Everybody knows electrolyte levels are important. They regulate nerve and muscle function, blood pressure, the nervous system, acid-base balance, water balance, and your body’s pH level. Imbalances or deficiencies – which include sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, and hydrogen phosphate – can cause everything from muscle cramping and fatigue to seizures and irregular heartbeat and heart rhythm. Since we lose electrolytes naturally through sweat and urination, it is critical to replace them to keep our bodies functioning at its best.
Today, trendy sports drinks have all the hype these days for being one of the best ways to replenish your body with the electrolytes it loses through exercise. While most of these popular beverages provide some of the right nutrients, they also come with a hefty dose of sugar and unwanted calories. In fact, did you know that one serving of Gatorade has 36 grams of sugar? That is equivalent to nine whopping teaspoons of sugar – yikes! The truth is that most brands load their drinks up with sugar and maltodextrin (an ingredient that spikes blood sugar) which can actually cause more harm than good. The use of these ingredients in electrolyte drinks can dehydrate your cells, spike blood sugar and even worse: make the infamous battle against fat-loss close to impossible. Always be careful with your electrolyte levels because both too high and too low of any electrolyte concentrations can lead to hypocalcemia, hypercalcemia, hypokalemia, hyperkalemia, hyponatremia, hypernatremia, and more.
Whether you are an athlete, fitness guru, gym novice, or following a special diet like Keto, hydration and electrolyte balance is of the utmost importance. If you want to get the electrolytes your body craves to support your active lifestyle without the sugar-rush, then keep reading: here are five natural electrolyte boosters you should try!
Have you ever noticed that your sweat can sometimes taste a little bit salty? That is because sweat is primarily made up of the electrolytes sodium and chloride. When you sweat sodium chloride, your body naturally loses these important electrolytes so an easy way to replace them is simply by ingesting salt. Salt as an electrolyte replacement also contains the electrolytes calcium, potassium, and magnesium so it is good for more than just to replenish your sodium levels. Although any salt will do, go for sea salt over table salt because it is less processed. Celtic and Himalayan sea salts are becoming increasingly popular and are widely available at most grocery stores. Simply add a pinch in your water and drink.
Coconut water is a clear liquid found in the fruits center that is tapped from young green coconuts. It is rich in antioxidants and minerals and contains easily digested carbohydrates.
Commonly referred to as “Mother Nature’s sports drink” by marketers, coconut water has great natural electrolytes like potassium but still has a significant amount of natural sugars. For those on a keto or low carb diet it will kick you out of ketosis so isn’t a good option, but for folks looking for a natural alternative who don’t mind a little sugar, it can be a moderately effective natural alternative to artificial sports drinks.
In terms of performance, it is important to note that fructose, the natural sugar in coconut water, actually takes longer to hydrate than products with electrolytes + dextrose, (dextrose is a simple sugar which can rehydrate as fast as an IV). For the highest performance, natural electrolyte solution that includes some calories and sugar, try a reputable company like Kinderlyte.
If you are interested, there are a ton of coconut waters on the market so keep an eye out for one with minimal ingredients and stay away from anything that looks artificial!
Believe it or not, but when it boils down to electrolytes, lemons are the bee’s knees! This super fruit is an amazing source of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. In addition, studies support that lemons may have the ability to detoxify the liver, boost the immune system with vitamin C, and bring balance to pH levels. Lemons can be purchased just about anywhere but try to stick to organic when you can to make sure you are fueling your body with the best quality nutrients possible. A whole lemon combined with a flavorless, natural electrolyte concentrate from sea minerals like Hi-Lyte into cold water provides an energizing, sour jolt of electrolytes!
According to an ancient South American proverb, “bone broth can resurrect the dead.” Okay, although that may be a bit of a stretch, sipping on bone broth is an incredible alternative to commercial sports drinks because it is packed with nutritious sources of bioavailable minerals such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Bone broth has been used for centuries dating all the way back to ancient Chinese medicine as a simple way to fuel the body with nutrients it needs to support a healthy lifestyle. There are many different brands that sell bone broth but be sure to only purchase from a reputable company that makes their broth from high-quality and organic bones to ensure your body absorbs only top-notch nutrients.
Last on the list but definitely not least are electrolyte supplements. Most people consume sports drinks due to the “electrolyte” label slapped across the beverage. Sure, they might be getting a healthy dose of electrolytes, but what they are also getting is a not-so-healthy dose of calories. Since over 90% of the world is not getting enough of the vitamins and minerals that their body needs through diet alone, supplements make an exceptional choice to bridge the gap. However, not all supplements are created equal. If you are looking for a way to supplement electrolytes, steer clear of any products that contain artificial flavoring, fillers, and excess sugar.
In a supplements world with so many unethical companies, make sure to choose products from a reputable company like Adapted Nutrition, with a true passion to help people achieve optimal health. They offer clean electrolyte supplementation in powder, concentrate, and capsule form making it easier than ever to fuel your body with the nutrients it craves to support your active lifestyle. Designed by nature to be potent, fast-acting and completely absorbed, Adapted Nutrition provides supplements that have up to 3X the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks – without the calories or artificial ingredients!
A Final Word
It goes without saying electrolytes are important. Some of the signs that you are lacking in the electrolyte department are headaches, fatigue, cramps, nausea, and lethargy – just to name a few. Back in the day, it was common to reach for just any old sports drink on the shelf to fuel your body with electrolytes, regardless of the additional ingredients that were in them like maltodextrin. Today, the world is shifting into a much healthier direction with amazing companies like Adapted Nutrition providing exceptional quality and natural supplementation options to provide your body with clean fuel to keep it functioning at its best. If you are looking for ways to improve your electrolyte intake without the sugary sports drink, we highly suggest giving them a try – we know you won’t regret it!