What is lost in sweat? Strenuous physical activities and heat cause your body to sweat. Sweating releases electrolytes such as salt. Click for more details.
According to health organizations such as the CDC and the American Heart Association, you need a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity per week to maintain optimal health.
And if you’re doing it right, this physical activity is going to cause you to break a sweat. Although sweating is perfectly healthy with exercise, it’s inevitable that you’ll lose certain nutrients.
But don’t worry! By knowing what is lost in sweat, you can easily replace what you sweat out.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know!
Your sweat is primarily made up of water. In fact, you lose between 1 and 3 liters of water per hour of exercise, which is why it’s so important to hydrate before, during, and after a workout.
Aim for 3 to 4 liters during your day to day activities, ensuring that you drink more with exercise. Drinking plenty of water will also boost your energy levels and your performance during your workout!
It’s true that most people get too much sodium in their diet, but sodium is an important mineral in the body and one of the electrolytes lost in sweat. Sodium helps to maintain the electrolyte balance of the body and the function of nerves and muscles.
Sodium-rich foods include:
- Salted Nuts
- Sunflower Seeds
- Table Salt
If you choose to get sodium through table salt, be sure to choose iodized salt, as iodine is another important nutrient. Microbe Formulas has an excellent overview of the importance of iodine.
Like sodium, potassium is one of the minerals lost in sweat that promotes nerve and muscle function. Specifically, potassium is an electrolyte that works in muscle contraction. As this includes regulating your heartbeat, potassium is particularly important.
Potassium-rich foods include:
- Sweet Potatoes
Though sodium and potassium are lost in the largest amounts, there are a couple more electrolytes lost in sweat in lower amounts.
One of these is calcium, a nutrient essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also needed to carry messages between the brain and body via the nervous system.
Calcium-rich foods include:
The second lesser electrolyte lost in sweat is magnesium. Magnesium is a multi-purpose nutrient, as it plays a role in over 300 reactions in your body.
This mineral is also necessary for energy production and storage, as well as strengthening your immune system.
Magnesium-rich foods include:
- Peanut Butter
- Pumpkin Seeds
Know What is Lost in Sweat So You Can Replenish Appropriately
As long as you’re replenishing what is lost in sweat through hydration and nutrient-dense foods, sweating is a healthy part of an active lifestyle.
The most important thing to do after a workout is to hydrate. After you’ve had water, eat a banana and a handful of almonds and you’re good to go!
Looking for more tips for improving your nutrition and overall health? Be sure to check out our blog!