Electrolytes are the minerals (such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, chloride, bicarbonate, etc.) that conduct electric charge when dissolved in water. Electrolytes are necessary for various functions in the body like nerve signaling, muscle contraction, hydration, and pH balance.
It is very crucial to maintain appropriate electrolytes levels because our body loses electrolytes and other fluids through sweating and other waste materials. Also, there are certain situations or activities like excessive vomiting or bouts of diarrhea, or heavy exercise that can deplete our electrolytes. You need to replenish them by consuming a diet that contains a good amount of minerals. In this article, we are going to list 7 healthy electrolytes drinks that will help you to replenish electrolytes in your body. Let’s check them out!
What are Electrolyte Drinks?
Electrolyte drinks are a balanced mix of water, sodium, chloride, calcium, potassium, magnesium and sugar to replenish the body’s depleted electrolyte and water stores.
They work best in case of post-exercise weakness, hard workout recovery, and preventing dehydration in diarrhea and vomiting cases.
Electrolyte drinks come in various proportions of electrolytes based on their purpose, such as low sodium variant for kids and high energy variant for sports persons. Electrolyte drinks are a great option to quickly replenish the depleted energy and mineral stores as well as hydrating the body.
5 Benefits of Electrolyte Drinks
1) Best for Recovering after Diarrhea
Electrolyte drinks started as a supportive treatment for diarrhea patients who were unable to digest anything during the diarrhea and vomiting bouts.
These lifesaver drinks proved to be very effective in providing the lost minerals and water effectively. The recovery rate of diarrhea patients increased many folds after the administration of these electrolyte drinks.
2) Provides Adequate Nourishment After Workout
Electrolyte drinks are the best friends of a sports person and of those whose profession and routine include heavy physical activity.
Due to a lot of sweating and muscle work, the water, electrolytes and proteins are lost. Drinking a good electrolyte drink is the fastest way to recover from the workout and to help in repairing the damaged tissues. Now many electrolyte drinks come with protein addition as well, making them ideal for a sports person.
3) Prevents & Treats Dehydration
The electrolyte drink is one of the largest contributors in hydrating the body among all other available beverages.
As the body loses water through many activities, such as breathing, sweating and excretion processes, restoring the water-electrolyte balance is important to prevent it from getting dehydrated. Taking even small amounts of these drinks are highly effective in treating dehydration.
4) For Proper Function of Heart & Nervous System
Loss of sodium & potassium can hamper heart functioning and can even lead to brain fogging and confusion. Mineral deficiency can lead to irregular heartbeat, fatigue, irritability, sleep disturbances and even convulsions in extreme cases.
Giving Electrolyte drink to those who are deficient in these minerals can prove life-saving and shows immediate recovery from symptoms. Electrolyte drink is a good blood pressure regulator as well.
5) Prevents Heat Stroke
Heat stroke can be mild and can become life-threatening too. If the heat stroke is not taken care of immediately it can have some dire consequences.
If you are out in the sun for long or working in a hot environment then it is highly recommended to stay hydrated and have an electrolyte drink to avoid heat stroke.
If someone gets a heat stroke, then loosen his/her clothing, take the person in front of a fan and give him/her a good electrolyte drink to treat the heat stroke.
7 Healthy Drinks with Electrolytes
1. Coconut water
In recent years, coconut water has increasingly become popular in the market. It is the clear fluid that you get from the inside of the green coconut. It is one of the most common electrolyte drinks that is bottled and sold all over the world.
Coconut water comes with a naturally low sugar content while containing various electrolytes. Coconut water contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium. This is also a healthier option over juices, traditional sports drinks, and sodas.
100g of coconut water contains
- 105 mg (4% of daily value) of sodium
- 250 mg (7% of daily value) of Potassium.
Cow milk is underappreciated among all the electrolyte drinks. Milk has a lot more usefulness than used in coffee or breakfast cereals. Furthermore, cow milk is rich in electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and calcium. The electrolyte drink also comes with a healthy mix of protein and carbohydrates.
100g of milk contains
- 38 mg (1% of daily value) of Sodium
- 150 mg (4% of daily value) of Potassium.
Protein and carbs are two essential macronutrients. They are helpful for the repair of muscle tissue and refueling after working out. Due to the lower costs, milk is usually chosen as a better beverage for post-workout. Cow milk is indeed among the best healthy drinks.
3. Watermelon Juice
The watermelon water also contains negligible amounts of other valuable electrolytes such as phosphorus and calcium. The juice from watermelon comes with L-Citrulline. When taken in additional amounts, L-Citrulline might improve athletic performance and boost oxygen flow in the body.
A single cup (250ml) of watermelon juice contains
- 19mg (1% of daily value)
- 106mg (3% of daily value)
- 6% of sodium and potassium
Smoothies are one of the best options when we talk about homemade electrolyte drinks. Smoothies involve the mixing of various foods to form one drinkable solution. Whole foods like dairy products, legumes, seeds, nuts, nuts, vegetables, and fruits can be blended to form a nutritious and delicious smoothie drink.
A typical collection of ingredients for a smoothie drink includes 1.5 tablespoons of fresh chia seeds, half a cup of water, two ripe fresh bananas, one kale leaf, and one orange.
If you feel famished and are looking to supplement the electrolytes, you lost during a workout, the smoothie is the way to go. The drink can be digested quickly and is more delicious than most of the foods mentioned above.
If you need an excellent electrolyte drink for recovery after a workout session, then the smoothie is your best bet. They help replace depleted electrolytes. If you include some food rich in protein, you get added benefits. The smoothie then supports the repair and growth of the tissues of the muscles.
5. Electrolyte Water
Electrolyte-infused water is one of the best and low-calorie methods of hydrating yourself and replenishing electrolyte levels in your body.
Water-based drink that contains
- Potassium (1.5% of total amount)
- magnesium (1.4%)
- calcium (1%)
- sodium (1%).
In some commercial setups, electrolyte-infused water is called alkaline water or mineral water.
6. Electrolyte Powder Solution
Electrolyte powders enable you to make an inexpensive and convenient electrolyte drink. Just mix the powder with water and stir or shake it to mix it and your drink is ready.
1 scoop (6.8g) of electrolyte powder contains
- 75mg of calcium
- 1g of potassium
- 120 mg of magnesium
- 10mg of sodium
Electrolyte powder is safe and usually recommended. It generally consists of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium with added flavors. Furthermore, it is usually low in calorie and sugar content and is sold commercially in various unique and fruity flavors.
7. Sports drinks
Sports drinks can be the best electrolyte drinks for fitness freaks and sportspersons. Powerade and Gatorade are examples of sports drinks that are commercially sold. Their makers have carefully formulated them to help athletes replenish their depleted electrolytes.
100ml of sports drink contains
- 13mg of potassium
- 48mg of sodium.
These drinks are helpful for people who need a mixture of easily digestible carbs, electrolytes, and fluids. Also, helpful in maintaining energy and hydration throughout physical activity.
While most of sports drinks come with excess added sugar, sports drinks containing the right amount of sugar and electrolytes are among the healthiest ones. Some sports drinks that come with unwanted ingredients like Caffeine, Guarana, and Ginseng should be avoided.
Apart from commercial ones, you can also make your own sports drink. Just mix pure fruit juice, some salt, and coconut water. It will be without any added sugar and those unnecessary ingredients.
Also Read: Best Time to Drink Sports Drinks
Who Needs Electrolyte Drinks
Anyone who is suffering from diarrhea and vomiting, feels fatigued, is prone to heat stroke or is into regular physical activity like gym-goers and sports persons need electrolyte drinks the most.
Elderly people who are prone to the deficiency of sodium-potassium should also be given electrolyte drinks once in a while on a preventive basis.
If anyone is suffering from any diseases such as diabetes and heart problems then the risk of electrolyte imbalance is higher. These electrolyte drinks can be the easiest method to restore balance and can prove to be a life-saver for elderly when monitored by a healthcare professional.
The healthiest electrolyte drinks are those that contain the right amount of electrolytes with an optimum amount of sugar as glucose in there helps the body to absorb electrolytes better but make sure It’s made up of sucrose (fruit-based sugar) or you can opt for the no-sugar variant.
Athletes and active people need these drinks for on-the-go sports performances. This guide has all you need to know for optimal sports performance.
When should I drink electrolytes?
The possible situations where you must reach out to electrolytes and electrolyte drinks are-
- When you sweat profusely during and after heavy workout sessions
- When you are experiencing fever
- When you are extremely dehydrated
- When you suffer from vomiting or diarrhea
That being said, you must also keep into consideration the optimum amounts of electrolytes you are consuming. Overconsumption may again lead to many health problems.
Can I drink electrolyte water every day?
Technically, yes, you can consume electrolyte drinks every day but there is an optimum and standard amount, failing to maintain which you can experience health consequences. The amount of electrolyte drinks to consume every day depends on upona lot of factors like age, thirst pattern, exercising routine, environment, other health conditions, etc. It is advised to consume natural and healthy electrolyte drinks more than artificial or bottled ones in order to prevent further health complexities.
Are electrolyte drinks good for you?
Yes, electrolyte drinks are definitely very good for you. They are an excellent source of hydration and contain many health benefits like strengthening immunity, promoting good sleep, maintaining heart health, regulating blood pressure, reducing stress, improving digestion, curing headaches, etc. Including electrolyte drinks in your everyday diet can work wonders for your overall health.
What’s the healthiest electrolyte drink?
Electrolyte drinks are one of the best sources of hydration and aid in maintaining the right fluid-electrolyte balance of the body. Some of the natural and healthiest electrolyte drinks options to include in your diet are coconut water, milk, soups, smoothies, etc. Apart from providing hydration, electrolyte drinks also help to regulate blood pressure, maintain heart health, proper functioning of the nervous system, and much more.
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