Meet the minerals – they sustain vital bodily functions
Maintaining adequate hydration is one of the most important factors in the progress of vital physical and mental functions, as well as maintaining normal body temperature. Water is lost from the body through urination, excretion, breathing and perspiration (sweating). Water also flushes mineral substances (electrolytes) out of the body, and depending on weather conditions and physical effort, the loss of water and electrolytes can increase manifold.
The exchange of fluids and solutes is an ongoing process among the individual compartments of our body. Extracellular fluid predominantly contains sodium, chloride, calcium and hydrogen carbonates, while the intracellular fluid predominantly contains potassium and magnesium. All these components are also naturally present in natural mineral waters in different quantities and mutual ratios.
Even mild dehydration can lead to a whole array of disorders in physical and cognitive functions, from having trouble concentrating, irritation, headache, sleepiness, increased body temperature and other complications. For example, sodium, potassium, magnesium and chlorides affect the balance of bodily fluids, so their increased loss (through sweating, vomiting, diarrhoea) should always be compensated for. Intake of electrolytes is important during intense physical activity, e.g. in athletes, or persons whose job involves physical effort and sweating such as firemen, lifeguards and the like. Failure to take in both electrolytes and water will consequently result in a feeling of weakness and cramps.
At moderate air temperature conditions and with a sedentary lifestyle it is necessary to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day, and with physical activity, increased sweating and increased air temperature conditions, the body’s need for water and electrolytes should be adequately compensated for with the help of natural mineral waters. According to mineral content, natural mineral waters can be categorised into those with a low quantity of minerals (up to 500 mg/l) and those rich in minerals (mineral quantity larger than 1500 mg/l). Mineral-rich waters can be a significant source of minerals. In most cases they are carbonated because as they move through the ground, they get naturally infused with carbon dioxide gas (CO2) and dissolve minerals from the rocks they pass through. The addition of CO2 at bottling preserves the solubility of minerals that are necessary for vital physical functions.