A healthy and refreshing drink is always a bliss to sip on. Be it managing the thirst or relaxing your tired body after a long day at work or after heavy workout sessions, what we all crave is fluids which can help in reenergizing and bringing us back on track. Well, have you ever wondered what all these beverages got that makes them such a healthy and hydrating option?
While we all know how important fluids and water are for our body, we seldom give a thought to the other facet that is equally and largely responsible for maintaining proper fluid regulation inside our body. These are electrolytes.
What Are Electrolytes and Why Do We Need Them?
Electrolytes are charged ions that conduct electricity when they are dissolved in water. In simple words, electrolytes are minerals that perform many important functions inside our body. The major electrolytes required by our body in optimum amounts are-
Even for different kinds of diets, especially the keto diet, keto electrolytes are vital for preventing many symptoms like headache, cramps, etc.
Electrolytes play numerous roles in maintaining proper metabolism and keeping the body healthy. The important functions of electrolytes are-
- Sodium and potassium ions regulate the osmotic pressure and maintain proper fluid balance. It also aids in nerve and muscle contraction.
- Magnesium ions help in the contraction of muscles, bone formation ones and activation of enzymes.
- Calcium ions are responsible for the transmission of nerve signals, contraction of muscles, formation of bones and teeth, and blood clotting.
- Chloride ions regulate osmotic pressure and also enable the secretion of acids present in the stomach which facilitates proper digestion.
Thus, the importance of electrolytes in our daily diet cannot be underestimated. Now, when it comes to optimum consumption of electrolytes, it is important to understand that no matter how many supplements you wish to go for to energize yourself and restore the lost electrolytes, your right diet is the best catch.
Daily intake of electrolytes in diet can be easily fulfilled through natural sources i.e, eating healthy food, consuming natural, healthy, and preferably homemade electrolyte drinks, and consuming lots of water.
Electrolyte Drinks: What Are They And How They Are Important?
To restore the number of lost electrolytes and fluids due to sweating, our body needs more than just plain water. No doubt water is the best source for rehydration, but additionally, we require natural diet sources to maintain a regular balance of electrolytes and fluids.
That’s where electrolyte-enhanced beverages enter the lane. Specifically, electrolyte drinks are the term we use for any beverage containing a rich amount of electrolytes in them and provide us optimum hydration. Electrolyte drinks are potentially one of the best options you can sip on after a heavy workout or if feeling dehydrated.
Apart from commercially known brands of electrolyte drinks, healthy homemade electrolyte drinks are excellent sources to energize yourself and remain optimally hydrated all throughout the day.
What Can You Drink For Electrolytes?
Here is a list of some of the best natural drinks you can go for to replenish your electrolyte and fluid stores-
One of the most easily available and excellent sources of hydration, coconut water is a go-to drink for many people. Coconut water is a powerhouse of many important electrolytes like calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc. Low in calories and containing natural sugars, coconut water is a feasible alternative to sodas, soft drinks, and commercially sold energy drinks or sports drinks.
If you are looking for a fulfilling yet refreshing option to sip on at the same time, smoothies are the perfect catch. A good deal of electrolytes from fruits and vegetables blended with the goodness of milk and topped up with nuts- smoothies pave a great way to provide a great satiety value and are also easy to digest. However, you must keep in mind that smoothies might not be the best option to consume during a prolonged and heavy exercise session.
Many of us are unaware of how important milk is for hydration. Loaded with all the important nutrients like calcium, protein, potassium, sodium, etc., milk is literally a superfood. Be it an addition to your breakfast cereal or as a post-workout recovery drink, milk is a key beverage you can count on to compensate for your electrolyte and fluid stores.
Watermelon is by far one of those foods which contain a potentially very rich content of water. Potassium and magnesium are about 6% of the Daily Value (DV) in one cup (237 ml) of 100 percent watermelon juice, with other electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. However, watermelon juice is comparatively low in sodium and high in sugars. Thus, a limited intake, preferably, 1 glass of juice a day is feasible.
Electrolyte water is the water infused with all the essential electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc. Electrolyte water is one of the best sources to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance. Apart from maintaining hydration, electrolyte water also helps in-
- Nerve function system
- Preventing body stroke
- Improving performance during sports
- Preventing dehydration
One of the most popular commercially sold choices of people for quick replenishment of electrolytes and fluids is sports drinks. Mostly, sports drinks are meant for people who are involved in heavy workout sessions and sports activities. Consuming sports drinks in excess amounts can be harmful as these contain high amounts of artificial sugars.
You can also make your own healthy sports drinks at home. To make a healthier electrolyte beverage without artificial additives or additional sugar, combine 100 percent fruit juice, coconut water, and a touch of salt.
Electrolytes are the key mineral ions that perform many major functions in our body. Coconut water, milk, fruit juice, and sports drinks can all help you stay hydrated and maintain your electrolyte balance.
Consumption of both water and electrolyte drinks must be in balance to regulate all the metabolic processes of the body. You can evaluate whether or not adding an electrolyte beverage to your regimen is good for you by drinking lots of water and checking for early indications of dehydration.