Last week I talked about the importance of hydration and some of the symptoms and issues associated with lack of sufficient water.
Today, I want to talk about the super charge that’s happening inside of us all the time.
I mean electrolytes. They are chemicals that are vital for proper organ function, fluid balance and much more. These powerful nutrients are necessary for all our bodily operations and when the balance becomes too severely stretched then a number of issues can begin to arise.
The Role of Electrolytes – What do they do?
Electrolytes are minerals within your body that have an electric charge. They separate into negatively and positively charged ions when dissolved in water.
These are present in your blood and body fluids.
Maintaining a proper balance of electrolytes allows for cell division, muscle contractions, bone growth, healthy nerves, regulating of the heartbeat, fluid balance and so many more everyday bodily operations.
Electrolytes include nutrients such as:
Sodium, Calcium, Potassium, Chlorine, Phosphate and Magnesium
Water balance and electrolyte balance are closely linked. The body works constantly to keep the total amount of water and the levels of electrolytes in the blood consistent. For example, if one consumes a lot of salt and the sodium levels rise, a person may experience thirst, to then give the body more water. There is also a hormone, called Vasopressin, or antidiuretic hormone, which the brain will secrete in response to dehydration, this causes the kidneys to then release less water. The combined effect of this process dilutes the sodium and results in a restored balance.
The body loses electrolytes and water, naturally, through sweating, urine, and breathing. Most of the time people consume enough water and nutrient – rich foods to compensate for water and mineral loss. However, excessive exercise, illness, and pregnant or nursing individuals may require increased amounts of water, and overall nutrient intake.
When the amount of water in your body changes, your electrolyte levels also change.
Keep in mind some causes of imbalance could result from some types of medicines, sickness such as vomiting and diarrhea, fever and sweating, or kidney related problems. Issues with electrolyte imbalance most often occur with levels varying of sodium, potassium, magnesium or calcium.
Because these minerals play such an important role in our bodies, even a small imbalance can produce noticeable changes in how you feel.
Depending on which nutrients are void, or too heavily consumed, like in the case of sodium, there are a number of symptoms. Possible experiences include:
Muscle aches, spasms, or weakness
Anxiety or restlessness
Changes in weight or blood pressure
Bone or joint discomfort
Restoring electrolyte levels can be pretty simple and comes down to eating whole, unprocessed foods, drinking adequate water and maybe even adding in a multi vitamin.
Food that are rich in minerals and extra hydrating, due to their water content, include: Coconut Water, Celery, Watermelon, cucumber, Kiwi, Bell peppers, Citrus fruits, Carrots, Cultured dairy, and Pineapple.
Today’s Effort – Recharging is Self-Care
Every day we go, go, go. It’s a challenge to always eat perfectly balanced meals and drink water all day depending on your access to them, and frankly, sometimes you just need to give a little love to yourself, and take a small amount of time to recharge.
This can mean a 5 minute meditation, or it could mean a glass of water and some fresh air. Did reading about all those electrolyte-rich fruits make you hungry?
Make a tropical fruit salad! You decide.
Here’s a yummy electrolyte boost using only 3 ingredients.
Tasty Tropic Pop: Makes about 2 cups of liquid
1 cup coconut water
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 lemon, juiced plus zest
1 tbsp honey
pinch sea salt
To Make: Mix all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle mold or ice cube trays and freeze. Alternately, pour into cup and par-freeze for a tasty slushie.
Be proud of yourself!
Join us every Sunday for the next edition of Starting Your Week Strong.
Learn about the benefits of water and hydration in last weeks’ blog Where There Is Water, There Is Life
Are you curious about how to harmonize your health goals and fit wellness into your busy schedule? Contact me today for more information about Today’s Effort Health Coaching.
Fluid and Electrolyte Balance
About Body Water
Symptoms of Electrolyte Imbalance, Plus How to Solve It
The information shared in this article is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any form of illness or disease. The opinions are the author’s alone and are not to be used as a guide to follow for any health related conditions, but rather a sharing of perspective.
Today’s Effort, and it’s authors, take no responsibility for the choices of individuals and encourages you to work alongside a trusted physician and or doctor with any health related issues.