Most exercisers can get away with gulping water after a workout, but endurance athletes—anyone training for a marathon or playing hours of tennis in the hot sun—need to put extra effort into replenishing the minerals flushed out via sweat. Sure, electrolytes come standard in sports drinks and energy bars, but they're usually accompanied by a hearty helping of calories and added sugar.
A better way to replenish the electrically charged particles needed to maintain fluid balance in the body and aid the muscle and nerve functions necessary for athletic performance: Pick up a spoon and fork.
"Foods contain so many more electrolytes, as well as vitamins and other health-protective compounds," says author and sports dietitian Nancy Clark, RD. Here, how to replace five key electrolytes with healthy, whole foods.