☀️The weather is starting to heat up and for horses in training or competition🏇🏻, providing the essential electrolytes in the proper ratios, can affect performance by improving power and stamina.
📍Electrolytes include the following minerals:
▪️They are all essential in maintaining the right amount of fluid in and around cells.
🔎Electrolytes are involved in key roles throughout the horse’s body.
Regulating heartbeat💗, muscle contraction, nerve pulse transmission and digestion are all assisted by the electrochemical processes of electrolytes.
💧They also help to move fluids in and out of cells and aid in nutrient absorption. Without electrolytes, water cannot be properly retained and utilised by the horse’s body.
🐎Horses naturally lose electrolytes through sweating, urine, and faeces, but gain them (in particular Potassium) by consuming grass🌱, hay, and/or feed. The exceptions are sodium and chloride, which should always be provided in the form of salt added to the horse’s daily feed. (10g/100kg bodyweight)
⚖️The key is balance, a horse that lightly sweats only requires salt to top up the sodium and chloride levels that are not at sufficient levels in the diet. Potassium supplementation is not required as it is abundant in hay and pasture.
🏇🏻💦Horses who sweat for prolonged periods should be supplemented electrolytes, as large amounts of sodium, potassium and chloride are lost. Potassium loss is approximately half as much as sodium, chloride loss is twice as much as sodium.
💢It is critical to ensure electrolyte levels are at sufficient levels, if unbalanced or depleted, cell function in the muscles, gut, and heart will slow and in extreme conditions possibly shut down. Signs of severe dehydration are: uncoordinated muscle contraction, trembling, unsteady gait and muscle weakness. The horse may even lose interest in drinking as the physiological trigger that tells a horse to drink can also be impaired when dehydrated.
One thing to keep in mind is that not all electrolyte supplements are created equal. Many contain sugar and other fillers, which aren’t desirable – especially for horses with insulin resistance and other metabolic conditions.
🍬Sugar is not required for optimal electrolyte absorption and may excessively dilute the more valuable ingredients needed.
A horse does not require extra sugar or fillers especially when dehydrated, as they convert digestible fibre inside their body into glucose, glycogen and fat with the help of their beneficial gut microbes.
✅By providing your horse the necessary electrolytes lost in sweat from a quality product, this will ensure they have the necessary elements available to improve power, stamina and perform to their potential.
❓Any questions? Please ask in the comments below👇🏻
🖊Written by Bryan Meggitt (BMedSc. GCrtMedSc.)
Manager and Co-founder of CEN – Complete Equine Nutrition
👨🏻🔬Bryan is a scientist and equine nutrition educator through the nutrition principles of Dr Juliet Getty and Dr Eleanor Kellon.
Bryan is passionate about improving equine health through proper natural nutrition according to science.
😄 He believes a horse should be fed according to their physiology, to achieve optimum health and enhance performance.
More articles at: https://www.equinefeeds.com.au/blog/
💎🐴 CEN Healthy Horse Products:
🔹CEN COMPLETE ELECTROLYTE is a sugar and filler free electrolyte, balanced to match the proportion of electrolytes lost through sweat.
Each serving provides rapid re-hydration through a concentrated high quality formula.
✅Perfect for re-hydration before or after strenuous exercise or treatment
✅Concentrated chloride levels and chelated minerals for improved absorption
✅Made with high quality, food grade ingredients
✅NO Sugar, Filler, Dextrose Or Sodium Bicarbonate
✅Excellent choice for all performance & pleasure horses