If you head to the bottled water aisle of any grocery store, you’ll see dozens of brands, some touting purified water, others spring water, and others (like Smart Water) claiming benefits like “enhanced with electrolytes.“ These electrolyte-infused brands tend to be pricier than your average bottled water…but the question remains: Are they worth it? Here, we’ll discuss the difference between electrolyte-enhanced and regular water, its touted benefits, and if it’s worth the extra bucks.
What Are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals that conduct electricity when dissolved in water. The most familiar electrolytes are calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chloride. They can aid with various bodily functions, including helping muscles (including your heart) contract, controlling fluid balance, regulating blood pressure, and maintaining the correct pH in the blood.
Benefits of Electrolyte-Enhanced Water
It May Improve Your Exercise Performance
If you participate in intense exercise, especially when it’s hot outside, electrolyte-enhanced water can better rehydrate you than regular water.
It Helps Rehydrate You When You Are Sick
Electrolyte water or Gatorade can help rehydrate you if you have been cursed with a stomach bug. However, note that electrolyte water alone may not be sufficient. If your symptoms continue for more than 24 hours and you still can’t keep fluids down, seek medical advice.
It Can Prevent Heat Stroke
If you spend a lot of time in the sun, you risk heat-related illnesses, including heat rashes and more dangerous heat stroke. You can prevent these illnesses by limiting your time in these hot places and drinking electrolyte-enhanced water.
It Can Alleviate the Symptoms of a Hangover
If you do find yourself hungover, electrolyte-enhanced water can help! Alcohol dehydrates the body and depletes it of electrolytes. Drinking water with electrolytes can help replenish your body with those much-needed minerals.
Is Electrolyte Water for You?
You can determine if you need electrolyte water by asking yourself the following questions:
- Are you working out for more than an hour?
- Are you sweating more than usual?
- Have you been sick with a stomach bug?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions above, electrolyte water may be for you. However, it isn’t necessary to drink it every day. Simply drinking more regular water will do the trick.
Do you drink electrolyte water? Do you notice the difference? Let us know in the comments below.