Are you getting enough electrolytes? How do you replace your electrolytes? What’s the best way to get electrolytes? It seems like a lot of people throw around the word “electrolytes”, but do we actually know what they are and why so many people talk about them?
I did a little experiment and asked a half dozen people if they could name the important electrolytes and what they do. No one named all six, although one person did name five. Everyone thought you can get them from certain electrolyte drinks and that it isn’t good to allow your levels to go too low. Not a terrible start, but let’s go a lot deeper!
Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals or compounds that are found in your blood, tissues, urine, and other bodily fluids. There are six electrolytes: calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium.
Levels of electrolytes fluctuate as the amount of water in your body changes. Ideally, the amount of water you consume should equal the amount you lose or eliminate. You can upset this balance by, say, sweating excessively and not drinking enough water. Other things that can cause your water balance to change are the use of some medications (e.g., steroids, laxatives, diuretics), vomiting, malabsorption due to digestive or intestinal issues, chemotherapy treatments, chronic respiratory problems, elevated blood pH, and kidney or liver problems.
Electrolytes are important because they are involved in several life-supporting activities, including:
Now you know why people are so adamant about getting enough electrolytes!
The symptoms of low electrolytes may depend on which mineral is in short supply. The range provided for each electrolyte is a reference range and may vary slightly between laboratories.
You can get electrolytes from foods, beverages, and supplements. Water infused with electrolytes is one choice, and one of the best beverages to replace electrolytes is coconut water, which contains five of the six minerals (sans chloride).
Be especially mindful if choosing a beverage that advertises itself as an electrolyte or sports drink. Many of the popular products on the supermarket shelves have a high sugar content as well as artificial flavorings and colors. Read labels carefully before making your purchase!
Foods that are a rich source of electrolytes include avocado, bananas, bell peppers, carrots, celery, citrus fruits, cucumbers, cultured dairy, kiwi, pineapple, and watermelon. Make these a part of your diet as much as possible.
You can also replace electrolytes by taking supplements. You can make your own electrolyte replacement that’s a refreshing dessert at the same time. Here’s the recipe for Cherry Limeade Fizz Pops.
Place the following ingredients in a blender:
Blend until cherries are pulverized. Pour the mixture into popsicle containers and freeze for at least six hours.
Now you have a better idea about what electrolytes are, how important they are to your health, and where to get them. Be sure you and your family keep your balance!
Read this next: 16 Reasons Why Your Energy is Low or Depleted
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The post Electrolytes, What Do You Need To Know? appeared first on NaturallySavvy.com.
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