If you are looking for a sports drink, you probably already know the importance of electrolytes. The key electrolytes in the body, sodium and potassium, work together in order to maintain a proper environment for good muscular contraction.
When these begin to get off balance, poor ability to develop maximal force, feelings of weakness, dizziness, and cramping can all result. If the condition is left to progress, exercise will eventually cease.
This is a big reason why, if you are involved in longer duration activities, it is essential to find a beverage that replenishes any electrolytes that you lose when you sweat.
Many sports beverages out on the market, will also be formulated so that when you drink them, the ratio of the potassium and sodium will trigger a thirst response, further helping you to maintain your fluid needs. Dehydration can get extremely serious as well, so maintaining fluid balance is just as important.
Most often you'll see the ratio of potassium to sodium approximately around 1:3. So for example, an 8 oz. serving of a sports beverage would have 30mg of potassium, along with 110 mg of sodium. Some will be closer to 1:4, while others will be around 1:2, but there should always be more sodium than there is potassium.
So, have a look at the nutritional panel next time you are about to purchase your choice of sports beverage to make sure it is going to be meeting your needs.