Electrolytes are minerals that are found in your blood, body tissues, and in your body fluids. They have an electrical charge, and are very important because they:
- keep you hydrated by balancing the amount of water in your body;
- keep your body pH in balance for both your blood and other body fluids;
- move waste out of your body;
- keep nutrients in your cells;
- they ensure that your nerves, muscles, heart and brain work optimally; hence, due to their electrical charges.
Chemically, electrolytes become ions in solution and have the capacity to conduct electricity. Electrolytes are naturally present in the human body, and the balance of the electrolytes in your body is essential for normal function of your cells and your organs.
You can replenish your electrolytes from foods and fluids that you drink.
How Much Do You Need?
When the amount of water in your body changes, your level of electrolytes can go too low and it can go too high – dehydration or over-hydration.
Vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, a high fever, some medications (such as steroids, diuretics, and laxatives), and liver or kidney problems can all knock your water levels out of balance. Your kidneys play a critical role in regulating your body’s electrolytes.
So, here’s the thing to remember when you are outside, hot, and sweating a lot.
The amount of water that you take in needs to equal the amount of water you lose.
Foods With Electrolytes
Always stay hydrated, and here is a short list of foods high in electrolytes:
- table salt
Common Reactions To Low Electrolytes
- constipation / dry stools
- rapid heart rate
- irregular heartbeat
How To Restore Low Electrolytes
FYI – sodium is one of the quickest ways to restore what you lose through sweating because sodium is typically the first electrolyte that depletes from sweating and high heat.
Try using these natural food products daily during the hot summer months or when dehydrated:
- Sea salt
- coconut water; high in potassium and low in sugar
- dark green veggies; spinach
Avoid the artificially colored “electrolyte” drinks – they are high in sugar and preservatives. During the hot summer months in South Texas, I drop one package of ElectroMix by Emergen-C® into 1 liter of water daily.
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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.
Before taking vitamins, consult your doctor; pre-existing medical conditions or medications you are taking can affect how your body responds to multivitamins.