Mind Your Minerals!
Updated: Apr 28, 2018
Sure, we need water, but did you know that sometimes you can drink too much?!
Electrolytes are mineral messengers that provide an electric "spark plug" for our bodies. They regulate fluid at the cellular level and we need them to effectively move nutrients into and remove wastes from the cells. Minerals like calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, potassium, and sodium are crucial to maintaining balance in the body. When they are missing or not in balance, we experience symptoms such as muscle cramps, headache, nausea, fatigue, food cravings, swelling, cardiovascular symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, palpitations & high blood pressure, and joint pain.
Many things we do daily can deplete, or strip, our bodies of these essential nutrients. Dehydration can absolutely cause electrolyte imbalances. You can dehydrate yourself by drinking diuretic beverages as well as not enough plain water. Another example is sweating, because our bodies will excrete sodium through sweat. Water follows salt. If we are too well-hydrated, or eat a low carbohydrate diet, we may urinate often and further excrete electrolytes as the kidneys dump electrolytes with the excess water from our system. Apart from excessive urination, diarrhea and vomiting can easily disrupt electrolyte balance.
Aside from adding a pinch of mineral-rich Himalayan pink salt to our food or water, we can also obtain electrolytes by including mineral-rich foods in the diet.
Here's a helpful infographic to help you understand the importance of some of the main electrolyte minerals used by the body.