The Importance Of Electrolytes

posted by guest blogger Tara Coleman

Water is not only a powerful detoxifier, it is the cornerstone of almost every process in your body. That means if you aren’t properly hydrated your exercise won’t be as impactful, your vitamins won’t be as well absorbed, your skin will become blotchy and you’ll feel bloated and puffy. However, drinking water is one thing, but absorbing water is another. That’s where electrolytes come in.

Electrolytes are ions that help your cells function and communicate and help your body absorb water. They are important because they are what your cells (especially nerve, heart, muscle) use to maintain voltages across their cell membranes and to carry electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) across themselves and to other cells. Your kidneys work to keep the electrolyte concentrations in your blood constant despite changes in your body.

For example, when you exercise heavily, you lose lots of electrolytes in your sweat, particularly sodium and potassium. These electrolytes must be replaced to keep the electrolyte concentrations of your body fluids constant. Therefore, it’s especially important to replenish electrolytes during the hot summer months or after a yoga class or run.

There are loads of sports drinks out there like Gatorade, PowerAde, etc. Unfortunately, one look at the contents and you will find a lot of neon ingredients that you really don’t want in your body. Here are a few of my favorite more natural alternatives:

Coconut Water

Coconut water is an incredible natural electrolyte drink with about twice as many electrolytes as sports drinks with less than half the sugar.

Ultima Replenisher

Ultima is an electrolyte drink that comes in powdered form and can easily be added to water. It comes in lots of terrific flavors and can be found at most health food stores.

Nuun

Nuun comes in tablet form and can be dropped into a glass of water for a quick and portable electrolyte drink. It also has a variety of flavors and can be found at most health food & sporting stores.

Homemade Electrolyte Drinks

My favorite solution is to make my own electrolyte drinks. This allows me to know exactly what is going into it as well as create a recipe that suits my own personal taste preferences. In these recipes the electrolytes come from the Himalayan pink sea salt, naturally occurring in the fruit, raw honey and the herbs. Here are two of my favorite recipes!

Minty Watermelon Electrolyte Drink

Minty Watermelon Electrolyte Drink

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup diced watermelon
  • 4 mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime (1/4 cup juiced)
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Blend and serve chilled.

Sweet Citrus Electrolyte Drink

Sweet Citrus Electrolyte Drink

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 1 orange (1/2 cup juice)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup juiced)
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1-2 tbsp organic raw honey (optional)

Blend and served chilled.

Learn how to replenish your body with electrolytes.
Learn how to replenish your body with electrolytes.