Electrolytes (Elect-Tro-Lights), we have all heard the word before, but the majority of people are unfamiliar with what these minerals are and what their mechanism of action is. Think of all of your thoughts and motions being controlled by a ‘master switch’. The foods that we ingest in our body contain mineral salts which form what is known as ‘electrolytes’ which dissolve in our body.
The main electrolytes are:
- Sodium (Na+)
- Potassium (K+)
- Magnesium (Mg+)
- Calcium (Ca+)
- Chloride (Cl-)
- Phosphate (P)
These four electrolytes are responsible for a healthy heart, nervous system, strong bones, and elastic muscles. For example, muscle contractions are in need of calcium, sodium, and potassium in order to properly function. If any of these are lacking then soreness, muscle fatigue, and cramping may occur.
The reason they are called ‘electrolytes’ is because they are electrically charged so they conduct electric activity in the cells in order to make things happen (think of a circuit breaker(s) in a home that must regulate a certain voltage in order to keep electricity flowing and the lights on). Since these minerals are so essential they are responsible for balancing the amount of water in your body, balancing your bods acid/base chemistry (ph levels), moving nutrients into your cells and removing waste from your cells.
What are the best ways to replenish electrolytes throughout the day or after a workout?
- Himalayan Sea Salt (Sodium)
- Electrolyte Tablets or Powder (Vitalyte or Nuun)
- Coconut Water (Sodium + Potassium)
- Bananas (Potassium)
- Watermelon (Potassium)
- Greek Yogurt (Calcium)
- Minimize caffeine (Dehydrates you)
- Increase water intake (Mineral transportation)
- Chocolate (Magnesium)
- Oranges (Potassium)
In fact, watermelon juice or watermelon fruit is one of the best electrolyte therapies there is. It is not only filled with water, potassium, and a variety of other trace minerals but it absorbs in your body very quickly!