Here’s Exactly When You Need Electrolytes Throughout the Day

This post is part of a partnership with Hydrant. As always, we only partner with brands we truly love. Want to try Hydrant for yourself? Use this link to purchase your Essentials Sampler order, and they’ll add in a free water bottle!

Sure, sports drinks are tasty, and maybe you’ve felt like LeBron James after chugging one during a pick-up game. But are you giving any deeper thought to when you should drink electrolytes beyond “Hmm, that lemon-lime flavor sounds really good right now”?

when do you need electrolytes

Electrolytes, remember, are minerals found in your blood that help regulate and control the balance of fluids in your body; the big ones you’ve probably heard of are potassium, sodium, magnesium, and zinc. They help regulate your blood pressure, muscle contraction, and overall body functions. 

But when do you need to drink electrolytes? Instead of adding an electrolyte supplement to your water bottle when you happen to remember, here’s a handy guide for the best times to have electrolytes throughout the day.

When your workout is 75 minutes or longer

Calling all marathoners and triathletes: as you get into longer runs and brick workouts, start adding in electrolytes. As we touched on here, the more you sweat, the more electrolytes and water you lose. So, it makes sense that a longer workout = more fluids you’ll need to replace. Plan to rehydrate with electrolytes during a longer workout, especially if you’re a salty sweater. 

One of our ambassadors is deep in the middle of marathon training. She noted, “I have been taking Hydrant during my marathon training in the days before my long run (it’s been hot and humid!), and they have been really helpful. I can tell there’s a difference in my performance versus if I had not hydrated well.”

When it’s really hot out

On those days when the temperature creeps up and you’re sweating before you even start your workout, call in the electrolyte reinforcements. When you sweat a lot, the main electrolyte you lose is sodium—which is a key ingredient in many electrolyte supplements. 

Similar to above, drinking something with carbohydrates and electrolytes will restore your fluids more effectively than just plain water. Pair an electrolyte supplement like Hydrant with a carb-forward post-workout snack, like a rice cake slathered in peanut butter or whole grain toast with avocado and an egg.

What if you’re not working out? Electrolytes can still be an important part of feeling your best in hot, muggy weather. Said one ambassador, “Hydrant’s electrolytes really came through when we took them to an Indycar Grand Prix in humid 90 degree weather! Four of us used about 15 of them over the course of seven hours. They were so helpful!!!”

Similarly, another ambassador relied on Hydrant during a music festival. “I just took a whole bunch with me when I went to a three-day concert. It was super hot out so it was really great to hydrate in the morning and throughout the day.”

When you’re fasting

Whether you’re into intermittent fasting or you’re fasting for religious reasons, drinking electrolytes might help you shake off that sluggish, moody feeling. Here’s why: you typically get a lot of your hydration and electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc from fruits and vegetables. But when you fast, it’s much easier to become dehydrated. Drinking water with electrolytes can help you stay hydrated and replenish key electrolytes that you’d normally get with solid foods. 

When you wake up in the morning

When your alarm clock goes off, you’ve probably gone at least six or seven hours without drinking anything—so of course, you’re going to be slightly dehydrated. Adding an electrolyte supplement to your morning H20 can help you start your day with focus, energy, and a healthy balance of fluids. 

Ready to add electrolytes to your daily routine? Use this link to try Hydrant’s Essential Sampler to discover your new favorite flavor—and they’ll throw in a water bottle for free!

Eat Nutrients & Supplements Partner

About Kristen Geil

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.