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As a human race, we are experiencing a modern epidemic called hypokinesis: a fancy word for a sedentary existence. Too many of us subject ourselves to too little body movement and the consequences can be devastating.

As a human race, we are experiencing a modern epidemic called hypokinesis: a fancy word for a sedentary existence. Too many of us subject ourselves to too little body movement and the consequences can be devastating.

To avoid the litany of disasters associated with hypokinesis, it is important to exercise daily. During exercise, it's imperative to increase your water intake, as water is vital to cardiovascular function and temperature regulation. As you exercise, muscles create an enormous amount of extra heat. This heat is transported through tiny blood vessels near the surface of your skin called capillaries and is eventually released as perspiration from your sweat glands.

Sweating is an essential mechanism of the body's cooling system. If your body doesn't have enough water and electrolytes to make this system run smoothly, your blood-carrying capacity diminishes.

Intensive exercise can cause a person to lose five to eight pounds. of fluid through perspiration, evaporation, and exhalation. Studies show that for every pound of fluid lost, there is a significant drop in the body's efficiency to produce energy; therefore sufficient water and mineral/electrolyte intake is imperative to overall health and performance.

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are specific minerals (such as sodium, calcium, potassium, chlorine, magnesium, and bicarbonate) found in blood and body fluids that carry an electric charge. In order for optimum water balance, blood pH, muscle contractions, energy production, and other important processes to optimally occur, it is imperative to maintain an intricate balance of these electrolytes.

Like water, electrolytes are depleted through excessive sweating and must be replenished through diet. For those who exercise more intensely, just drinking water may not be sufficient to maintain an optimal hydration status.

A mixture of electrolytes and carbohydrates has been shown to exert a positive reaction on fluid balance, utilization and performance if taken during and after longer periods of intense exercise. For athletes, a properly designed electrolyte/carbohydrate formula can help maintain an optimal metabolic status by balancing blood sugar chemistry while enhancing the absorption and replacement of lost fluid and electrolytes.

In order to ensure effective gastric emptying, make sure that the formula does not have a carbohydrate concentration over six percent, as this can significantly affect the rate at which the formula is used by the body and possibly impact performance in a negative manner. Thankfully, most non-carbonated sport formulas meet this standard.

In order to combat the hypokinesis epidemic, we need to maintain the levels of water and electrolytes in our body. If we don't we may see increased cases of obesity and diabetes.

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