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You’ve probably heard the term “electrolytes” before, but what are they and how do they help you hydrate?
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, and sodium that are vital to many key functions of the body. They help to regulate muscle contractions and balance your pH levels, as well as help you stay hydrated.
How do electrolytes help us stay hydrated?
When electrolytes are dissolved into your body fluids, they act as directors. They help to direct water and nutrients to the different parts of your body where it is needed most. They keep the levels of fluid balanced inside of your cells. Electrolytes can also trigger a thirst feeling, making you want to drink more.
How do we lose electrolytes?
The most common ways that we lose electrolytes are through sweat and urine. This is why many people will choose to drink a sports drink while working out, because they lose a lot of electrolytes when they sweat.
How can we get electrolytes?
For many people, eating a nutritious diet with lots of whole foods will be enough. However those who are very active may need to supplement extra electrolytes into their diet.
One way to do this is through sports drinks. However, these drinks can have a lot of sugar and food coloring in them so they may not be the best option.
Another way to get electrolytes in is through eating salty foods, or making an at home electrolyte mix containing sodium.
What are signs of low electrolytes?
The most common symptoms include:
Blood pressure changes
Not feeling well
Next time you are feeling low after exercise or notice that you’ve been sweating a lot, it may be beneficial to take in some extra electrolytes. One home Electrolyte drink we love is:
1-2 cups of water
½ lemon (juiced)
⅛-¼ tsp sea salt
2 tsp raw honey
Shake well to combine.
Keep in the fridge for up to a week.