Do you know that with the help of electrolyte drinks, you can consume important minerals?
Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium that are present in the tissue, blood, and other bodily fluids.
Moreover, these are critical for nerve and muscle function, blood pressure regulation, and hydration.
Some drinks are naturally rich in electrolytes while others undergo special formulations to provide electrolytes.
The term electrolyte refers to the fact that these are substances with an electrical charge.
A number of bodily functions rely on a small electric current, which electrolytes provide.
You can maintain a healthy electrolyte balance with a diet of food and drinks rich in electrolytes.
While some other people like high-performing athletes and people who are ill and dehydrated may need a boost.
Keep on reading to learn more about electrolyte drinks.
The term electrolyte refers to chemicals that carry an electric charge when you dissolve them in water.
However, in terms of nutrition, it refers to minerals that play a crucial role in your body.
Moreover, electrolytes appear in your tissues, blood, urine, and other bodily fluids.
These minerals are important for a number of bodily functions.
These include keeping your body hydrated, controlling the nervous system, and balancing the acidic and basic, i.e. pH levels of the body.
List of Beverages high in Electrolytes
Some beverages are natural sources of electrolytes, while some are electrolyte-infused drinks.
The following are six common drinks high in electrolytes:
Cow’s milk is naturally high in electrolytes and includes calcium, sodium, and potassium.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies, FNDDS, 1 cup of regular whole cow’s milk provides:
Moreover, it is a good source of macronutrients.
If you exercise vigorously, then this combination of electrolytes and macronutrients makes cow’s milk an easy post-workout electrolyte drink.
However, cow’s milk may not be suitable for anyone.
For instance, regular cow milk is often not an option if you have lactose intolerance.
While a lactose-free version may be a better option.
In the same way, no animal-derived milk, cow, or otherwise is an option for those who follow a vegan diet.
Also, there are plenty of other dairy alternatives like soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk.
However, some research suggests that not only do plant-based ilks fail to provide comparable levels of vitamins and minerals, but the vitamins and minerals are absorbed less easily than those present in cow’s milk as well.
Fruit juices like orange juice, cherry juice, and watermelon juice tend to be good sources of magnesium potassium, and phosphorus.
According to FNDDS, the average school container or 124 grams of 100% orange juice provides:
- 13.6 mg of magnesium
- 221 mg of potassium
- 34..7mg of phosphorus
Moreover, fruit juices can also be good sources of antioxidants and vitamins.
However, most fruit juices are low in sodium and high in sugar.
The same containers of orange juice contain 2.48 mg of sodium, but 10.3 grams of sugar also.
It is another source of certain electrolytes, particularly potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium.
FNDDS states that 240 g of unsweetened coconut water contains:
- 14.4 mg of magnesium
- 62.4 mg of sodium
- 16.8 mg of calcium
- 396 mg of potassium
Other Sources of Electrolytes
Some other sources of electrolytes are:
Nutrient-added water beverages
These are low-calories, low-sugar options for electrolyte drinks.
Electrolyte-infused water beverages do not have the same amounts of sugars and calories, as fruit juices and sports drinks.
Moreover, depending on the brand, they may even provide a more diverse mix of electrolytes.
If the beverage uses the term “water” on its packaging, the Food and Drug Administration, DA states that the product must meet all safety requirements.
And label all the ingredients including minerals on the nutritional information label.
These drinks are available electrolyte beverages.
Though popular, sports drinks have their fair share of pros and cons.
For instance, sports drinks are a convenient way for high-endurance athletes to stay hydrated and replenish the electrolytes they lose through sweat.
Moreover, there are sugar-free options available and some may also provide energy-boosting benefits.
On the other hand, sports drinks contain more electrolytes than an average person needs.
They contain a lot of sugar, i.e. a 360 milliliter serving of sports drinks contains 21 g of sugar.
Overall, commercial electrolyte drinks like sports drinks may be a good choice for athletes.
But may not be suitable for an average person.
Oral electrolyte Solutions
Oral electrolyte solutions are another type of commercial electrolyte drink.
Manufacturers often formulate these with an optimal balance of electrolytes and sugar to help you recover from dehydration.
For instance, an 8-ounce serving of commercial oral electrolyte solution can contain:
- 244 mg of sodium
- 184 mg of potassium
- 294 mg of chloride
Anecdotally, you can recommend these types of drinks for replenishing electrolytes in children with diarrhea or vomiting.
They are suitable for adults who may be at risk of dehydration.
Making Electrolyte Drinks at Home
There are a number of ways you can make it at home. These are:
Making an electrolyte drink at home can be as simple as adding an electrolyte tablet. These are available online and also in health and wellness stores.
Fruit or vegetable smoothies are an easy and popular way to balance your electrolytes at home.
You can use the following fruits and vegetables high in electrolytes:
Oral Rehydration Recipe
You can also make your own oral rehydration therapies with basic kitchen staples.
For instance, you can make an oral rehydration solution by mixing the following:
- 1 liter of water
- 6 teaspoon, tsp of sugar
- 1/2 tsp of salt
Recommended Amount of Electrolytes
Most people need the following recommended daily amounts of electrolytes to maintain a healthy balance:
Sodium: Maximum of 2,300 mg.
Chloride: Roughly the same as sodium as most dietary chloride comes from salt.
Potassium: The National Institute of Health, NIH recommends 2,600 mg for adult females and 3,400 mg for adult males.
Calcium: The NIH suggests about 1,000 mg for those between the age of 19 to 50 for males.
About 1,200 mg for females aging 51 years and older and males aging 71 years and older.
Phosphate: Adults of age 19 and older need 700 mg.
Magnesium: NIH recommends 310 mg for females and 400 mg for males aging between 19 to 30 years of age.
Moreover, about 320 mg for females and 420 mg for males 31 years and older.
However, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding may need higher or lower amounts.
Their doctor can recommend an appropriate amount.
When the electrolyte levels in your body become too high or too low, it can cause an electrolyte imbalance.
It happens when the amount of water in your body changes.
In most cases, your body needs to take in as much fluid as it loses.
Without that balance, your body can become dehydrated, i.e. have too little water, or overhydrated, i.e. have too much water.
A number of factors can affect the water balance of your body.
- excessive sweating
- not eating or drinking enough
- medications like diuretics and laxatives
- vomiting and diarrhea
- kidney or heart problems
- congestive heart failure
Moreover, certain other medical conditions show an association with electrolyte imbalance.
For instance, an analysis indicates an association between COVID-19 severity and significantly lower levels of sodium, potassium, and calcium
When you have an electrolyte imbalance, you may experience a wide range of symptoms.
These can include shortness of breath, confusion, rapid heart heart raete o an irregualr heartbeat.
Therefore, doctors advise that you should seek medical advice or see a doctor in case you experience severe symptoms like:
- rapid blood pressure changes
A doctor can find whether you have an electrolyte imbalance or another condition, as well as the appropriate treatment.
How you can Maintain the Balance
When you consume a balanced diet that includes nutritious foods and drinks, you can supply your body with important and necessary minerals to support a healthy electrolyte balance.
This means to make sure that your diet includes fruits and vegetables rich in electrolytes.
Moreover, it also includes healthy sources of essential minerals.
Moreover, it is important to maintain hydration throughout the day.
If you exercise, you should pay close attention to your fluid intake.
Mild to moderate workouts may only require water, while longer and more intense workouts call for more robust electrolyte drinks.
However, if you experience symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting, you may also want to pay attention to your fluid intake and consider an oral electrolyte solution to avoid dehydration.
Thus, if you experience symptoms of electrolyte imabalcne, you should consider consulting a doctor.
Benefits and Risks of Electrolyte Drinks
If you maintain a healthy diet and stay hydrated, you will not need electrolyte drinks.
However, these drinks can provide a quick and convenient way for athletes to replenish electrolytes lost from sweat.
Or help those with severe diarrhea or vomiting to stay hydrated and maintain electrolyte balance.
However, if you regularly consume electrolyte drinks, you may consume more than necessary.
These can have associated risks.
For instance, it can lead to:
These occur when you have too much sodium, potassium, or calcium in the blood.
Electrolytes are important minerals that play a key role in a number of bodily functions. You can get sufficient levels of electrolytes from the diet, however, an electrolyte-rich beverage can also be beneficial for athletes who engage in intense exercise or those who are ill and at risk for dehydration.
You can also make electrolyte-rich beverages at home by mixing salt, sugar, and water. However, you should try to maintain healthy electrolyte levels, as too much or too little can result in an imbalance, which can have associated risks. If you have concerns about your electrolyte level, make sure to contact your doctor.