Unless you’re a health buff, chances are you’re not entirely familiar with the term electrolytes.
I found out about these mineral particles, the hard way.
One fine day, I was out on my daily run, when suddenly I felt my heartbeat going crazy. To make things worse, the muscles in my legs were starting to cramp too.
By the time I got home, I was out of my mind with worry. But a quick visit to the doctor revealed that I had experienced an electrolyte imbalance.
Before that day, I’d never paid attention to electrolytes and how they help the body function.
So, if you’re clueless about electrolytes – it’s completely okay.
Because lucky for you, I’m about to break down how to replace electrolytes naturally and all that you need to know about them.
What Do Electrolytes Do for The Body and Why They Are Important?
Right, so first thing’s first, let’s start with trying to understand what electrolytes are. This may induce some high-school biology and chemistry flashbacks, but try to hang in there anyway.
Electrolytes have more aliases than Sidney Bristow and are often called minerals, chemicals, or particles.
But,here’s what is super-interesting about electrolytes – they carry an electric charge (such as a positive or negative charge).
Here are some of the various types of minerals found in the human body:
Now, I know some of you are feeling pretty confused right about now. That’s because we’ve all heard of potassium, magnesium, and sodium – but we know them as minerals.
However, when these minerals are dissolved in water, they take on the form of electrolytes that help in your body’s numerous metabolic processes.
For instance, did you know that electrolytes are crucial when it comes to a well-functioning nervous system?
You see, the brain communicates with cells throughout the body via electrical signals.
These signals are made possible because of changes to the electrical charge of a nerve cell membrane. And guess what helps these changes take place? You got it – its electrolytes.
Apart from that, electrolytes are also essential when it comes to muscle movement, maintaining your body’s pH balance, and keeping your body well-hydrated.
Benefits of Electrolytes
Now that we’ve got the concept of electrolytes down pat – let’s move on to what the benefits of some of these miracle minerals are.
Before my episode of electrolyte imbalance, the only thing I knew about potassium was that it’s found in bananas. That’s not all there is to potassium though, because it’s one of the major positive ions found in our cells.
Potassium is essential for optimal cell function.
Not to mention, it helps in regulating your heartbeat and maintaining muscle function. Any abnormal increase or decrease in potassium can lead to arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) or reduced kidney function.
The first thing we all think about when we hear the term bicarbonate is – baking soda. But, as far as the bicarbonate mineral is concerned, it plays a tremendous role in some very important biological processes.
For instance, bicarbonate helps in supporting normal levels of acidity in out and other bodily fluids. Having too much bicarb in your blood can lead to Alkalosis, whereas having too little can cause Metabolic Acidosis.
Some experts have claimed that having the right pH level can protect you from conditions like cancer and candida because diseases can’t survive in an alkaline environment.
Sodium – a word that mankind the world over associates with salt. However, the sodium ion does way more important stuff than just making food taste good.
For example, the sodium ion regulates the amount of water in your body and the transfer of sodium in cells.
Also, the transfer or movement of sodium is critical in generating electrical signals. This means sodium imbalances can disrupt communication between nerve cells and result in a variety of health issues.
7 Ways to Replace Electrolytes Naturally
I think we have a good idea about why electrolytes are super-important. They’re responsible for regulating some of our most important biological functions, and an imbalance can result in all types of issues.
But, here’s what’s even more important. You can lose precious nutrients through excessive sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, and even high fever. That’s why we often feel drained and lethargic after such experiences.
That’s why it’s important to know how you can naturally replace your body’s electrolytes. And, the best part is it’s astoundingly easy to get your imbalance back in form by changes in diet.
However, remember the following electrolyte replacement tips are for moderate imbalances.
Sea Salt/Himalayan Salt
Like I said earlier, sodium is an important nutrient for your body. It’s also the easiest electrolyte to lose via sweat.
But, replacing sodium is simple. All you need to do is ingest salt and voila, your imbalance is as good as gone. It’s best to opt for healthier options like sea salt or Himalayan salt when you’re trying to restore your electrolytes naturally.
Not only are these salts widely available, but they include other nutrients like calcium and potassium. However, if you suffer from high blood pressure, then avoid this method and opt for something else.
Drinking coconut water is probably one of the best methods of naturally replacing electrolytes. One cup of coconut water contains around 600mgs of potassium and 250mgs of sodium.
Not only is coconut water jam-packed full of nutrients, but it’s also low in sugar content. There are quite a few options available when it comes to coconut water, be it bottled or natural.
Although I recommend it’s always best to buy pre-prepared coconuts and drink the water directly from its source.
If you can’t find coconuts, then, of course, any of the alternatives available closest to you is okay.
Lemons contain calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Furthermore, you can ingest lemon juice in a variety of ways to naturally replace your electrolytes.
In summer, you can make yourself a nice cool glass of lemonade, whereas, in winter, you can make yourself a hot cup of ginger-lemon tea.
The point is, lemons are a great way to replace electrolytes.
Another excellent way of replacing electrolytes is through eating yogurt. Not only does yogurt have minerals like calcium, but it also has the added advantage of probiotics which are great for digestion.
If you’re running short on potassium, then look no further than your friendly neighborhood bananas. These no-hassle fruits contain a whopping 400mg of potassium and are a great source of vitamin C.
Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are excellent sources of minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Furthermore, leafy greens are an important aspect of a healthy diet and can help battle conditions like obesity and heart disease.
Another unlikely candidate for natural electrolyte replacement is celery. Along with negative calories, celery contains nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphorus. It also makes for a great snack for post-workout hunger cravings.
What Does Electrolyte Imbalance Mean?
Here’s the thing – the balance of your body’s electrolytes is always changing due to fluid levels.
For instance, when you’re sweating due to exercise, your body’s fluid level is decreasing and that affects your electrolyte balance.
Most people confuse an imbalance with a deficiency of electrolytes. But, the truth is an electrolyte imbalance can result from having too many or too few minerals in your body.
It is possible to develop conditions where your body contains excess amounts of certain electrolytes. For example, hyperkalemia means you have too much potassium in your body.
How to Stay Electrolyte Balanced with A Recipe
If you’re on the lookout for a recipe that’s not only delicious, but also great for replacing electrolytes, then I have good news for you.
I’ve included below a recipe for a drink I like to call ‘Lemon-Coconut Thirst Quencher’.
Here’s is a list of the ingredients you’ll need:
- 4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 cup coconut water
- 2 tsp Honey
- Pinch of Salt (Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt)
- ½ tsp Ginger Powder Ice cubes
To prepare the drink, all you need to do is throw in all the ingredients in your blender and give it one or two good swirls.
After that, grab your favorite drinking glass, add in the ice cubes and pour the drink in.
Next step – sit back and enjoy your fruity, zesty, electrolyte replacement drink!
There you have it folks, we’re almost at the end of our electrolyte enlightenment essay.
I do hope the article helps you on How to Replace Electrolytes Naturally, and don’t forget to try out my Thirst Quencher recipe. You will not regret it, I promise.
Also, don’t forget to comment and let me know what your favorite electrolyte replacement alternative is.
Oh, and before you go, scroll down and check out some of the popular FAQs that I’ve compiled for you.
What happens when your body is low on electrolytes?
Electrolytes need to be sustained in a certain balance to support biological functions efficiently. If an electrolyte imbalance occurs, this can affect the way your body operates in many ways. Severe imbalances may cause seizures or even comas.
How do I know if my electrolytes are low?
You will likely not have any symptoms for a moderate electrolyte imbalance. However, some people can face lethargy or mild muscle spasms. Severe electrolyte imbalance can result in symptoms like convulsions, headaches, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, and confusion.
What are two causes of low electrolytes?
Two of the most common causes of low electrolytes are vomiting and diarrhea. Excessive sweating is another common cause of low electrolytes.
Can drinking too much water cause electrolyte imbalance?
Overhydration can cause your electrolyte levels to fluctuate, just like dehydration. Drinking excessive amounts of water can especially affect sodium levels, andcan cause heart issues.
What foods replace electrolytes?
A variety of fruits and vegetables are very beneficial when it comes to electrolyte replacement. Some of these are mangoes, strawberries, watermelon, spinach, kale, broccoli, potatoes, and avocados.
Irene Mills, is a dedicated wife. And, a mom of two young children. She graduated as a Bachelor in Science with an orientation in Architecture. As well as Literature, and Language. She thrives, in the writing of drama, romance, and adventure. With a high interest in the truth of nature and Organic lifestyle. Want to know more? check out our about us page.