Electrolytes seem to have all the hype these days. If you take a stroll down the sports drink aisle at your local grocery store, chances are you’ll see the word “electrolytes” slapped on most of the bottles. However, the truth is that most people tend to slurp, swallow, and gulp these essential minerals down without having even the slightest clue as to what they are or why they need them.
Electrolytes are important. They are minerals, including sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium, that assist in maintaining fluid balance, proper muscle function, and supporting nerve activity. When you lose a lot of fluids without replacing them, you can become deficient or imbalance in these crucial nutrients and dehydration can occur.
Some of the telltale signs of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Dark yellow urine
- Dry skin
- Muscle cramps
Staying hydrated is the key to being healthy and keeping dehydration at bay, but for some of us, we need a little extra boost to help get us there. This is where those sports drinks step in! The only issue is that most of these popular beverages are unfortunately loaded with sugar, which can sometimes be doing you more harm than good.
The good news is that there are healthy alternatives available. Instead of drinking commercial electrolyte-rich beverages packed with sugar, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, and additives, try these healthier ways to up your intake of electrolytes!
Here are the seven best electrolyte alternatives for anyone looking to avoid sugar:
Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside of a young coconut. Over the past several years, coconut water has become one of the most popular beverages on the market and is now bottled and sold worldwide. It's naturally low in sugar and contains a variety of electrolytes, including potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. At only 46 calories per cup, this tasty drink is also a much healthier alternative to juices, sodas, and traditional sports drinks.
When it comes to low-sugar electrolyte alternatives, lemons are at the top of the list. Why? Because they contain only a gram or two of sugar per lemon and are a great source of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Add that to their ability to naturally detoxify the liver, balance pH levels, and boost the immune system with vitamin C, and lemons are officially a solid addition to any drink. Squeeze a whole lemon or a few slices into a glass of cold water for a sour jolt of electrolytes.
Have you ever noticed that your sweat tastes a bit on the salty side? That’s because sweat is mostly made up of water and sodium. Sodium is one of the essential electrolytes that we’re quickest to lose. Luckily, ingesting salt is a quick and surefire way to replace it! Salt also contains the electrolytes calcium, magnesium, and potassium, so it’s good for more than just sodium replenishment. Always go for sea salt over table salt because it’s less processed. Celtic and Himalayan sea salts are widely available in most grocery stores. Simply put, a pinch in your water and drink. It’s that easy and comes with no sugar.
An ancient South American proverb says, “bone broth can resurrect the dead.” Okay, so that may be a bit of a stretch, but 100% organic bone broths do have incredible healing properties, including being great sources of bioavailable minerals such as sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. Sipping on bone broth is an easy and delicious way to replenish lost electrolytes - and the best part? It is very low in sugar.
Electrolyte Tablets and Capsules
Electrolyte tablets are an easy, convenient, and portable way to make your own electrolyte drink - no matter where you are. All you have to do is simply drop one of the tablets in some water, and you now have a powerful sugar-free electrolyte drink! In addition to having virtually no sugar, electrolyte tablets also tend to be low calorie and come in a variety of unique flavors. However, if you’re not a fan of dissolving tablets into your drink, electrolyte capsules might be more up your alley. Electrolyte capsules are one of the easiest ways to replenish your body with electrolytes. All you have to do is simply swallow a capsule with water and voila! Look for supplements like Adapted Nutrition’s Hi-Lyte Capsules, which deliver rapid rehydration to recover faster, beat muscle cramps, and combat dehydration headaches - all with one capsule, without any sugar.
Electrolyte powders work faster to rehydrate your body than water alone, and often contain more electrolytes than traditional sports drinks. In addition to electrolytes, these super powders also contain added vitamins and minerals to help boost immunity and to provide energy. Most electrolyte powders are made sugar-free, but this isn’t always the case. If you decide to take an electrolyte powder as a way to keep your body hydrated and support your healthy lifestyle, be sure to purchase from an honest and reputable company like Adapted Nutrition with a true passion for providing clean supplementation, without any added sugar.
An electrolyte concentrate can turn any beverage into a powerful electrolyte drink. Take Adapted Nutritions Hi-Lyte Concentrate for an example. Designed by nature to be potent, fast-acting, and completely absorbed, Hi-Lyte electrolyte concentrate can be added to any liquid to create a sugar-free and natural electrolyte drink. It’s made with natural sea minerals including ionic magnesium, zinc, and 72 trace minerals to support a healthy immune system. All you have to do is add a few drops to your beverage and enjoy.
A Final Word
Electrolytes are essential minerals that help your body carry out a variety of crucial functions, such as muscle contractions, nerve signaling, pH balance, and hydration.
To function properly, your body must maintain adequate levels of fluid and electrolytes at all times. However, the truth is that keeping your electrolyte levels in check can sometimes be tough. The good news is that there are natural and low-sugar options like coconut water and electrolyte powders that can help!