The ability of the human body to adapt to its environment is fascinating. Whether it's adaptation to temperature changes, danger or high physical stress, our cells are quick to assess and react. And it doesn't matter whether we're running from a mammoth, trying to survive a summer heat wave or training for a marathon... All stress the body goes through brings challenging biological processes with it that affect health and overall performance. What exactly does this mean? If you don't support your body properly, you may feel fatigue, loss of motivation or even sudden headaches. Are you curious about what happens in the human body during stress, how you can support your health and performance, and what role electrolytes play in all of this? Continue reading and marvel at how fascinating the human body is.
It's really unbelievable what the body is capable of when it comes to survival... Take body temperature, for example. Over the course of evolution, the body's core temperature has been set at around 37°C, because it is at this temperature that organs and enzymatic processes work best. Whether a snowstorm is raging around us or we're in a heat wave, our bodies are constantly trying to maintain this temperature through homeostasis (a system of regulatory mechanisms that maintains the balance of the internal environment).
Fatigue after a heavy meal, headaches—your body responds differently
The human body tries to use every available means to survive even the hottest heat - and not just by producing more sweat, which cools you down as it evaporates.
In order to maintain an optimal temperature, the human body has developed specific functions to prevent overheating. These processes are controlled by a thermoregulatory centre in a small part of our brain—the hypothalamus, which contains receptors sensitive to blood temperature.
In real life, it seems that if you go to the mountains in summer, your body will start to heat up due to the increased physical and thermal stress, the blood vessels under the skin will dilate and the body will try to move this "excess" heat away from its centre. Thus, more of the blood that was previously flowing to the working muscles will suddenly start to be diverted to the cooler parts of the body, i.e. the upper layers of the skin.
However, with a reduced supply of oxygenated blood, our muscles become more tired and the effects of less blood flow are felt by the heart, which suddenly has to work even harder. Other biological processes (e.g. metabolism) have to slow down in order for the body to have enough energy for these biological processes. This is also why we tend to be more lethargic in summer and feel more tired after eating. Our body simply doesn't want to move any more than is absolutely necessary.
Fortunately, there are effective ways you can support your body during the summer months and not only avoid unwanted overheating, but also maintain good performance while avoiding unpleasant headaches or muscle cramps that occur when the body is overworked.
Athletes—or people moving in warm or humid environments for over an hour—have an increased need for electrolytes. Read on to find out what those are.
Fluids. What and how much to drink.
As you know, our body is largely made up of water—on average it's around 60%, with the heart and brain even around 73%. Optimal hydration is thus absolutely crucial for the proper functioning of our body. It not only helps in the absorption of nutrients from the food we eat, but also in the removal of waste products from the body.
Even mild dehydration can therefore reduce our performance. A study conducted at the School of Public Health in Beijing showed that not drinking water for 36 hours has noticeable effects on fatigue, attention, concentration, reaction speed and short-term memory.
How much water a person needs depends on individual needs (age, gender, physical disposition, exercise) as well as the season and climate. However, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an adult male needs about 2.5 litres of water a day, while an adult female needs about 2 litres.
All water does not have to come from drinking fluids alone, as some of it is also contained in the food we eat. It is about 20% on average (however, apart from fruits and vegetables with a high water content, food itself should not be considered a source of fluids). ManaDrink then provides you with the necessary nutrients that our bodies need to replenish when dehydrated, in addition to plenty of water.
You need a drink with electrolytes. Reach for Mana and be more efficient!
With greater stress (whether thermal or physical), along with water we lose important minerals that are found in our blood, sweat and urine, but also inside our cells (mainly potassium)—such as sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium or chloride.
When these minerals dissolve in water, electrolytes are formed—positively and negatively charged ions used in many metabolic/enzymatic reactions. They are therefore essential for maintaining the nervous system, muscle function and a balanced internal environment (such as keeping blood pH levels between 7.35 and 7.45).
Electrolyte imbalances therefore logically have many negative effects on the body—starting with excessive fatigue, lethargy, mood changes, water retention, muscle cramps and headaches. However, electrolytes also affect heart health, bone strength, brain and nervous system function, and the appearance and volume of muscle mass due to water retention.
The rate of electrolyte loss usually exceeds our body's ability to replenish these substances. That's why it's important to increase our intake. Ideally we should find a carefully balanced or electrolyte-rich drink. Just like Mana! ManaPowder and ManaDrink deliver all 17 essential minerals in every sip.
The optimal daily intake of the most important electrolytes according to EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and WHO (World Health Organization) compared to the content in 1 serving of ManaPowder and ManaDrink is shown in the table below.
Symptoms of deficiency
Reference daily intake for the average adult
Amount in 1 serving of ManaPowder*
Amount in a daily portion of ManaPowder (5 servings)*
430 g/2 000 kcal
Muscle cramps, loss of appetite, dizziness
Muscle fatigue and paralysis, confusion
Osteoporosis, muscle cramps, tooth decay
Headaches, muscle cramps, nausea
Irregular heartbeat, changes in pH
* Standard portioning of ManaPowder for the average adult. Portions may be adapted to individual needs.
In this respect, Mana is the ideal source of energy for your summer activities. You will not only replenish the necessary nutrients for healthy body function and proper muscle regeneration (especially carbohydrates, which are also depleted during dehydration and hypoglycemia occurs), but also much needed electrolytes. In addition, you can prepare ManaPowder according to your individual needs and adjust the energy value and calorie intake of the resulting meal.
With Mana, you get efficient food that doesn't weigh you down, so you don't have to spend a lot of extra energy on digestion. Yes, you guessed right—the exact energy your body would rather use on completely different biological processes during the summer...
Our body is really sophisticated and all it needs from us is to provide it with the most efficient "fuel" to do its job well. Everything else will take care of itself.
 L. Lee Hamm, N. Nakhoul, K. S. Hering-Smith (2015) Acid-Base Homeostasis.
 Na Zhang, Song M. Du, J. F. Zhang, Guan S. Ma (2019) Effects of Dehydration and Rehydration on Cognitive Performance and Mood among Male College Students in Cangzhou, China: A Self-Controlled Trial.
 Pam Daniels (2018) Regulating your body temperature during summer heat.
 Healthline.com (2018) Electrolytes: Definition, Functions, Imbalance and Sources.
 BBC.co.uk. Homeostasis in humans.
 Shawn. H. Dolan. Electrolytes: Understanding Replacement Options.
 U.S. Geological Survey. The Water in You: Water and the Human Body.
 Medicalnewstoday.com (2017) Everything you need to know about electrolytes.
 Healthline.com (2020) How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day#how-much-you-need