What are Electrolytes and Why are they so important?

A little post class care warning! Keep tabs on your electrolytes.
Electrolytes are the following nutrients: sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, phosphate and sulphate.

Electrolytes are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Your kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in your blood constant despite changes in your body.

In a Bikram Yoga environment the body sweats; you are not just losing water and flushing your skin of any toxins it may have absorbed (leaving your skin lovely and soft!) but you are also losing electrolytes, particularly sodium and potassium. When you drink a lot of water, and you must to work in a Bikram environment (you should also be drinking lots in any heated environment/weather, even if you have not worked out), you are not just hydrating, you are also flushing away toxins (great) but you are also diluting and flushing away some of your electrolytes. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant.

Common symptoms of electrolyte imbalance are: nausea, dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, weakness, restlessness, confusion, fainting, irritability, dry mouth, palpitations, lack of coordination, lack of sufficient urination. Be preventative: drink water with electrolytes in it.

You must look after yourself and replenish your electrolytes. You can do this by preparing yourself prior to class by maintaining a diet with an appropriate electrolyte level to balance your expenditure, or by adding electrolytes to your water.

Om Om Om Electrify Your Asanas!
Namaste ~ Trisha