What Are Electrolytes Good For? 5 Benefits You Should Know About
As the peak of summer arrives, even the most summer-loving person is going to start to feel the heat. Your sweating increases and you lose a lot of water and electrolytes while you’re out in the sun. But what exactly are electrolytes?
Simply put, electrolytes are particles with a natural electric charge. They’re also essential minerals—sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride, and phosphate—that support vital functions in your body.
Among the many sources of these nutrients, the most common are vegetables and fruits, particularly those with high water content.
Why are Electrolytes Important?
So what are electrolytes good for? The different electrolytes in your body perform a variety of vital biological functions. Some of these are:
1. Keeping Your Body Hydrated
The human body is predominantly made of water, with some estimates saying it’s 60%, depending on your biological sex. Water fuels it every day and proper hydration greatly contributes to the maintenance of normal bodily functions.
However, water alone cannot provide the nutrients you need to keep your energy levels up. And this is where electrolytes step in to do their job.
Electrolytes balance the fluids in your body through a process called osmosis. It’s pretty simple: water with lower electrolytes passes through the semi-porous cell membrane into a section of high electrolyte concentration. This ensures that cells are adequately hydrated.
So why are electrolytes important in keeping our cells hydrated at all times? Without them, osmosis cannot happen, and your cells will dehydrate.
2. Balancing pH Levels and Blood Pressure
pH is a scale of 0-14 used to identify whether a substance is an acid (below 7) or a base (above 7). The human blood has an average pH value of 7.40, which is considered neutral. Your blood pH must stay at this level for your body to function normally. Any kind of deviation can cause illness.
Aside from balancing your body’s hydration, electrolytes are also responsible for maintaining its acid-base level. Bicarbonate is the basic electrolyte that helps stabilize your blood’s carbon dioxide, which is acidic in nature.
Your body needs potassium and sodium as well, to maintain a normal blood and fluid volume. Even a slight imbalance can cause problems in your blood pressure. If your sodium level is higher than your potassium level, you will suffer from hypertension. In such a case, magnesium (another electrolyte) effectively lowers blood pressure.
3. Helping You Sleep Better
If you’re looking for uninterrupted slumber, you might want to dose up on some electrolytes, particularly calcium. It helps produce the sleep hormone melatonin and has been reported to improve rapid eye movement (REM), one of the deep phases of sleep.
Electrolytes are important for people with insomnia as they can improve sleep efficiency. In the same report, magnesium was found to also help increase shut-eye time.
4. Improving Cognitive Process
A deficiency in electrolytes can adversely affect your cognitive abilities. Just the slightest bit of dehydration can affect your attention and other brain functions.
Ever felt like the world was going around in circles? That’s what happens when you’re low on electrolytes. It can make you feel dizzy and unable to concentrate on anything. Having an adequate amount of electrolytes makes sure this doesn’t happen and helps you focus better on tasks.
5. Promoting Tissue Regeneration
When damaged, your tissues require nutrients and minerals, particularly electrolytes, to rebuild and regenerate. Electrolytes also help indirectly in wound healing since hydration is an important aspect of it. Being adequately hydrated ensures that the nutrients required to heal the injury are carried to the affected area, while waste products are deported away from it.
6. Strengthening Muscles
A potassium-rich diet is said to lower acidity while stabilizing pH level. This helps preserve your muscle mass. Electrolytes are also good for healthy muscle contractions, including the heart’s, which are aided by calcium. In addition, magnesium facilitates muscle relaxation after contraction.
Where Do You Get Electrolytes?
A variety of food and beverages can help replenish your electrolyte levels. Certain supplements may also give you an instant boost.
Here are some good sources of electrolytes:
- Fruits and Vegetables: Watermelon, strawberries, mangoes, bananas, cherries, avocado, cucumber, apples, kale, lemons, and spinach are rich in both water and electrolytes.
- Natural Beverages: For a good source of electrolytes and energy, coconut milk which has minerals like potassium and magnesium, lemon water with a pinch of sea salt, diluted fruit juices, and plant-based milks are all good for basic electrolyte replacement.
- Electrolyte-Infused Drinks: Sports and energy formulas can provide a quick hydration pick-me-up and mineral infusion, but many of them contain tons of sugar, too much sodium, empty calories and artificial colors and flavors.
Opt for drinks with zero added sugar and plant-based colors and flavors like Ultima Replenisher. There’s more than just one reason to stay hydrated with this refreshing electrolyte mix. Adding it to your water gives you six electrolytes and trace minerals, vitamin C and zinc and doesn’t have sugar, calories, carbs, or other junk.
Now you know what electrolytes are good for. Electrolytes are necessary not just to provide you with energy, but also for a range of different bodily functions.
As the weather becomes hotter, it is imperative to keep yourself hydrated with plenty of fluids and an ample amount of electrolytes.
Ultima Electrolyte Hydration Powder offers a quick and convenient way to maintain your everyday electrolyte balance needs. It’s easy—just mix it with water or into herbal tea, smoothies, or sparkling water for delicious refreshment. You instantly get your dose of electrolytes whenever you need it, without worrying about added sugar or carbs.