We are all aware that drinking water is beneficial to your health. From controlling your body temperature and blood pressure to increasing your mood, memory, and productivity, the benefits of drinking water are absolutely remarkable1. But, does adding electrolytes to water increase the benefits of drinking water? The Quench Water Experts are here to explain how electrolytes can help you stay hydrated.

What are Electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals that, when dissolved in water, convey an electrical charge. Electrolytes are retained by your body as a result of the foods you eat and fluids you drink.

Water Alkaline vs. Water Electrolyte

In conclusion, when compared to tap water, both forms of water can aid to maintain your pH levels regulated and encourage better hydration. Additional electrolytes can be found in some types of alkaline water, providing even more benefits. Because of their unique qualities, many people believe that alkaline and electrolyte water taste better. Whether you choose alkaline water to help prevent acid reflux or electrolyte water to keep your fluid levels in balance after a strenuous workout, drinking plenty of water is the best method to avoid dehydration and support critical biological functions. Feel well and thrive with water!

What do electrolytes do?

Natural electrolytes, as previously said, play a significant part in human bodily activities. Electrolytes are obtained by humans through diets and beverages. When these minerals are combined with fluids such as blood and water, they become electrically charged. Electrical energy aids in the execution of critical processes.

These minerals, which include sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, are dispersed throughout the body and employ electrical energy to help with critical physical activities such as:

  • Maintain a healthy level of water in your body.
  • Maintain a healthy pH level in your body.
  • Introduce nutrients into your cells.
  • Get trash out of your cells.
  • Control the function of your nerves, muscles, heart, and brain.
  • Assist in the repair of damaged tissue

7 most important electrolytes

Here are the most important electrolytes for nutritional health:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Phosphate
  • Chloride
  • Bicarbonate

These minerals direct water and fluids to where they are most required, assisting in the maintenance of homeostasis and fluid balance.

Recommended intakes for each electrolytes

Consuming the appropriate quantity of an imbalanced electrolyte should result in a reduction in symptoms. If it does not, additional tests may be required to rule out any other underlying conditions that may be causing the imbalance.

The following are the recommended daily allowances for some of the most common electrolytes:

ElectrolyteRecommended intake in milligrams (mg)Recommended intake for people aged over 50 years (mg)Recommended intake for people aged over 70 years
Sodium1,5001,3001,200
Potassium4,700
Calcium1,0001,200
Magnesium320 for men, 420 for women
Chloride2,3002,0001,800

Is electrolyte for everyone?

Athletes are frequently mentioned (or targeted) in the marketing of electrolyte-infused sports beverages and waters. This is because when a person exercises and sweats, they lose important electrolytes that must be replenished. A healthy electrolyte balance is crucial for everyone, not just athletes. We require electrolytes in our bodies to walk, breathe, and even think! Our nerve cells do not communicate efficiently in the absence of electrolytes in our brains.

What is electrolyte water?

Electrolyte water contains minerals that are electrically charged, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Electrolyte water is also known as mineral water or alkaline water. Believe it or not, both sea water and tap water include electrolytes in the form of different types of salt.

Drinking salt water is obviously not suggested; having the proper mineral balance is critical to supporting health. Electrolyte drinking water is specifically intended to boost hydration and other biological functions by including only the most helpful electrolytes at ideal concentrations. Electrolyte waters, like sports drinks, include electrolytes for increased hydration, although sports drinks frequently contain high levels of sugar and calories.

How are electrolytes introduced into water?

Salt pills were once the most common way to add electrolytes to water, however it has since been shown that too much sodium found in salt can actually dehydrate the body. Most bottled electrolyte water now contains minerals without the increased salt intake, and they may also contain additional vitamins. It is also possible to make electrolyte water at home, which is both environmentally and economically advantageous.

What are electrolyte water’s advantages?

Water accounts for up to 60% of the adult human body. When even a small portion of this 60 percent is lost, your body is unable to conduct all of its vital duties. When you become dehydrated, electrolytes take over to keep you hydrated.

In some cases, electrolyte levels in your blood can become depleted, resulting in an imbalance. An electrolyte imbalance can be hazardous to your health.

Among the symptoms are:

  • irregular heartbeat
  • weakness
  • bone disorders
  • twitching
  • changes in blood pressure
  • confusion
  • seizures
  • numbness
  • nervous system disorders
  • excessive tiredness
  • convulsions
  • muscle spasm

An electrolyte imbalance can occur for a variety of causes, including:

  • kidney disease
  • not replenishing electrolytes or staying hydrated after exercise
  • prolonged periods of vomiting or diarrhea
  • poor diet
  • severe dehydration
  • an imbalance of the acid-base, or the proportion of acids and alkalis in the body
  • congestive heart failure
  • cancer treatment
  • some drugs, such as diuretics
  • bulimia
  • age, as the kidneys of older adults become less efficient over time

Dehydration frequently causes electrolyte imbalances. As a result, it’s critical to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially during activity, illness, or extreme heat – all of which cause you to lose the most fluids.

Why you should use electrolyte water?

While regular drinking water is necessary to avoid dehydration, it is preferable to restore lost fluids with electrolyte water, for the following reasons:

1. Enhance Physical Performance

Extra fluids are required during physical activity to replace the water lost through sweat. In fact, even a water loss of 1–2 percent of your body weight might result in diminished strength, speed, and attention. Sweat also contains electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium in modest levels.

While exercising, it is recommended that you consume electrolyte-enhanced water rather than conventional drinking water to replace the electrolytes lost through sweat. This will help to improve the operation of your heart, brain, muscles, and neurological system.

The majority of people consume too many acidifying foods, such as dairy, meat, and processed cereal grains, which increase acidity in the body. Acidosis can cause bone mineral density loss and muscular atrophy. A potassium-rich diet, on the other hand, can aid to maintain pH, prevent metabolic acidosis, and preserve muscle mass. According to one recent study, persons who get a lot of potassium every day keep an extra 3.6 pounds of lean tissue mass than people who obtain half as much potassium.

2. Enhances Cognition

Memory and attention can quickly deteriorate when electrolytes are depleted. What’s crazy is that you don’t even have to be that dehydrated to feel the results. Researchers discovered that even minor dehydration can have a harmful impact on brain function. Consider sodium: too much of it can cause the brain to grow, while too little can lead the brain to shrink, both of which are detrimental to cognition.

At the same time, electrolytes such as calcium, phosphate, and magnesium are essential. In severe cases, low amounts of these minerals can alter mood and possibly cause seizures. The idea is to keep your electrolyte levels in the Goldilocks zone (not too high or too low). Fortunately, the body is quite excellent at making adjustments on its own, but it is up to you to take enough electrolytes through food and supplements.

3. Promotes Heart Health

Electrolyte levels have a direct impact on your ticker’s health. For starters, a lack of potassium combined with an excess of sodium is linked to high blood pressure. Most people take far too much sodium in their diet. Don’t worry if this describes you… According to research, boosting your potassium consumption can help you lower your blood pressure. According to other study, raising potassium and decreasing sodium is critical for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to one study, those who drank approximately 4,000mg of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of mortality from heart disease than those who consumed approximately 1,000 mg per day.

Magnesium and calcium also contribute to normal blood pressure. Furthermore, magnesium decreases inflammation, inhibits artery clogging, and normalizes irregular heartbeats.

4. Aid in nervous system function

We’ve all seen athletes guzzle sports drinks to replace electrolytes, but athletes aren’t the only ones who need to keep their bodies hydrated and fluid levels regulated. Understanding the significance of regular hydration keeps us safe and, as a result, more productive. Even a minor loss in hydration can result in impaired cognitive functions, decreased concentration and alertness, and slower reaction times. Your reaction time is similar to someone with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent with 3% dehydration.

Your nervous system is a complicated network of nerves and specialized cells that send information from your brain to the rest of your body. Electrolytes are essential in this communication process.

  • Sodium – begins the electrical impulses required by your nerve cells for appropriate communication.
  • Potassium – neutralizes the nerve cell so that following electrical impulses can be initiated.
  • Magnesium – enables the efficient transmission of electrical impulses.
  • To promote continuous brain function, your diet should include enough salt, potassium, and magnesium to fulfill your recommended daily intake. Drinking electrolyte-enhanced water is an easy approach to meet your daily goal.

5. Enhances Digestion

Electrolytes keep the digestive system moving. Your intestines are lined with smooth muscle tissue that is regulated by the autonomic nervous system, which is the part of your body that you cannot control consciously. Their repetitive contractions help in nutrient absorption and waste removal. Potassium allows the intestines’ muscles to contract. Low potassium levels, on the other hand, can stifle proper digestion. That is why it is critical to consume potassium-rich foods and electrolyte supplements!

6. Maintain hydration during illness

Vomiting and diarrhea are usually not significant symptoms in the short term. However, if fluids and electrolytes are not supplied, severe or persistent symptoms can soon progress to dehydration. To avoid dehydration, doctors recommend drinking electrolyte-enhanced water at the first signs of illness. Sports drinks are similar, but contain more sugar. They are not advised because the sugar may aggravate the condition. Sports drinks, on the other hand, may be tolerated if diluted to 1 part water, 1 part sports drink.

Importantly, electrolyte drinks may not be sufficient to treat severe dehydration. Seek medical attention if your illness lasts more than 24 hours or if you are unable to keep fluids down.

7. Encourages Sleep

Another significant health advantage of electrolytes is improved sleep. Calcium, for example, aids the brain’s conversion of tryptophan into the sleep hormone melatonin. Calcium also enhances deep rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, according to the journal Neuroscience . Electrolytes may potentially aid in the treatment of insomnia. A 2012 double-blind clinical experiment including 46 senior persons with insomnia discovered that magnesium supplementation can improve sleep time and efficiency (3).

Researchers also discovered a rise in sleep hormones and a decrease in stress chemicals such as cortisol. Better sleep naturally leads to less daytime exhaustion, improved focus, and more productive days. These electrolyte advantages are definitely piling up! The better you perform, the more rested you are.

8. Reduces anxiety and stress

Another important advantage of electrolytes is that they help to reduce stress and anxiety. Magnesium is very beneficial for lowering anxiety. A meta-analysis of 18 trials, for example, discovered that “existing data is indicative of a positive effect of Mg on subjective anxiety” (7). Magnesium is essential for the body’s normal stress response.

Simultaneously, persistent stress depletes magnesium and increases the risk of anxiety and depression. What is the solution? Consume enough magnesium through supplements or magnesium-rich foods such as dark chocolate, avocados, and almonds.

9. Blood sugar stabilization

Type 2 diabetes may be linked to low potassium levels, according to new research. Researchers at John Hopkins University School of Medicine linked potassium shortage to high levels of insulin and glucose, both of which are symptoms of diabetes, in a study. However, further research is needed to evaluate whether dietary potassium supplementation can reduce the risk of diabetes. Having said that, potassium and other electrolytes, along with avoiding sweets and getting adequate exercise, might be part of a diabetes prevention regimen.

10. Kidney Stones Could Be Avoided

Kidney stones are solid clumps of material that form in the urine. The majority of the time, they are composed of calcium deposits. Because of the way potassium and calcium interact, consuming potassium citrate can help lower calcium levels in the urine, according to study. Finally, this can aid in the prevention and treatment of kidney stones. A four-year study including 45,619 males discovered that persons who drank the most potassium daily had a 51% decreased incidence of kidney stones.

11. Avoid Heat Stroke

Heat-related illnesses, ranging from moderate heat rash to life-threatening heatstroke, put you at danger in hot situations. Normally, your body controls heat by sweating and expelling it via your skin. However, in hot conditions, this cooling system may begin to malfunction, leading your body temperature to increase to dangerously high levels. The key to avoiding heat-related illnesses is to spend as little time as possible outside. Getting lots of fluids and electrolytes, on the other hand, is critical for keeping your body cool.

Because of its capacity to replenish critical electrolytes lost through sweat, electrolyte-enhanced water is preferred for hydration in hot situations over other beverages. Sugary and caffeine-containing drinks, such as soda, coffee, and tea, as well as alcohol, can exacerbate dehydration.

12. Headaches are relieved

Electrolytes can help with headaches induced by dehydration. According to a recent study, approximately 10% of persons suffer from dehydration headaches. They can be caused by a loss of electrolytes, a loss of fluids, or both. Magnesium and sodium are particularly important in the treatment of dehydration headaches. When they are out of balance, they can cause headaches and weariness. Most people consume far too much salt and far too little magnesium. Magnesium insufficiency can cause migraines by causing:

  • Muscle strain is increasing.
  • Neurotransmitter alterations
  • Anxiety is rising
  • Having an effect on blood pressure

How to monitor

An electrolyte panel is used to detect electrolyte imbalances in the blood as well as to assess acid-base balance and kidney function. This test can also be used to track the progress of treatment for a recognized imbalance.

An electrolyte panel is occasionally included as part of a standard physical exam by a doctor. It can be performed independently or as part of a battery of tests.

The concentration of electrolytes in the blood is used to calculate levels in millimoles per liter (mmol/L).

During a hospital stay, patients are frequently given an electrolyte panel. It is also performed on patients who are taken to the emergency room, as both acute and chronic conditions might have an affect on levels.

If the level of a single electrolyte is discovered to be abnormally high or low, the doctor will continue to test this imbalance until the levels return to normal. If an acid-base imbalance is discovered, the doctor may order blood gas tests.

These test the amounts of acidity, oxygen, and carbon dioxide in a blood sample taken from an artery. They also assess the severity of the imbalance and how the individual is responding to treatment.

If a doctor prescribes certain drugs known to impact electrolyte concentration, such as diuretics or ACE inhibitors, levels may be evaluated.

What are some treatments?

Treating an electrolyte imbalance entails either increasing concentrations if they are too low or decreasing concentrations if they are too high.

If the levels are excessively high, the therapy will be determined by the source of the excess. Normally, low levels are handled by supplying the required electrolyte. Online, you may buy a variety of electrolyte supplements.

The severity of the imbalance will also influence the sort of treatment. It is occasionally safe to refill an individual’s electrolyte levels over time without constant monitoring.

However, symptoms might be severe at times, necessitating hospitalization and monitoring during treatment.

Oral rehydration therapy is a type of rehydration therapy that is administered or

This medication is mostly used for persons who are dehydrated and have an electrolyte deficiency, usually as a result of severe diarrhea.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has authorized an oral rehydration solution that contains:

  • 2.6 gram (g) sodium
  • Potassium chloride (1.5 g)
  • sodium citrate (2.9 g)
  • These are dissolved in 1 liter of water and administered orally.

Therapy for electrolyte replenishment

In more severe cases of electrolyte deficiency, the chemical can be administered orally or via an intravenous (IV) drip.

A lack of sodium, for example, can be replenished with a saltwater solution or compound sodium lactate infusion.

Excessive water loss without electrolyte loss can result in an excess. A solution of water and blood sugar, or glucose, is given in these instances.

Prevention

Some causes of electrolyte deficiency, such as kidney illness, are unavoidable. A well-managed diet, on the other hand, can help lower the chance of a scarcity. Consuming a moderate amount of a sports drink after physical effort or exercise can help reduce the impact of electrolyte loss through sweat.

How to replenish electrolytes without drinking water

Do you want to know how to recharge and maintain your electrolyte levels? A healthy diet is a simple and efficient method. This entails consuming more foods that restore electrolytes while avoiding those that deplete them. The following are some of the greatest electrolyte foods:

Electrolyte neededSources
Sodiumdill pickles
tomato juices, sauces, and soups
table salt
Chloridetomato juices, sauces, and soups
lettuce
olives
table salt
Potassiumpotatoes with skin
plain yogurt
banana
Magnesiumhalibut
pumpkin seeds
spinach
Calciumyogurt
milk
ricotta
collard greens
spinach
kale
sardines

Electrolytes supplements?

Electrolyte pills are another excellent approach to increase your consumption of these essential nutrients. To begin with, most individuals do not drink enough water, and to make matters worse, the current western diet is sodium-laden. It’s the perfect atmosphere for dehydration! Worse, standard sports drinks are high in sugar and have a limited profile of low-quality electrolytes.

Fortunately, you can add an electrolyte supplement to any beverage—-water, soda, smoothies, coffee… Buoy is the name of it! It’s not that you’re not drinking fluids; it’s that those drinks lack a diverse spectrum of high-quality electrolytes. The solution is to incorporate high-quality electrolytes into what you’re already drinking! Add some electrolyte snacks to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a winning combination of health and hydration.

Making your own electrolyte water

There are numerous recipes available to manufacture distinct flavors of electrolyte water or with different additives, depending on the maker’s goal or preference. All electrolyte water should be adjusted to the person consuming it, usually by height, weight, and activity level; electrolyte requirements are not “one size fits all.”

All recipes begin with a foundation of filtered, distilled, deionized, or spring water, along with a pinch of salt or baking soda. It is therefore recommended to add fresh citrus (fruit) juice, which provides calcium and potassium but no additional sugar. At the end, modest amounts of glucose are added in the form of honey or agave nectar, which offers a sweet taste and better absorption rates into the body. Shake the mixture well before drinking it, especially if you are recovering from a lengthy workout, high temperatures, or being sick.

There are also several electrolyte supplements available on the market, either in powder or liquid form, that can be used to add pure electrolytes to filtered water. Most supplements do not contain sweeteners or flavorings to make them easier to consume, and they should be thoroughly examined to ensure that they give the best match for your electrolyte requirements.

How much should you drink?

Women should consume 9 cups of water per day to be hydrated, whereas men should drink 12 cups per day. If you’re in a hot climate or doing strenuous exercise, we recommends drinking at least 2 cups of water before your activity and 1 cup every 20 minutes while you’re doing it.

Electrolyte replacement is usually only required while exercising for more than an hour. Even if you can use electrolyte water instead of ordinary water, make sure to examine the amount and type of electrolytes in the brand you buy. If it contains too much salt, you may surpass the Institute of Medicine’s daily sodium requirement of 1,500 milligrams.

Conclusion

The majority of our electrolyte requirements are met by the wholesome meals we eat every day. Electrolytes are only required in excess during times of dehydration, long workouts, or hot weather. Electrolyte water is a great alternative to sports drinks because water with additional minerals is easily absorbed by the body and contains no added sweets or calories. Electrolyte water is available in most grocery stores and can also be prepared at home using natural ingredients or electrolyte supplements.

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