative effects on physical and mental performance. It can result in reduced energy levels, reduced endurance, and can even harm brain function. A familiar reaction to electrolyte loss is cramping. But by the time cramping sets in the body is already out of electrolytes. Cramping is the body’s way of indicating it is on empty. The goal in replenishing electrolytes is not so much to prevent cramping, but to maintain specific bodily functions at optimal levels.

Needless to say, if you, or a coworker is experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s time to find some shade, and replenish. Always better to take a break rather than risk possible injury.

EVEN BETTER is to stay ahead of these symptoms. Studies confirm that keeping your electrolyte levels up allows you to stay focused, and work in the heat for longer periods between breaks.

Best Ways To Replenish

Water can fend off dehydration but water alone won’t replenish lost sodium, chloride, potassium and other minerals. Just drinking sports drinks isn’t the only way to replenish electrolytes.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are full of electrolytes and carbohydrates (in the form of sugar) – which bind to electrolytes and water, delivering water and nutrients to your muscles faster. If you are working hard all day, this level of sugar is actually helpful. If you are working at a low level of intensity, then a good rule of thumb is to reduce your sugar intake by also including some sugar-free options.

Enhanced Water

Adding electrolyte packets to your water is an economical and effective way to replenish lost electrolytes. These drink mixes are enhanced with minerals necessary to replenish sodium, potassium and other lost minerals, and are beneficial to keep workers going and energy levels up. Some brands of water contain added electrolytes, but most people drink more water when it’s flavored.

Coconut Water

Packed with nutrients and low in sugar, coconut water is a great way to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes, especially potassium–which can prevent muscle cramping.

Natural Rehydration

A natural rehydration drink with electrolytes includes water, salt and sugar. Mix water with a 10-1 ratio of sugar (or honey) to sea salt. This will do the trick if you need to avoid, or reduce your sugar intake.

By the way, probably a good idea to ease off of the coffee on hot days. Coffee, and other caffeinated drinks, act as a diuretic – which  causes your body to produce urine and speeds up dehydration. 

Proper Diet Goes A Long Way

  • Healthy Food: Maintaining a healthy diet will also restock electrolyte reserves. In fact, the main sources of electrolytes are fruits and vegetables. (Were you secretly hoping I was going to say “Burgers and Curly Fries”?)

To replenish minerals through food consider adding more:

  • Sodium through Pickled foods, cheese and salt
  • Chloride through table or sea salt
  • Potassium through avocados, bananas and other fruits and vegetables
  • Magnesium through seeds and nuts, spinach

Some advocate for the use of salt tablets for electrolyte replenishment, however, they only provide two of the electrolytes your body requires—sodium and chloride—where there are others a body needs to work properly. Additionally, they can supply too much sodium and overwhelm the body’s complex mechanism for regulating sodium.

Why Not Just Drink More Water?

In the heat of the job, sweating is the biological reaction to cool core body temperature. It seems logical that drinking water would replace water lost through sweating. However, drinking more water without replacing lost electrolytes can cause dilution and deplete what little remaining electrolytes are left. So while drinking water is a requirement in preventing dehydration, workers also need to replenish electrolytes. Having both water and sports drinks available onsite for workers is a good rule of thumb to prevent and treat dehydration.

Keep The Crew Hydrated

Just like elite athletes, contractors need to keep their hardworking bodies hydrated, and preventing electrolyte loss is better than treating it after cramps or other symptoms have had a chance to set in. It’s worth emphasizing in the next safety meeting just how important replenishing electrolytes is for worker health, safety and productivity. On your jobsites make sure to set up shade areas with popups or E-Z Ups and provide a hydration station with some options. 5 or 10 gal. igloo coolers, cases of water with electrolyte packets, frozen Sqwincher Squeeze® Pops, etc, are always great ideas.

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