Staying Hydrated with Electrolytes
Spring is on its way, only to be followed by summer! This is the time where new life starts growing everywhere. Flowers bloom, trees turn green, birds migrate north, and the energy all around is evident. This should be the time we get out of the house and go for walks, reconnect with nature, and soak in the sunshine. But make sure you stay hydrated with electrolytes!
Why is Water Important For Us?
All of the above is made possible because of the properties of water. Water makes up a great amount of everything around us and its’ properties are what keep the world turning. Our bodies rely on water for hydration, cellular health, waste elimination, transporting nutrients, and regulating the body’s temperature. It is estimated that 72% of our body has water as its basic element, what is called “fat-free mass”. Scientists have discovered that our body composition starts at 80% fat-free mass as babies and is diminished to 72% by adulthood. As we continue aging, this percentage starts declining again after the age of 60. Could this be the secret to living a long life?
Whether water is the true elixir of life or not, is still up for debate. What is certainly true however, is the fact that hydration levels of the body and especially during spring and summer are vital for our bodies to function properly. The increased amount of sweat, warmer temperatures, and higher energy vibrations, require water.
What is it About Water That Makes it so Special for the Body?
Hydration is not just drinking any kind of water. In fact, drinking pure water can have the opposite effect to hydration. What makes the difference is the elements found in the water. These electrolytes, help give water its properties. In the human body these electrolytes partake in the majority of metabolic processes and allow for proper function to occur. Some of these functions are nerve conduction, muscles contraction, energy production and acid/base balance (pH). Imbalances in electrolyte levels are found in patients with diabetes, cancer, even COVID-19 patients. Because of their importance in immune regulation, energy production and many other metabolic processes, good hydration should always be our goal.
Do Sport Drinks Get The Job Done?
It depends! Not all sport drinks are the same. Some are better than others but still not good. Sport drinks are designed for that exact reason! They are meant for someone that is exercising vigorously for prolonged periods of time and requires energy and hydration. The sugar content in sport drinks is unnecessary for the majority of the population that does not partake in vigorous exercise. They also contain coloring that adds a toxic load to the liver.
How Should You Rehydrate?
Rehydration is best when done by consuming whole foods, like vegetables and fruits throughout the day. These provide you with all the necessary elements and more to rehydrate and function at your best. If you have a well balanced diet and still want to make sure you are having proper hydration, you can find a DIY hydration recipe at the end.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
This tends to always be a question from patients. To answer this there are multiple factors that one needs to look at. Diet, exercise levels, sweating and climate are some of the bigger factors. However, it seems to be the case that females require 2.2L of water consumption per day, and males require 3L. This includes water content ingested with food. The evidence shows that 1.5L (or 50 oz) of water consumption per day is ample to maintain healthy hydration levels in the body. Making sure this comes packed with the necessary electrolytes and vitamins might just be the elixir to life!
Below is a recipe for home-made electrolytes. An easy way to get all the electrolytes you need throughout the day.
1 liter of filtered water, 2-3 tablespoons Maple Syrup, the juice from ½ lemon, ½ teaspoon Sea salt. Mix everything together and enjoy your homemade electrolyte drink.
Contact us for any questions or alternatives to this delicious home made electrolyte drink.
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Lippi, G., South, A. M., & Henry, B. M. (2020). Electrolyte imbalances in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Annals of clinical biochemistry, 57(3), 262–265. https://doi.org/10.1177/0004563220922255