These are the Best Foods for Electrolytes
Have you ever found yourself feeling dizzy or fatigued during daily exercise? Have your muscles ever cramped during a long run in the heat? These uncomfortable feelings could stem from poor hydration practices and a loss of electrolytes in your body. Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid these symptoms in your daily life. Keep reading to learn how to combate electrolyte loss through nutrient rich food and drinks.
What are Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals and salts stored in your body that can act as mediums to conduct electricity. These 5 zingy ions: Sodium, potassium , magnesium, calcium, and phosphate, are vital to many natural functions in the body including nerve and muscle function and blood pressure regulation.
Signs of Low Electrolyte Levels
Both low and high electrolyte levels can impact your body's finely tuned biome. Low electrolyte levels caused by fluid loss can lead to symptoms like painful muscle cramps, fatigue, or dizziness. Illness where the body loses high amounts of fluids can drastically affect your body's hydration levels. However, the most common way to lose electrolytes is through strenuous exercise combined with a lack of proper hydration. A good rule to remember is that the hotter the temperature and the more intense the exercise, the more water is lost.
6 Foods For When Your Body Needs Electrolytes
Maintaining regular fluid intake is a great way to replenish any electrolytes lost. Water alone may not be enough to replenish the vital salts and minerals depleted during particularly strenuous activity. That is why a strong combination of electrolyte-rich food and drink is the best way to keep your hydration levels at a healthy equilibrium. Some of the best foods for electrolytes include:
Dairy products like cow's milk are very high in calcium. A single cup of 1% milk can contain close to 300 mg of the electrolyte. Adding portions of Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or parmesan into your mealtimes or as a post-workout snack can replenish much-needed electrolytes and protein in your body.
Bananas are known worldwide as both a hydrating and gut-friendly snack. A single banana out of the bunch can contain close to 422 mg of potassium and can be incredibly effective against the cramping and dehydration that usually comes with hard exercise. They are easy to travel with and delicious as a morning boost when sliced as a topping for oatmeal or toast.
Coconut water is a good source of all five electrolytes and can contain more potassium than a banana with a whopping 660 mg per bottle. As a more alkaline fluid, coconut water can help balance acidic ph levels in the body while preventing symptoms of dehydration. Coconut water is also usually low in sugar and calories, making it an ideal beverage during physical activity.
Spinach is rich in not one, but three different powerful electrolytes. With each spear packing the punch of 283 mg of sodium, 41 mg of potassium, and 20 mg of calcium, spinach is one of the most nutritious leafy greens to add to your menu.
Sweet potatoes are not only a delicious carb that can spice up any meal, but are also full of nutritious minerals. One sweet potato contains around 488 mg of potassium and 73 mg of naturally occurring sodium.
Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS)
Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) have over fifty years of medically reviewed history as powerful electrolyte replacement powders. Convenient substitutes for sugary sports drinks, they have long been used for both day to day and emergency hydration.
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