Food, Farming and Nutrition
Food, Farming and Nutrition
10 Natural Electrolyte Drinks
You surely know that hydration is critical for health, but what you may not know is that hydration is more than just drinking water—you also have to make sure the water gets into your cells. This is where electrolytes come in.
Electrolytes are minerals that become electrically charged when dissolved in water. Some of these minerals are sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate, and they exist in saliva, blood, sweat, and urine to help maintain fluid balance in the body and keep the body’s acids and bases (pH) balanced.
Electrolytes help move water and nutrients into the cells and wastes out of the cells, and are critical for electrical activity in the body, which is especially important for the cardiovascular and nervous systems, and the ability of muscles to contract and relax.
Low electrolytes can be caused by anything that causes you to lose fluids, like increased sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, and the use of diuretics. Certain health conditions, overeating processed foods or foods high in sodium can also throw electrolytes out of balance.
Symptoms of low electrolytes can include:
- Numbness or tingling
- Muscle weakness
- Spasms or twitching
- Shortness of breath
Depending on how severely you’re depleted, symptoms can also include fever, confusion, racing heart, blood pressure changes, and even seizures.
Typical commercial electrolyte drinks contain added sugar or salt, as well as artificial colors, flavors, synthetic vitamins, etc. If you’re looking for a natural alternative, and/or if you follow the Paleo diet (which excludes those additives), here are 10 ideas to stay hydrated this summer.
Coconut water has the ideal ratio of both sodium and potassium.
Smoothies with Avocados or Bananas
Both avocados and bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, and both give a nice creamy texture to smoothies.
Lemon and lime juices contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Add a slice of either citrus fruit for a refreshing boost of electrolytes.
Plantain Powder Drink
Plantains, fruits related to bananas, can be dried and pulverized into a fine powder and used as a rehydration drink.
Juice a cup of chopped celery and dilute with water for a drink rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
Beets can be enjoyed as a juice, either store-bought or freshly pressed. They are rich in potassium, and also contain calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
This Paleo-approved smoothie is rich in potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium.
Lemon-Lime Electrolyte Drink
Blend ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, 3-4 Medjool dates, and 5 cups of water until smooth. The dates add potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as natural sweetness.
Schroeder, B. (2021, July 15). The 10 best natural electrolyte drinks for everyday hydration. https://thepaleodiet.com/the-10-best-natural-electrolyte-drinks-for-everyday-hydration