Everybody knows drinking water during the summer is important, but all too often we see athletes “overhydrate” and forget about the always important electrolytes. I’m sure by now everybody is familiar with the term electrolyte. What most athletes are not educated enough on, though, is which electrolytes are most important, and why we need them. Here are a few reasons electrolytes are important: energy production, nerve transmission, muscle contractions, pH control, and fluid balance. We often see athletes start to panic when they get cramps, and start pounding down the water. Now, if the cramps are caused by dehydration, then it may be an easy fix, but if it’s from a lack of electrolytes, then taking on more water only makes the problem worse, as it dilutes the amount of electrolytes in your body even further. That’s the reason why companies like Gatorade or Redbull put electrolytes into their sports drinks.