Getting electrolytes in isn’t just for when you’ve thrown up and have lost those stores or when you’ve just finished a major sweaty workout session. For instance, here’s what to eat before and after yoga. Still, your body needs a good electrolyte balance to maintain bodily function, so it’s important to get enough in the day to stay replenished, not just in these particular moments.
So, what are they, exactly? “Electrolytes are minerals in the body that carry an electric charge. These include sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), bicarbonate (HCO3-), magnesium (Mg2+), chloride (C1-), and hydrogen phosphate (HPO42-). Every single system depends on having a stable electrolyte balance, from the nervous system to the acid-base balance of our blood, to the contraction of our muscles,” says Dr. Michelle Davenport, PhD, RD, Co-Founder of Raised Real.
“That’s why severe losses of electrolyte balance, when we have major loss of bodily fluids such as with diarrhea or vomiting, can be fatal,” she adds. That’s also why it’s important to restore your electrolyte balance after a long run. (Or, when you’re hungover, too.)
Electrolytes also spark energy and jump-start the metabolism, thus reducing inflammation and preventing digestive problems. What’s more, electrolyte stores also help speed recovery from injury or sore/damaged muscles.
Though, most people think “Gatorade” when it comes to electrolytes, and you can’t sip a sugary sports drink all day. (Those calories and sugars add up.) Luckily, here are a few other sources of electrolytes to be mindful of. And they all have tons of other nutritional benefits, too!
What’s that? Well, it’s good for you, so here’s the gist. Cactus water is high in electrolytes and can be super refreshing, so it’s a killer post-workout sip. “It is high in taurine, electrolytes and contains betalians. I also like the fact that it is low in sugar and half the calories of coconut water,” says Dr. Elizabeth Trattner.
Plus, it also has antioxidant properties and can improve your immune system, she says. And, if interested, here are a few other cool water trends to try now.
By: Isadora Baum