Eli5: How do electrolyte beverages accelerate liquid intake? Or what is the benefit of electrolytes?

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Eli5: How do electrolyte beverages accelerate liquid intake? Or what is the benefit of electrolytes?

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Electrolytes don’t accelerate fluid intake, it just allows you to replace the electrolytes you’ve lost through sweating. Your body needs to have a certain balance and concentration of electrolytes. When you sweat you lose water AND electrolytes in the sweat. If you replace this with pure water the electrolyte concentration in your body might be a bit low. This isn’t really a problem for the average person with a balanced diet, but can become pretty serious if you’re working out hard, especially in hot conditions. If you sweat a lot, you will lose a lot of electrolytes which need to be replaced.

The first major consumer electrolyte solution was Gatorade which was designed to improve the performance of the Florida Gators football team. The players were working hard in the hot Florida weather and losing a lot of electrolytes through sweat so a chemist analyzed their sweat to determine what chemicals were being excreted in addition to water, and then designed a beverage to replace those chemicals.