How important are foods high in electrolytes? In order to answer that, you have to understand just what an electrolyte is and what it does. Electrolytes are electrical conductors in your body’s fluid. They’re minerals that dissolved in water to use their energy to help with bodily functions. For instance, you have to have electrolytes to control body fluids, blood pressure, muscle contraction, which includes the heart and maintaining the right pH of the body. People who have high blood pressure understand the importance of electrolytes like potassium and also sodium. Magnesium, calcium and chloride are other well-known electrolytes.
Electrolytes are in water and also food.
Whether you’re drinking bottled water or tap water, there are electrolytes in it. Only distilled water has them removed. The same is true of food. Consider salt, that’s sodium chloride. Just by recognizing the chemical name, you know there’s sodium and chloride electrolytes, so even junk food can have them. The problem is that you want a balance and food high in sodium doesn’t provide it.
What foods have a good balance of electrolytes?
Look for food that’s green and leafy, like spinach or kale. Consider healthy food such as broccoli, avocados, beans, almonds and peanuts. Soybeans and soy products like tofu, strawberries, watermelon, oranges and bananas are high in electrolytes, too. Yogurt is a good source of electrolytes, just as other milk products are. Fish, turkey chicken and veal are also high in electrolytes.
The key is eating healthy and balanced, to ensure you have a balance of electrolytes.
You probably already know that you can have too much sodium in your diet. In fact, you can have too much of any type of electrolyte. The key is always to eat healthy and have a good blend of electrolytes. What can cause you to deplete your store? Sweating, vomiting, diarrhea or diuretics can. Anything that dehydrates you, also depletes you of electrolytes. If you’re sweating, you’ll probably replace the fluid, but may not replace the electrolytes. Anyone working out hard and sweating over an hour and a half to two hours, should ensure they replace the lost electrolytes with a sports drink or other technique.
- Knowing that the body has a perfect balance point can help you understand why over consumption of salt can cause a problem.
- Some medication can cause an electrolyte imbalance. Make sure you discuss the potential with your health care professional when starting any medication or before consuming sports drinks.
- Long before sports drinks were invented, coconut water was the original sports drink. It contains five electrolytes, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. As an emergency use, coconut water was used to replace blood plasma in WW2.
- A little chicken broth, an apple, banana or a container of Greek yogurt could provide the electrolytes you lost during a workout.
For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness