If you’ve ever been grocery shopping, you may have noticed that certain electrolytes are highlighted on most food and drinks. But what are electrolytes and why are they beneficial for your body?
Learn everything there is to know about and how you can maintain the optimal levels in your body.
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals that are essential for a number of key functions within the body. The main minerals include sodium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, bicarbonate and potassium.
It’s important to maintain your electrolyte levels, as they are responsible for a number of roles within the nervous system.
Why Are Electrolytes Important?
Electrolytes are crucial for a number of bodily functions, including:
- Muscle function – supports muscle fibres in contractions
- Hydration – ensures the body maintains fluid levels and signals if it needs more
- pH levels – regulates your body’s pH balance to maintain homeostasis
- Regenerates new tissue – works to rehydrate cells to help repair damaged tissue
Why Might You be Low in Electrolytes?
Low electrolyte levels are most common when you’re dehydrated.
This could be caused by numerous factors including not drinking enough water or exposure to excess heat. But to help indicate whether you’re dehydrated, here are some of the symptoms:
- Sickness or diarrhoea
- Dry mouth
- Increased sweating
It’s important to recognise the signs as it can lead to an electrolyte imbalance, which may be harmful to your overall health.
If you are experiencing any of the above factors, try to replace your electrolytes as soon as possible. However, more severe cases may present additional symptoms.
Electrolyte Imbalance Symptoms:
- Muscle weakness
- Irregular heartbeat
How to Get Electrolytes
There are a number of ways for you to maintain your electrolyte levels and our simple tips can help you to incorporate them into your everyday routine.
1. Eat a Balanced Diet
A well-balanced diet can go a long way towards helping to maintain your electrolyte levels.
You want to aim to include all five food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy) and make sure you aren’t stingy on the fruit and vegetables.
There are some foods that contain more electrolytes than others, so it’s important to eat a healthy, varied diet.
Foods Containing Electrolytes:
- Chia seeds
- Bone broth
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale
- Seeds and nuts
- White meat
2. Drink Plenty of Water
It’s recommended that you should drink 1.5-2 litres a day.
Although it may be tempting to drink more than that, it’s important to not overdo it. Drinking too much water can actually put you at risk of flushing the electrolytes out of your body, which may lead to an imbalance.
As a rule of thumb, you should space out the amount you’re drinking, consuming no more than one litre of fluids an hour, to allow time for your kidneys to process it.
3. Avoid Exercise on Hot Days
If high temperatures are forecasted and you don’t have access to an indoor area with air conditioning, we would advise rescheduling your workout.
This is merely to prevent excessive sweating which can cause you to lose electrolytes.
4. Try Electrolyte Supplements
Another easy and efficient way you can help to maintain your electrolyte levels is by introducing electrolyte supplements.
Our Garden of Life Whole Food Magnesium Powder works to provide you with the essential mineral magnesium, sodium and bicarbonate which are great sources of electrolytes. Available in two delicious powders Raspberry Lemonade and Orange, simply add one teaspoon of powder to 240ml of water and enjoy!