Electrolyte Water and Health Information: We always hear that we need to keep up our electrolytes especially when exercising. Few of us are truly acquainted with what the electrolyte water actually is. And what it means to us and our bodies. The answer is a little complicated, but essential to understanding.
Electrolytes Are Minerals or Chemical Elements
Examples are potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium. And salts such as phosphates, bicarbonates, and chlorides. They can be simple salts such as sodium chloride or far more complex organic molecules. The electrolytes can turn into substances called ions. They can carry either negative or positive charges.
Electrolytes are crucial because they need to be balanced in the body. Because they are located both inside and outside the cells. It must maintain a balance with both the fluid surrounding the cell and within the cell. Disrupt the balance and the cell could lose some of the fluid. Causing it to become dehydrated. This could potentially cause the death (or at least damage) to the cell.
The electrolytes need to be further discussed to include their many vital functions. In fact, they are so crucial that if we lost too much of any of our electrolytes we could possibly die. But, too much of any could interrupt the normal functions of your body.
It is important to be mindful of this. This balance controls and maintains us. But we can easily disrupt it in the following ways:
Drinking Fluids in an Excessive Amount
This includes water. The electrolytes are in the forms of minerals and salts. They need to dissolve in a liquid to function. Hence, electrolyte water. But if you drink more than necessary, your kidneys will cause you to urinate. Along with the loss of fluid, your electrolytes will be lost as well. This is why doctors recommend you drink the appropriate amount of fluids. But not drink water in such excess that you lose your electrolytes and cause yourself to become ill.
Using Diuretics Far Too Much
Diuretics (otherwise known as water pills) cause you to urinate far more often. That can cause an excessive loss of electrolytes, especially potassium. This is the reason some diuretics are labeled “potassium-sparing”. Meaning that it will not cause a potassium imbalance.
Laxatives Can Also Cause an Electrolyte Imbalance
If they lead to constant diarrhea, you tend to lose a lot of fluid, with the electrolytes going along with it. This is the most dangerous if you are abusing laxatives. The resulting loss of essential body fluids causes a range of side effects. Such as exhaustion, dizziness, confusion, fainting, heart failure, or death.
Within the electrolyte solution are the most important electrolytes. These would be calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. To truly understand their significance we need to examine their functions. As well as the recommended quantities we should have.
Everyone knows that you can find most of the calcium in your body in your teeth and bones. Calcium also regulates cell function, as well as blood clotting and your heartbeat. Dairy products (including milk) are the most obvious ways to get calcium. But you can also get it through nuts, green vegetables (including collard greens), and some tofu. The FDA recommends consuming 1000 to 1300 mg of calcium per day.
This is the single most important ion when it comes to the fluid outside the cells. It regulates the volume of liquid located inside the cells. And the volume of the plasma in your blood. It is crucial for muscle and nerve function. It also is helpful in controlling as well as maintaining the acid-base balance in your body.
If your sodium levels are extremely low, you may have seizures, go into a coma, or even die because of a lack of sodium. There is not a recommended daily amount from the FDA. Most people get plenty in their diets due to their use of things such as table salt. But, too much sodium has been known to be linked to hypertension and high blood pressure. So it is usually advisable to only consume about two to five grams per day.
In the human body, magnesium is usually found in the bones. But, it can also be found inside the fluid on the outside of cells. Low levels of magnesium can have extremely life-threatening consequences. Because magnesium is one of the most important factors when it comes to enzyme reactions. The recommended daily amount of magnesium intake ranges between 310 and 420 mg every day. This takes into account your age and gender. You can incorporate many great sources of magnesium into your diet. This includes whole grains, brown rice, and green, leafy vegetables.
This is the single most important part of the fluid inside your cells. Potassium maintains both your acid-base balance and the water balance within your body. As does Sodium. To maintain water balance, it is important not to get dehydrated. Yet not become water intoxicated either.
Along with calcium, potassium helps regulate nerve and muscle activity. If there is not enough potassium in your system, it can prevent adequate storage of glycogen. This is the main source of energy to help with muscle activity. Either a deficiency or an excess of potassium can be fatal. It has been suggested that adults consume about 4700 mg of potassium per day. It is easily found in your diet, as it is in many fruits, meats, vegetables, and even dairy products.
This electrolyte water is helpful. When it comes to ensuring that we keep our bodies balanced. With an appropriate amount of both electrolytes and water.
Easy to Make Electrolyte Water
Making your own electrolyte water is cost-effective. And a healthy way to replace fluid and electrolytes when needed. Here is an easy lemon-lime flavored drink recipe to try at home:
Yield: 4 cups
Serving size: 1 cup
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1/4 cup of lime juice
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened coconut water
2 cups of cold water
This recipe for Electrolyte water includes the minerals your body needs to function. Such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride.
Purchasing sports drinks and manufactured electrolyte waters can be pricey. You will want to consider a homemade version. Not only are these inexpensive to make. But they supply electrolytes without artificial colors or flavors.
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