Electrolyte Absorption: What You Need To Know
From the desk of Robb Wolf
As a mostly fat-fueled guy, Im a big believer in only using glucose when I need it. The truth is, I dont want a hit of sugar every time I supplement sodium, potassium, or magnesium. Many of my followers feel the same way.
You might have heard that adding sugar to electrolytes boosts hydration – this isnt false. Glucose does help transport sodium, chloride, and water across the intestinal barrier.
Because of this, some claim you need glucose for proper hydration. Without glucose, they say, youll be short on both electrolytes and energy. But these folks are confused about the science.
While glucose may boost performance in some situationslike when I roll with 25-year oldsmost situations dont call for it.
Yes, you can hydrate and power your body just fine without glucose. Ill explain more later after we cover the basics of hydration.
Best Electrolyte Enhanced Water: Vitaminwater Xxx
Vitaminwater is known for delivering nutrients and minerals in convenient-to-drink waters, without added flavorings, preservatives, and other unnecessary chemicals. With a delicious acai-blueberry-pomegranate taste, this Vitaminwater is packed with vitamin C, B, and electrolytes.
Electrolytes And Fasting: All You Need To Know
Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by Fasting Planet
After a hard workout, you sip on a Gatorade or another brand of sports drink because youve heard these beverages can help you restore electrolytes. When youre on an intermittent fast and such drinks are off-limits, you may wonder how fasting might impact your count. Will you lose electrolytes on a fast, and how can you restore them?
Electrolytes will naturally deplete even on a normal diet, but especially during intermittent and longer-term fasting. If you exercise often while fasting, the rate of electrolyte depletion will increase as you sweat more. Bone broth is a fasting-approved beverage to consume that contains electrolytes, as is water and coconut water.
In this informative guide, well discuss electrolytes in more detail, as well as whether you need them when intermittent fasting. Well also talk about whether ingesting electrolytes will break a fast and what you can and cant drink while fasting to restore your electrolyte count.
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Top Tips To Make This Homemade Electrolyte Drink Recipe
- Use fresh lemon and orange juice, not store bought boxed juices.
- Add ice to the blender if you prefer a cold drink.
- Make a large batch and store the drink in the fridge in mason jars.
I also have recipes for Homemade Electrolyte Popsicles, Cold-Busting Gummy Snacks and a Natural Homemade Sports Drink made with essential oils , as well as tips on how to use essential oils for colds and flu.
What Is A Keto Electrolyte Drink
This DIY natural electrolyte drink is a great way to ensure that youre staying hydrated and to avoid the keto flu! Many people associate keto sports drinks with workouts and brightly colored processed beverages, but electrolytes are crucial all the time, not just during a workout.
Electrolytes are minerals that conduct electricity when dissolved in water and are necessary for critical body functions. The regulate the amount of water in your body, pH levels, moving nutrients into cells, moving waste out of cells, and making sure your nerves, muscles and brain work properly .
When you restrict carbohydrates, your body produces less insulin, causing your kidneys to flush out excess water and sodium . In order to maintain the balance between sodium and other electrolytes, your kidneys will also release extra potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Without enough sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium in your body, you experience signs of keto flu.
So, youre on-board to make this sugar-free electrolyte drink and keep the keto flu away, right?
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Best Ways To Replenish Your Electrolytes Naturally
Adapted with permission from Calmful Living by Natural Vitality, the US makers of Natural Calm.
Do you know electrolytes are important, but feel hesitant to consume the artificial drinks famous for replenishing them?
Youre onto something.
Its true: electrolytes matter. They regulate muscle and nerve function, hydration, blood pressure, and your bodys pH levels. Deficiencies or imbalances in electrolyteswhich include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, hydrogen phosphate, bicarbonate, and chloridecan cause everything from fatigue and muscle cramping to irregular heartbeat and seizures. When we sweat, we lose electrolytes so its important to replace them.
Its also true that popular sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade, which do contain electrolytes, are full of artificial ingredients and refined sugar.
Fortunately, there are ways to get the electrolytes you need without resorting to these processed products.
Is An Electrolyte Drink Right For You
Sports drinks and other types of electrolyte beverages are frequently marketed to the general public, but theyre probably not necessary for most people.
In fact, regular intake of some high-calorie, high-sugar electrolyte drinks could make it more difficult for you to reach your health goals, especially if theyre not being used for their intended purpose.
Most healthy, moderately active people can stay hydrated and obtain adequate amounts of electrolytes by eating a balanced, nutrient-dense diet and drinking plenty of water.
Fluid needs can vary by individual, but its generally recommended to consume at least 68101 ounces of fluid per day from a combination of food and beverages .
That said, there are specific instances when you may be at a greater risk of becoming dehydrated, and plain food and water just wont cut it.
If youre engaging in continuous, vigorous physical activity for longer than 60 minutes, spending extended periods in a very hot environment, or experiencing diarrhea or vomiting, an electrolyte drink may be necessary.
If youre not sure whether youre hydrating properly, watch for these signs of mild to moderate dehydration (
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Get Your Electrolytes Balanced:
When you are low on electrolytes, the simple step is to compensate for the electrolyte loss. You must ensure that your body is getting all the electrolytes it needs as per the recommended allowance.
This can be done in a few ways:
- Drink Water: Water is the cheapest and most widely available hydrating drink. Some types of water such as mineral water have added minerals in them which will help you compensate for the electrolyte loss.
- Drink electrolyte drinks: These drinks are specifically formulated to help people facing electrolyte loss. A basic electrolyte drink is just plain water with added minerals and certain nutrients such as vitamins.
- Be mindful: When you are fasting or on a ketogenic diet, you must be extra careful of what you eat and drink. Pay attention to the macros and micros to ensure that your food and drink dont push you out of the state of ketosis.
- Avoid sugars and calories: A plain electrolyte drink devoid of sugars and added calories is excellent to keep you hydrated and ensure that you do not suffer electrolyte loss.
- Electrolytes for fasting: The best electrolytes for keto fasting are sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, among others. This is because your kidneys throw out a lot of these electrolytes from your body due to low insulin levels. Your electrolyte drinks must contain these electrolytes minus any ingredients that will throw you out of ketosis.
The Best Drink Sources Of Electrolytes
You dont need a medical degree to know that cows milk is full of calcium and helps keep our bones in good shape, but you may not know that it also contains a ton of phosphorus and sodium. You actually get triple the electrolyte benefit on your cereal and in your coffee! If you dont like the taste on its own, try flavoured milkshakes or even hot chocolate to get your liquid electrolyte fix.
With both veganism and lactose intolerance levels rising, many of you may be wondering how you can still get enough of these essential nutrients if you cant consume dairy products. Youll be pleased to know that in fact many milk alternatives do contain lots of calcium, particularly soy, rice, coconut and hemp milks. Plus, many brands of dairy alternatives are fortified with extra calcium to help you get enough. Soy and almond milks are also great sources of phosphorus, so you dont need to miss out just because you dont drink the cows stuff.
We may not have access to coconuts straight off the trees in every climate, but supermarket cartons of coconut water have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. Coconut water is extremely rich in potassium, sodium, and chloride. A sodium-enriched coconut drink may be even more effective than a traditional sports drink as post-exercise rehydration therapy.
Table salt and its alternatives
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For Sports Performance And Recovery
- Paleo recipe 1 : ¼ cup of coconut water, plus a generous pinch of salt , dissolved in 1 liter of water. This version should be fine for most people.
- Paleo recipe 2 : a generous pinch of salt , dissolved in about 16 ounces of unsweetened fruit juice and diluted to taste. This version would be good for extremely long endurance exercise .
|Amount of mineral per 1 liter of drink.||Gatorade|
|1.6 grams||55 grams|
In fact, the Paleo versions are even a little better than Gatorade. For one thing, they have more sodium. This study found that typical rehydration drinks dont actually have enough salt in them for optimal performance and recovery .
The Paleo recipes also include at least a little magnesium and calcium both of these are also important minerals for muscle contraction and avoiding cramps, and many people are deficient in magnesium in particular.
Replacing Electrolytes Through Food
The most common electrolytes lost through physical activity are sodium and potassium, both of which are readily available in common foods.
Sodium is found in cheese, green olives, crackers, breads, meats and other processed and salty foods. Good sources of potassium include milk, bananas, raisins, green leafy vegetables and oranges, which all act as hydration supplements. By consuming a small snack consisting of foods from these two groups, you can easily replace your body’s electrolyte stores during or just after exercise, according to HuffPost.
Read More: Pros and Cons of Gatorade
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The Problem With Sugary Drinks
The average American consumes a whopping 17% of their calories from added sugar. This approaches 20 teaspoons of sugar on a 2000 calorie diet.
The majority of this sugar comes from sugar-sweetened beverages. Many electrolyte drinkslike Gatorade, Powerade, and anything else colored iridescent bluefall into this category.
The consequences of excess sugar consumption are beyond the scope of this article. . But consider this partial list of chronic diseases linked to higher sugar intakes.
Chronic diseases linked to sugar consumption:
- Heart disease. For each sugary beverage consumed daily, a persons risk of heart disease goes up by 10-20%.
- Type 2 Diabetes. In over 90,000 women, drinking more than one sugary beverage per day translated to an 83% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Cancer. High blood sugar from high sugar consumption fuels cancer via the Warburg Effect. . Mice fed the equivalent of one sugary beverage per day developed more colon cancer than control mice.
- Kidney disease. When healthy adults consumed 2 liters of soda after exercise, they showed of kidney injury.
- It doesnt stop there. Sugar drives the obesity epidemic. Higher sugar intakes are linked to higher rates of cognitive decline. Sugar exacerbates gut issues. The list goes on, but you get the point. Besides, sugar isnt the only problem with most electrolyte drinks.
How To Balance Electrolytes When You’re Sweating In Hot Humid Weather Starts With Knowing How Much Fluid You Lose Through Exercise
To get a sense of how much fluid was lost during exercise, you can weigh yourself before and after a session. The weight loss from exercise in hot weather will be fluid loss. One pound is roughly 2 cups of fluid. After your workout, hydrate with 16 ounces of fluids for every pound of weight lost. If weighing yourself isn’t practical at the moment, then rehydrate with plain water and eat a salty snack like pretzels or salted nuts.
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How To Balance Electrolytes Lost Through Sweat
Anytime you’re active outside in the heat of the day, chances are you’re sweating. The more active you are, the more you sweat. As the sweat evaporates off your skin, it helps cool you down. But sweat is not just water. It contains salt or sodium chloride and some potassium. If you sweat heavily in extreme heat, you could lose significant amounts of sodium, putting you at risk for low blood sodium. Most people get enough electrolytes such as sodium and potassium from the foods and beverages they eat and drink. However, you may need to consider a sodium replacement in some situations.
Best Electrolyte Drink Available
Best of all, Greater Than products are all created without additional sugars and come in a range of delicious flavors that mean youre sure to find a favorite or two among the bunch. Certified organic, Non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, keto-friendly and paleo-friendly, these drinks are the ideal addition to just about anyones diet – and are sure to make an excellent addition to your workout routine.
If youre ready to learn more about the science of how we create the perfect sports drink – and how it can benefit your body in a big way – drop us a line today. We cant wait to hear from you – and cant wait for you to try our delicious take on electrolytes.
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Do Electrolytes Break A Fast
If youve read this blog, then youve probably seen that weve discussed many times about what does and doesnt break a fast. The answer also tends to vary depending on who youre talking to. Some fasting experts believe that consuming any calories at all when intermittent fasting will break their fast while others have more leeway and allow for minimal calorie consumption, like 50 calories or fewer each day.
What we can say for sure is that consuming carbs and sugar will certainly break your fast. When fasting is broken, youre activating an insulin response. As this happens, glucagon and insulin are released into your bloodstream. Your body will then begin burning these sugar sources for energy.
The whole point of fasting is to get your body to burn fat instead, which you can only do when you a.) stop providing your body with glucose through food and beverages and b.) burn through your existing glucose supply. An insulin response is the last thing you want on when fasting then, because it can rewind the progress youve made. Your body will be back to burning sugar instead of fat for energy.
That has you wondering then, will you break your fast if you consume it?
No, because these minerals dont contain calories.
That said, if you drink a bottle of Gatorade to restore it, you will disrupt your fasting. An 8-ounce bottle of Gatorade only has 50 calories, which isnt bad, but it contains 14 whopping grams of sugar and 14 grams of carbs.
Electrolyte Tablets And Capsules
Electrolyte tablets are an easy, convenient, and portable way to make your own electrolyte drink – no matter where you are. All you have to do is simply drop one of the tablets in some water, and you now have a powerful sugar-free electrolyte drink! In addition to having virtually no sugar, electrolyte tablets also tend to be low calorie and come in a variety of unique flavors. However, if youre not a fan of dissolving tablets into your drink, electrolyte capsules might be more up your alley. Electrolyte capsules are one of the easiest ways to replenish your body with electrolytes. All you have to do is simply swallow a capsule with water and voila! Look for supplements like Adapted Nutritions Hi-Lyte Capsules, which deliver rapid rehydration to recover faster, beat muscle cramps, and combat dehydration headaches – all with one capsule, without any sugar.
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What Happens When You Have An Electrolytes Imbalance
Loss of electrolytes have specific consequences. When levels of potassium are too low, it is thought that people can start experiencing muscle weakness, muscle cramps, or muscle twitches. At extremely low levels, your heart may begin to beat in an abnormal way . When levels of sodium are too low, you may begin to feel sluggish and tired .
Muscle cramps arent enjoyable so knowing how to prevent them will improve your life dramatically. Read about the top causes here and learn how to combat them.
The Best Electrolyte Drink Without Sugar
From the desk of Robb Wolf
If youre limiting sugar, your options for electrolyte drinks are limited. Youre mostly just looking at sports drinks with enough sugar to satisfy a six-year old on Halloween.
Most people are at least somewhat aware that sugary beverages arent the best electrolyte drink. But they drink them anyway. I have to get my electrolytes somehow, right? Yet, if you read the ingredients label, you dont find a whole lot of electrolytes.
You never find more than a couple hundred milligrams of sodium. And that doesnt even begin to address the questions of potassium or magnesium.
A couple hundred milligrams of sodium is almost negligible when you look at the data. Athletes can lose up to 7 grams of sodium per day when exercising in warm climates.
The worst part is the liquid sugar though. These electrolyte drinks have tons of it, and theyre making Americans fat, sick, and metabolically inflexible.
Oral rehydration solutions contain sugar too, usually as glucose instead of high fructose corn syrup. These concoctions are great for replacing lost fluids and electrolytes, but the meme that you need sugar for everyday hydration just isnt true. Ill geek out on this later.
Ill also geek out on the problems with sugar and store-bought electrolyte drinks. Then Ill show you how to make your own. .
First, though, lets talk about hydration at the most basic level.
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