Electrolytes are essential minerals—including sodium, calcium, chloride, and potassium—that are vital to many key functions in the body. They’re often talked about in association with dehydration. We require them for fluid balance, blood pressure regulation, and muscle contractions.
Not having enough electrolytes causes cramps and muscle soreness, headaches, swelling and water retention, feeling of hitting the wall, low energy, feeling like water flushes through you, and a general sensation of being unwell.
How to Maintain Healthy Electrolyte Balance
- Eat Whole Foods – The best way to get all the nutrients your body needs is to eat whole foods the majority of the time. That means avoiding junk foods that have little or no nutritional value.
- Eating a balanced diet full of fresh produce, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates will give you all the nutrients you need to keep your body in balance.
- Drink Water – As long as you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet, using small amounts of salt in your food, and drinking plenty of water, your fluid balance should be able to manage itself. Water also helps keep your metabolism and digestive system in check.
- Recover after Exercise – Replenish your electrolyte levels after working out by consuming foods that contain potassium and sodium. That includes papaya, broth, milk, pickles, sweet potatoes, and coconut water. While natural sources are ideal, you can also get electrolytes from tablets and supplements. This helps avoid muscle fatigue after a workout.
- Take an Epsom Salt Bath – Your body actually absorbs magnesium better through your skin than through your digestive system. If you’re experiencing muscle cramps, troubles sleeping, or anxiety, consider taking a warm Epsom salt bath since Epsom salt is rich in magnesium.