Electrolytes seem to be everywhere nowadays – companies are advertising their sports drinks as the perfect solutions for hydration and optimal health for active individuals.
But what are electrolytes? What do they do?
Well, they are minerals which, when mixed with water – cause an electrical charge. You won’t really see it, but they are great for regulating your essential functions like your pH, your muscles, hydration, and nerve signaling. Here’s more information on electrolytes.
Primary electrolytes are:
And these are often found in all sorts of food as well as in your body.
That set concentration of these electrolytes is so rigidly maintained in all your fluids including blood that if it becomes too high or too low, you could have serious health problems. The daily loss of electrolytes happens through sweat and other bodily waste. So, it’s important to eat food that has plenty of minerals.
But what happens when you work out? You sweat a lot and therefore you lose a lot of electrolytes. Other situations like having diarrhea, vomiting and so on, all decrease the number of your electrolytes. So, you need to replenish their levels and the quickest way to do it is through drinking an electrolyte drink.
Many companies have promoted their products as the ones with the optimal levels of electrolytes. However, they often contain a lot of sugar and additives which defeats the purpose of exercising and living a healthy lifestyle. These also often don’t contain enough electrolytes to replenish you.
And yet, there are some great drinks with electrolytes that you can purchase, made with natural ingredients and full of beneficial effects. But, until the batch of your favorite healthy electrolyte drink arrives, you can try drinking these:
This healthy drink comes from – surprisingly – inside of a coconut. It’s becoming increasingly popular and many brands sell it. Naturally, coconut water is full of healthy minerals from that list we already mentioned. This includes potassium and magnesium. This is why plenty of people use it as a way to hydrate after they exercise. Here are some benefits of coconut water: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-coconut-water-benefits
They contain only 46 calories for each cup so it’s way better than drinking any soda or juice – even a sports drink.
Milk may seem plain and boring, but it’s chocks full of essential minerals and vitamins. It has calcium, sodium and so on. It’s also a potent mix of protein and carbs which can help you replenish and feel brand new. Milk also helps repair your muscles after exercise.
You can choose any type of milk that you regularly enjoy. Although, regular milk might not be best for everyone, especially if you are lactose intolerant or if you are a vegan. You can either choose a lactose-free sort of milk or drink plant milk. They won’t contain as many electrolytes, but they will still be great for you.
One of the best fruit juices is watermelon juice which you can simply make yourself by blending a watermelon. One cup gives you plenty of magnesium, potassium and beneficial vitamins. The best part is that it’s super easy to make and it’s tasty without any sugars and additives.
You can achieve a similar effect by drinking freshly squeezed orange juice, cherry juice and so on.
The problem with fruit and fruit juices is that they don’t contain any sodium. And you need sodium after exercising. So, some people like making their own electrolyte drinks by mixing fruit juice and salt with water.
Smoothies can serve as a meal of its own, but they are also great for exercising. You can mix a wide variety of fruits and veggies and take them fairly quickly and simply. They are usually very tasty, and they come with a whole host of health benefits.
This also works well when you’re having some stomach issues or if you need the vitamins but hate eating certain foods. Mix them all up together and make it all easier to consume.
However, they are not the best drink to take when you’re in the middle of working out. They are basically food, and you wouldn’t eat while exercising. So, you can take them before or after, but never during your exercise. They can leave you too full to continue working out.
Water With Electrolytes
This is a great drink because it has low calories but plenty of healthy minerals. Not all of them are equal. For example, normal tap water has around 3% of the necessary electrolyte intake. Some waters are expensive but don’t contain more electrolytes than basic tap water.
However, some brands infuse their water with plenty of electrolytes and they are truly worth drinking and buying frequently. While regular electrolyte waters may contain a lot of sugar, these waters that are beneficial for you will contain no sugars or extremely minimal amounts.
Note: This is a sponsored guest post.