Since our body is 60% water, it is important to drink water regularly. Staying hydrated is especially important in the summer, but maintaining electrolytes is even more important. Electrolytes can be found in some bottled water, sports drinks, and other powdered beverages and supplements. Sometimes it is necessary when the stagnant water is not enough to continue working. Athletes are often the target audience for these products, as they focus on electrolyte consumption to reduce mineral loss through sweat. But does the average person need electrolytes, or is it just another marketing buzzword?
While it is true that athletes need to maintain their electrolytes, the general public needs to be aware of electrolyte levels as well. Electrolytes can be obtained in a variety of ways, so if drinking sports drinks isn’t your thing, you don’t need to keep drinking.
Here’s what you need to know about electrolytes, how they work, and the best way to replenish your electrolytes.
What are electrolytes?
Simply put, electrolytes are essential minerals found in your blood, sweat, and urine. It carries a positive or negative charge used in metabolic processes and helps control the nervous system, contract muscles, retain water, and regulate acids/bases (ie pH levels) in the body. If this number is too high or too low, the pH can drop and cause an imbalance. A healthy pH is between 7.36 and 7.44.
Electrolytes that are formed in the body include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, chloride, and bicarbonate. When you’re dehydrated, you lose these essential minerals, which can cause nausea and other side effects.
What does an electrolyte imbalance look like?
To keep your body in top condition, your electrolytes need to be well balanced, or homeostatic. Fluid intake and excretion, acid-base balance, hormone secretion, and normal cellular function all affect electrolyte balance.
“Insufficient electrolytes can cause fatigue, headaches, nausea, changes in blood pressure, and muscle cramps,” says John Frigo, a National Certified Strength and Running Coach and Trainer with the Conditioning Association. This is especially true when the heat is excessive, which can accelerate electrolyte loss.
Electrolytes are usually lost through bodily fluids like sweat or the digestive system. One of the main components lost through sweat during prolonged exercise is sodium. Sodium and chloride are the two main electrolytes that work together to move fluids throughout the body and keep the pH stable… That’s why it’s so important to stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes high.
In general, Frego says, if you eat a nutritious diet rich in whole foods, you’ll get most of the electrolytes you need from your diet. However, illnesses like diarrhea or vomiting can put your system at risk by losing electrolytes and making you dehydrated.
Electrolyte imbalances are common in the elderly, as well as in people with a history of kidney disease, heart failure, acute pancreatitis, respiratory failure, eating disorders, and heartburn. It is especially important to replenish electrolytes through foods or beverages that contain sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, or magnesium if you are at risk for an electrolyte imbalance.
Just as electrolyte loss is bad for your body, too much electrolyte can be dangerous to your health. Conditions such as hyperchloremia (excess chloride), hyperkalemia (excess potassium), and hypernatremia (excess sodium) can result from dehydration, excessive sweating, fluid loss from the digestive tract, or side effects of certain medications or other health problems.
Symptoms of an electrolyte imbalance can vary depending on the type of imbalance, but there are some common symptoms to watch out for.
If you suspect an electrolyte imbalance, you may have an electrolyte test, which is a blood test done by your doctor that measures your electrolyte levels. If tests show there is an imbalance, your doctor may recommend treatment to help you get back on track.
The best way to get electrolytes
Electrolyte foods include fruits and vegetables such as spinach, citrus fruits, melons and other leafy vegetables, according to nutritionist Claire Morgin. However, if you need a quick way to boost your electrolyte levels, drinking electrolyte water, coconut water, sports drinks, Pedialyte, and mixing electrolyte tablets or powder with water are all good options. When choosing a sports drink, it is important to consider its sugar content. A standard-size bottle (12 ounces) can contain more than 20 grams of sugar, more than half of the recommended daily intake.
Drinks like Gatorade are commonly marketed to athletes, but the best alternatives for exercise, like some -stopping sports drinks like Nuun Endurance or Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier, are electrolyte supplements. It tends to be low in sugar and contains all the minerals your body needs right away. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, be sure to read the label, as some brands may flood their products with caffeine or similar energizing ingredients.
Electrolytes are an important aspect of our health and should not be overlooked. They are responsible for several key functions in the body, and imbalances can be detrimental to health. The average person can maintain electrolyte balance with a healthy diet and proper hydration, but it’s good to know other ways in case you need quick action after a sweaty workout or illness. .
If you’re concerned about your electrolyte levels and feel like they’re constantly dropping, it’s best to talk to your doctor, who can do an accurate test and give you a proper diagnosis.
The information in this article is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to provide health or medical advice. Always talk to your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about your medical condition or health goals.
Article Source : https://www.cnet.com/health/nutrition/why-electrolytes-matter-and-how-to-get-enough/