Approximately 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and don't even realize it. Water is constantly lost through body parts, like the GI tract, skin, and kidneys. Vomiting, diarrhea, and heat exposure cause you to lose more fluids than you realize. Chronic dehydration causes organs not to function correctly, as well as fatigue and confusion.
Many people also don't realize that dehydration involves a lack of electrolytes. Learning more about the importance of electrolytes and how to get electrolytes each day is vital to improving your overall health and well-being.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about electrolytes and how to get enough each day to stay healthy.
What Are Electrolytes?
So, what exactly are electrolytes? Electrolytes are minerals with a natural negative or positive electrical charge when dissolved in water. Electrolytes are essential for the human body; most of them are from the foods and drinks you consume.
Electrolytes are found in nearly every body cell; your organs, muscles, and cells need electrolytes to work properly.
What Do Electrolytes Do?
Electrolytes balance the fluid in your body but also have other essential functions.
First, electrolytes help build new tissue and support blood clotting. They play a key role in transmitting nerve signals from your heart, nerve cells, and muscles to other cells in the body.
Electrolytes stimulate muscle contractions that keep your heart beating normally. In addition, having the right amount of electrolytes maintains a normal blood pH level. A pH scale measures how basic or acidic your body is, and your body works to keep these levels in balance.
Anything below seven is considered acidic on the pH scale; over seven is basic or alkaline.
Types of Electrolytes
There are specific electrolytes in your body that you need to be aware of. Simple blood tests like a metabolic panel test electrolyte levels. These electrolytes include:
If you have an electrolyte imbalance, your doctor will order more specific tests to narrow down the problem.
What Are Electrolyte Imbalances?
If electrolyte levels in your body become too low or high, you'll get an electrolyte imbalance. Usually, an electrolyte imbalance is due to dehydration. Dehydration results from not replacing electrolytes after excessive sweating from exercise.
Electrolyte imbalances can also occur from health conditions like chronic kidney disease or type 1 diabetes. These illnesses cause high potassium levels, affecting your nerves and muscles like the heart.
Certain medications like diuretics help the body get rid of excess fluid and can lead to electrolyte imbalances if this fluid isn't replaced adequately.
Symptoms of Electrolyte Imbalances
If you have an electrolyte imbalance, you can experience specific symptoms. Not everyone has the same symptoms, but in general, you'll have:
- Extreme thirst
- Feeling very tired
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle weakness
- Fast heartbeat
- Changes in blood pressure
Remember, symptoms depend on which electrolytes are too high or low. The key is ensuring that you keep your electrolytes in balance at all times.
How to Get Electrolytes
Because electrolytes are so crucial to how the body functions, there are plenty of health benefits to consuming enough daily. Getting enough electrolytes regulates your muscle and nerve functions, rebuilds damaged tissues, and keeps you hydrated.
The best way to get enough electrolytes is to ensure you consume enough, especially before and after exercise.
The trick is knowing what foods and electrolyte supplements will give you the electrolytes you need without unhealthy additives and sugars.
Foods With Electrolytes
One of the first things to do is ensure you get enough electrolytes through the meals and snacks you eat.
Healthy foods that are excellent sources of electrolytes include:
Spinach and Other Green Leafy Vegetables
Spinach is a wonderful source of electrolytes, specifically magnesium, and calcium. Just one cup of spinach gives you well over the recommended daily magnesium intake and almost 25% of your daily calcium intake.
Spinach also contains other healthy nutrients like vitamins K and A. In addition, other green leafy vegetables like kale and collard greens are also great sources of magnesium and calcium.
Be sure to add green leafy vegetables to at least one or two meals a day to help boost your electrolyte intake.
Legumes Like Lentils
Lentils are a specific type of legume and are an excellent source of phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Lentils also contain protein, fiber, and key vitamins that keep you healthy.
Other legumes like peas and beans also contain healthy amounts of electrolytes and are well worth incorporating into your meal plan.
Bananas and Other Fruits
Bananas are one of the best sources of potassium, with one large banana giving you nearly 10% of your recommended daily intake. In addition, bananas provide you with over 9% of your daily magnesium intake.
Bananas also contain plenty of phosphorus and small amounts of chloride and calcium.
The best part about bananas is it's easy to take them with you and eat them after a workout. Even just eating one banana daily provides you with the necessary electrolytes.
Dried apricots are also packed with nutrients and are a great choice for getting more potassium in your diet.
Other fruits that are good sources of electrolytes include:
Finally, you'll want to add avocados to your diet since they're a wonderful source of nutrition and electrolytes. Although avocados aren't sweet, they technically fall in the fruit category. Avocados contain potassium, magnesium, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Dairy products are a good way to get your daily intake of electrolytes like sodium and calcium.
For example, 100g of parmesan cheese gives approximately 1180 mg calcium and 1180 mg sodium. You'll also get measurable amounts of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Other dairy products like milk will also give you potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Drinks With Electrolytes
Are you constantly wondering about how to stay hydrated in a healthy way? Or curious about the best healthy drinks to try?
Staying hydrated is crucial for your health since it gives you enough electrolytes and water. Water is necessary for your body, and it provides a lot of health benefits. First, it helps you eliminate waste effectively and keeps your temperature normal.
It also cushions and lubricates your joints, protecting sensitive body tissues.
Therefore, choosing natural electrolyte replacements, you can add to water is a good idea, giving you the best of both worlds.
Electrolyte drinks are one of the most effective ways to get the necessary electrolytes. However, you have to be careful of what drinks you choose. Electrolyte water enhancers like Stur have zero calories and zero sugar and are high in antioxidants.
Healthy drink options with electrolytes include:
Unsweetened Coconut Water
Coconut water is a popular alternative to bottled water, and you can easily find it in grocery stores. The key is to look for unsweetened coconut water so you don't consume excess sugar.
8oz of unsweetened coconut water contains plenty of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium.
Stur Electrolyte Water Enhancers
Stur electrolyte water enhancers give you a natural way to get the electrolytes you need. You can find different flavors, like black raspberry, strawberry lemon, orange clementine, and more.
Stur electrolyte water enhancers provide delicious flavors without compromising natural and healthy ingredients. The health benefits of Stur products include:
- Zero sugar
- Naturally sourced
- No soy products
- Paleo friendly
- Keto friendly
- No artificial ingredients
Stur water enhancers are also made with real fruit and sweetened with stevia and contain vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant that helps your body fight free radicals and stay healthy.
Free radicals are unstable molecules from the environment and your body's natural processes. Too many environmental toxins like pollution and other chemicals like cigarette smoke can increase your body's free radicals, causing DNA damage. As a result, you're more at risk for illnesses like cancer and skin damage.
Antioxidants neutralize the effects of free radicals and improve skin health and organ function.
Finally, the colors and flavors of Stur products are extracted from vegetable juice and real fruit.
You can even use Blue & Blackberry Stur to make a refreshing afternoon iced tea that gives you the energy and electrolytes you need to get through the day.
Use Stur Drinks to Replenish Your Electrolytes Naturally
Now that you know more about electrolytes and their importance, you can start finding healthy ways to incorporate them into your diet.
The good news is you won't have to worry about how to get electrolytes in a healthy way. You can turn to Stur products to replenish your electrolytes healthily and naturally. We began as a family business when Neel wanted to ensure his wife, Rama, got enough water during her pregnancy.
Now, Stur helps millions of people worldwide stay hydrated every day. We also collaborate with the Thirst Project to create a healthier world.
Stur is an all-natural liquid water enhancer from stevia extracts and natural fruit. You won't find any artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors in our products.
Make sure you visit us online today to check out all of our amazing products!