Tag Archives: Endura Lemon-Lime by Metagenics

Shining the Light on Electrolytes

electrolytesJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks

Electrolytes. Most of us have heard of them. But what are they and why is it so important to keep them balanced? Electrolytes are formed when minerals or salts dissolve in fluid, causing them to separate into positively and negatively charged ions, thereby creating an electrically conductive solution. As a result of their ability to conduct electrical charges, electrolytes are able to regulate fluid distribution in the body, a very important role in our superhighway of cells, tissues, organs and fluid that thrive in homeostasis. In order to function normally, the body must maintain constant fluid levels in the blood, the cells and the areas around the cells. Electrolytes regulate heart beat, nerve and muscle function, blood volume and pH levels, blood pressure, and our body’s hydration level.

Electrolyte levels are kept constant by the kidneys and by the release of certain adrenal and kidney hormones. Specialized kidney cells monitor the amounts of sodium, potassium and water in the blood stream, while these specific hormones are released to keep electrolyte balance within the narrow range of normal limits. To maintain fluid balance, the body actively moves electrolytes in and out of cells. Electrolytes can become imbalanced when one loses a large amount of fluid quickly. This can occur as result of illness, disease, excessive sweating, serious injuries and dehydration or over-hydration. The most common imbalances are excessive or insufficient levels of sodium, magnesium or potassium.

When electrolyte balance is disturbed, disorders may develop. Signs may include irregular heartbeat, blood pressure changes, muscle spasms, convulsions, fatigue or weakness. Since electrolyte balance is basically determined by our food and water consumption, proper nutrition is essential. A well-balanced diet will generally supply an adequate amount of electrolytes. Colorful fruits and vegetables are naturally high in electrolytes, especially calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium. Electrolytes found in our bodies include sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride, hydrogen phosphate and hydrogen carbonate and all have specific roles.  

Sodium – Most often found in the blood plasma, sodium plays a significant role in water level regulation and balance in the body. So much so that wherever sodium goes, water follows. The kidneys help maintain balance by filtering excess sodium from the blood and adjusting the amount excreted in urine. Most of us get more than enough sodium from added salts in our diets. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and to fluid buildup in those who have less than optimal organ function.

Potassium – Found concentrated within the cells, potassium is essential for the electrical impulses that allow for brain and muscle function. Potassium aids in muscle building, helps control pH balance and is necessary for the electrical activity of the heart. Too little potassium can cause weak muscles and abnormal heart beat. Too much can result in poor kidney function.

Calcium – Necessary to promote strong bones and teeth, calcium aids communication between the brain and the body. It regulates muscle contraction including heart beat and aids normal blood clotting. Calcium also plays a role in hormone and enzyme release. Signs of deficiency can include muscle cramps, minor tingling or numbness in the fingers, lethargy and osteoporosis. Excessive calcium can result in loss of appetite, kidney toxicity and irregular heartbeat.

Magnesium – Required for over 300 metabolic processes, magnesium aids in muscle contraction and relaxation, maintains energy levels and sustains heart and blood vessel health. Together with calcium, magnesium supports healthy bones and helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Symptoms of deficiency may include insomnia, constipation, high blood pressure, fatigue or muscle spasms. While it’s unusual to have excess magnesium, symptoms can include muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, very low blood pressure or breathing difficulties.

Bicarbonate – This important electrolyte keeps the acid-base levels of the body in balance. Bicarbonate aids in buffering the acids that build up in the body as normal byproducts of metabolism. A low blood level of bicarbonate can result in metabolic acidosis, which means the body is too acidic. A high blood level indicates metabolic alkalosis, in which the body is too alkaline. When the body is too acidic, proper digestion is negatively affected and may result in lowered immune function, hormonal imbalances, and poor nutrient absorption. Normal body pH is slightly alkaline. The body makes constant adjustments in tissue and fluid pH in order to maintain homeostasis.

Maintaining electrolyte balance is one more good reason to eat a healthy, natural diet. Eating a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits and drinking plenty of water daily will aid the body in maintaining homeostasis and functioning properly. Sports drinks are great for replacing electrolytes after a tough workout, but remember they do contain a fair amount of sugar. Don’t drink them as a casual beverage, rather save them for rehydration after a minimum of one hour of physical activity, to rehydrate during illness or anytime you have excessive perspiration. Remember to rehydrate with water according to your thirst and consider sports drinks during high-intensity and long-duration exercise.  

Great products for rehydration and electrolyte replacement include:

Endura Lemon-Lime
 Endura® Lemon Lime by Metagenics provides a unique blend of electrolyte minerals formulated to provide energy and promote electrolyte absorption. This gluten free, vegetarian, Non-GMO formulation is naturally flavored and contains no artificial sweeteners. Also available in natural orange flavor.
Electrolyte Synergy
Electrolyte Synergy™ by Designs for Health provides a complete, balanced electrolyte formula to aid in the promotion of optimal hydration, exercise recovery and energy production.
Electro-pH Complex (K-86)
Electro-pH™ Complex (K-86) by Apex Energetics provides key minerals for fluid electrolyte balance support. Natural vanilla flavor.
Electrolyte/Energy Formula
Electrolyte/Energy Formula by Pure Encapsulations helps to replenish electrolytes lost during exertion, aids in retaining hydration and supports physical and mental stamina. Natural lemon-lime flavor.
Electrolytes. http://www.emedicinehealth.com/electrolytes/page11_em.htm#bicarbonate_hco3
What are electrolytes?
What Are Body Electrolytes.

Work Out – Don’t Burn Out

workout burnoutBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Those of us who struggle to find the time and the motivation to exercise might find this slightly hilarious.  Can we exercise too much, too intensely, too frequently?  Mental health experts think so.  There is a difference between avid exercise enthusiasm and exercise obsession.  It all depends on attitude.  If you exercise regularly because you enjoy the health benefits it provides and the feel good after effects of your efforts, you have the right mindset.  If you exercise because you fear missing a workout, feel guilty or stressed if you miss a day at the gym, miss social events in order to  work out, or exercise in spite of having injuries, you may be at risk for developing an exercise disorder. 

“There is no set formula or standard that reveals how much exercising is too much,” says Theresa Fassihi, Ph.D., a psychologist with the Eating Disorders Program at The Menninger Clinic.  “But if exercising is interfering in a person’s life, and it is compulsory, then it may be a problem.”   It is common for people with exercise disorders to also have an eating disorder.  Problems occur when body perception doesn’t match reality.  People with an exercise disorder commonly over exercise to burn more calories, build more muscle or attain their notion of physical perfection.  They may be preoccupied with their body’s appearance, weight and muscle mass and can spend a lot of time scrutinizing and criticizing their physique.

Eating disorders aside, there are many exercisers who over-train and feel like they can’t take a break from exercising because they don’t want to gain weight or get off track.  Overtraining can leave you vulnerable to injury and illness, which might keep you away from exercise for weeks or even months.  You are overdoing it if your workouts suddenly feel harder than usual or you feel like you are losing ground in spite of the fact that you are working harder than before.  Overdoing your workouts can lead to diminished strength (and horrors!), increased body fat.  Hitting the gym too often can actually make you less fit. 

“The benefits you want from working out – getting leaner, stronger, healthier – reverse when you don’t take breaks,” says Holly Parker, Ph.D., a lecturer at Harvard University and a certified personal trainer.  Muscles are not designed for high intensity exercise seven days a week. 
Intense exercise creates tiny tears in muscle fiber that require recovery and healing time in order to build more muscle.  The best way to recover from a particularly hard workout is a day or two of rest followed by a light exercise session.  Signs that you may be over exercising include:

  • Fatigue.  If your exercise routine leaves you mentally or physically exhausted rather than revitalized, you are likely pushing it too hard and need to reassess. 
  • Decreased performance.  One of the earliest signs of overload is a drop in your workout performance.  This is most often apparent in endurance activities such as running, swimming and cycling. 
  • Moodiness.   If you’re in a funky mood or have a short fuse, your body and mind may be experiencing fatigue making it harder to cope with life’s annoyances.  Stress hormones such as cortisol are released when you are emotionally or physically overloaded.   Studies have linked excess cortisol to insomnia, increased belly fat, and decreased testosterone, limiting its ability to  build muscle tissue. 
  • Delayed recovery time.  Listen to your body.  If you have persistent muscle soreness that lasts for days after a workout, you need take a step back and rest. 
  • Sleep disturbance.  Restlessness, inability to sleep, or sleeping too much are all signs of overtraining.  Your body and brain require sleep time for repair.  If you are tired and sluggish all day and then have trouble sleeping at night, it’s a telltale sign you need a break.   
  • Heavy legs.  When your legs feel like dead weights, heavy, tired, and overly fatigued, the muscles have not had time to recharge and repair. 
  • Lack of motivation or disinterest in exercise.  A significant decrease in enjoyment of exercise that had you previously stoked is a sure sign of burnout.  If your workout has become a chore or something you “have to do,” you are pushing too hard. 
  • Compromised immune system.  When you keep trying to push through without adequate rest, you risk a weakened immune system, inflammation or injury.  You may become more susceptible to illness and it may take longer to recover. 

As with many things in life, balance is the key.  You need to work out hard enough to challenge your body at your current fitness level, while giving your body a chance to recuperate in between workouts.  This doesn’t mean you have to skip exercise entirely.  Just be sure to include lighter workouts, such as walking or yoga, in between high intensity workouts.  These recovery workouts will help you stay in shape and cross training can help you avoid overuse injuries.  Make each workout count and be satisfied when you’ve finished.  Rest assured, taking an occasional day off allows your body to recover, rebuild and get stronger and leaner.  When your restless energy returns to the point where you really want to go and work out, you’ll know your body has sufficiently recovered and is ready for more intense physical exercise. 

Klean Endurance by Klean Athlete Klean Endurance chews are an all-natural D-ribose supplement clinically proven to help restore and replenish energy.  This formula supports cardiac function and reduction of muscle soreness and fatigue. 

Catalyte by Thorne Performance –  Staying hydrated and full of crucial electrolytes is essential for all levels of exercise and athletic performance.  The CATALYTE™ powder formula contains vitamins, minerals, creatine, and D-Ribose that help repair and rebuild muscle.

Endura Lemon-Lime by Metagenics –  This patented rehydration formula contains a unique, balanced blend of electrolyte minerals and carbohydrates designed to delay the onset of fatigue during strenuous activity and replace electrolytes lost through perspiration.