Replenish your electrolytes! Gatorade, Nuun Hydration, and Cocogo are just a few of the many companies marketing their products to athletes for the purpose of providing electrolytes to speed up recovery. What are electrolytes you ask? Well, basically salt.
Our blood, plasma, and interstitial fluid (fluid between cells) are like seawater. They have a high concentration of salt. That salt is made up of ions which have either a positive or negative charge. Some of the popular ones you may recognize are: potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium.
At the cellular level, your body communicates through electrical impulses. Electrolytes are used to maintain voltages across cell membranes. Your heart, nerves, and muscles rely of electrolytes to communicate. If you lose your electrolytes, your body’s communication network crashes.
Athletes lose electrolytes in their sweat during strenuous exercise. In particular, runners lose a lot of sodium and potassium during endurance events lasting longer than one hour. The bigger you are, and the more you sweat, the more you’ll need to replace. That’s why it’s important to ingest more than just water when you run a marathon.
Sports drinks contain high levels of electrolytes to aid in recovery. However, these drinks often contain high amounts of sugar as well. Sugar can help boost energy and also make the drink taste better. But, not everyone wants the extra calories that come with sugary drinks, and may want to look at Pedialyte or a comparable product for electrolyte recovery. You could also find your salt in a bag of chips, but that isn’t the healthiest solution.
One product that stands out among the crowd is Cocogo. Cocogo is made from coconut water and freeze-dried fruit. Each stick contains a powdery mix that can be combined with water for a quick and refreshing drink. Many athletes find that drinking Cocogo during their training alleviates the upset stomachs caused by other sports drinks. You can choose from lemon-lime, raspberry passion-fruit, or grape.
I was intrigued with coconut water after learning that Usain Bolt drinks fresh coconut water after his track workouts. Coconut contains many of the necessary electrolytes our bodies crave after prolonged exercise. Cocogo’s combination of coconut and fruits provides a natural recovery solution. Refer to the chart below to see how it stacks up with other sports drinks.