Electrolytes are critical to several key functions in our bodies. For example, electrolytes keep you hydrated, regulate muscle contractions, and help with balancing pH levels which are your measures of alkalinity and acidity. Electrolytes also monitor and control the nervous system’s functioning. Many types of powdered electrolytes can also help to repair damaged nerves and muscles.
Are Powdered Electrolytes Good for You?
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are essential, electrically charged minerals such as potassium, sodium, and calcium. Essentially, electrolytes carry energy around your body. They help keep us calm and alert. Electrolytes are most often associated with dehydration and staying hydrated. They build up the “electric tissues” in our bodies to enable proper organ functioning and overall health.
You may hear about electrolytes a lot in advertisements for sports drinks. Electrolyte powder or electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade and Body Armor are great for replacing essential minerals after losing electrolytes during physical activity. Not all sports drinks though have enough electrolytes in them to replace what is lost through sweat. Quite often there is more added sugar and not enough electrolytes. However, sugar, water, and salt do assist with the absorption of fluids to combat an electrolyte imbalance.
Sources of Electrolytes
A nutritious diet is a very important source of electrolytes. We take in electrolytes mainly through a well-balanced diet containing healthy, whole foods. When dehydrated, taking supplemental or powdered electrolytes is a good idea to help restore depleted hydration levels.
What are the Best Food and Drink Sources of Electrolytes?
Food Sources of Electrolytes
- Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- Dried Apricots
Drink Sources of Electrolytes
- Cow’s milk
- Alternative milk
- Unsweetened coconut water
- Pickle juice
- Fruit juice
Electrolyte Replacement Products
- Sports drinks – Gatorade, Powerade, Body Armor
- Powders – Liquid IV
Symptoms of Low Electrolyte Levels
Electrolytes are lost mainly through sweating and passing urine. There are several ways to become dehydrated and consequently have low electrolyte levels apart from exercising. Hangovers can cause a loss of electrolytes. Alcohol is a diuretic and causes dehydration as you urinate more often.
Signs or symptoms of low electrolyte levels can include:
- Low energy
- Feeling weak or unwell
- Poor bowel movements
- Muscle cramps
- Changes in blood pressure
Heat stroke can occur as a result of dehydration. While powered electrolytes can help with these symptoms, if the symptoms are prolonged or persistent please consult your general practitioner immediately.
Supplemental powdered electrolytes help repair your body and replenish much-needed minerals and vitamins. Some of the better powders contain no calories and reduced sugar. The best electrolyte powders use a ratio of sodium and potassium, as well as glucose. The glucose aids in the delivery of water quickly into the bloodstream. Newer electrolyte powders also have additional minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C and B12 which boost immunity and generate energy. The best-powdered electrolytes are also GMO-free and have no artificial ingredients.
When To Take Powdered Electrolytes
It is safe to drink powdered electrolytes mixed with plain water daily. The best time to take them is first thing in the morning before heading out of the house as electrolytes promote alertness. They also boost the immune system and prevent sickness, as well as aid recovery from illness.
Taking powdered electrolytes after exercising is also a good idea. The electrolyte mixture will help to address soreness and help to prevent muscle cramps, apart from replacing the electrolytes lost through perspiration. Consuming a good amount of electrolytes after a night spent drinking will also help to ease a hangover.
Additional Information: Fluid and Electrolyte Balance (Medlineplus.gov)
What can Fortress Nutrition LLC do for you?
Rest assured that you’re in good hands with Fortress Nutrition. To learn more about how we tailor our blending, ingredient sourcing, logistics, consumer packaging, and other services to meet customer needs, and find out how we can partner with you to ensure compliance with new GMO laws, contact us today.