If you have ever suffered from dehydration, you know just how bad being low on electrolytes can feel. There's a reason for that. Electrolytes are responsible for regulating some critical bodily functions. So critical, in fact, that severe dehydration can cause death.
That sounds grim, I know. However, it's vital to understand the importance of staying hydrated. It's not just about drinking some water every day. When your body becomes low on electrolytes, it can impair your body's functions, such as blood clotting, muscle contractions, acid balance, and fluid regulation. Your heart is a muscle, so that means electrolytes help regulate your heartbeat.
The last thing you want when you are on the field or the track is to have to worry about a looming electrolyte imbalance in your body. You need to know that your body and, most importantly, your heart is armed with what it needs to perform optimally. Drinking HYDRATE, a high quality oral rehydrating solution, is one way to ensure that your electrolyte balance remains in check.
This article will discuss what electrolytes are, what causes low electrolytes, the symptoms of low electrolytes, and how to replenish them.
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals and compounds that help your body regulate many critical functions. Some examples of electrolytes include:
- Chloride - works closely with sodium.
- Sodium - causes water to move inside cells.
- Magnesium - important for enzyme reactions
- Calcium - helps regulate cell function, heart rate, and blood clotting.
- Potassium - works with sodium to maintain water balance and acid-base, works with calcium to regulate muscle and nerve activity.
- Phosphate - helps build/repair bones and teeth, stores energy, contracts, muscles, and enables nerve function.
These minerals and compounds are present in your blood, bodily fluids, and urine and can be replenished by food and drinks that are rich in electrolytes.
How Do I Know if I Need to Replenish My Electrolytes?
Your body must maintain proper electrolyte balance to function properly. If you have been sweating profusely or have had prolonged vomiting or diarrhea, your electrolytes can become unbalanced. Other causes include not eating or drinking enough, chronic respiratory problems, or higher than normal pH levels (metabolic alkalosis). Certain medications are also known to affect electrolyte levels, such as diuretics, laxatives, steroids, certain antibiotics, and seizure medications.
Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance include:
- fast heart rate
- muscle cramping
- muscle weakness
- irregular heartbeat
- abdominal cramping
- numbness and tingling
- convulsions or seizures
- diarrhea or constipation
Eating foods rich in electrolytes like spinach, turkey, potatoes, beans, avocados, oranges, soybeans (edamame), strawberries, and bananas can help replenish low electrolyte levels. Also, drinking an electrolyte replenishing solution like HYDRATE is very effective. Sports drinks and Pedialyte are often recommended but keep in mind that they contain a lot of sugar that can make vomiting or diarrhea worse.
What is the Most Common Electrolyte Imbalance?
Hyponatremia or low sodium levels is the most commonly treated electrolyte imbalance in the emergency room. Hyponatremia can occur from an underlying medical disorder, kidney disease, hormonal changes, or from drinking too much water.
Sodium plays many important roles in your body. It helps maintain normal blood pressure, regulates how your nerves and muscles work, and regulates your body's fluid balance. When your sodium becomes diluted, the body's fluid levels rise, and your cells begin to swell. This swelling can cause mild to life-threatening health problems.
Symptoms of hyponatremia may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Restlessness and irritability
- Muscle weakness, spasms, or cramps
- Loss of energy, drowsiness, and fatigue
You risk diluting your sodium if you drink too much water without replenishing your electrolytes. This is one of the benefits of drinking an oral rehydrating solution. It balances out the amount of water you drink by restoring electrolyte levels.
Sports drinks can also replenish levels of electrolytes; however, the trade-off is extremely high levels of sugar and low-quality processed electrolytes. If you have diabetes and need to keep your glucose levels in check this can be a big problem. An oral rehydrating solution such as HYDRATE replenishes electrolytes without diluting sodium. HYDRATE only contains one gram of sugar from dehydrated lemon juice so you can maintain normal levels of electrolytes without sending your glucose levels throughout the roof.
Staying hydrated involves more than just drinking water. It also means maintaining the delicate balance of electrolytes that your body depends on to function properly. If you are engaging in strenuous exercise and sweating profusely, then you need more than just water. Drink water and HYDRATE to replenish your electrolyte levels with healthy, whole, organic ingredients that are hand-selected for purity and quality.
Electrolyte imbalance can be serious and affect how your body performs vital functions. It is not something to take lightly. Hydrating yourself with sports drinks that are filled with sugar and low quality processed ingredients is a crapshoot. You need to know for certain that you are preventing low levels of essential minerals with every sip you take. You can't be sure how your body will respond to drinks made low-quality, processed ingredients filled with massive amounts of sugar.
Choose quality ingredients, choose HYDRATE so that you can be confident that your body is getting the best, most wholesome products on the planet to stave of electrolyte imbalance and keep it performing at an optimal level.