With so many health rabbit holes to go down, it’s important not to forget the basics. While we can spend hours exploring the intricacies of diet, exercise, and sleep, fundamentals like electrolytes can often slip through the cracks.
Although many of us recognize that electrolytes are important, we might not know exactly what they are or the role they play. We’re here to offer a simple, effective explanation of the science behind electrolytes, and, more importantly, how to incorporate them into your daily regimen with consistency.
After all, there’s a good chance you might have an electrolyte imbalance that’s hindering what your body needs. Let’s cut to the chase and give you a simple way to fix this common problem.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are a class of minerals that support a wide range of functions in the body and brain. These are familiar substances like magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, and others that are found in natural sources like sea salt, fruits, and veggies.
You might notice that electrolytes tend only to be mentioned in the context of sports drinks and other products with extra sweeteners. However, you can easily add electrolytes to plain water, creating your own electrolyte drink and reaping the benefits without the unwanted extras.
The message is simple: your body needs electrolytes to thrive, especially if you perform a lot of strenuous activity for your job or athletic pursuits. It doesn’t matter how many cups of water you drink — you won’t achieve complete hydration without proper electrolyte levels!
What do electrolytes do in the body?
With so much hype around electrolytes, it’s fair to ask exactly what they do in the body. The answer is best understood by looking at the human body like a battery, complete with circuitry and electrical signals moving rapidly throughout these various systems all the time.
While electrolytes don’t create electricity or energy firsthand, they do support the transmission, direction, and efficacy of these electrical signals. Whether it’s your cognitive function, motor skills, muscle contractions, or immune system defenses, minerals keep these signals strong and consistent — especially when the body is under stress.
It’s one of those overlooked aspects of human physiology that’s easy to forget: our health and wellness hinges on proper electrical signaling 24/7. From blood pressure and heart rate to muscle function and recovery, we owe it all to this ever-present electrical charge symphony, supported by essential minerals called electrolytes.
So, the next time you’re feeling dehydrated, sluggish, or just “off” for some unidentified reason, it may be an electrolyte imbalance that you need to address. We’ll cover some specific benefits of electrolytes later, but for now, start by recognizing that these minerals are vital to holistic health and wellness.
How can you add electrolytes to your water?
While you can take supplements in the form of capsules, salt your food, or eat fruits like watermelon to boost your electrolyte levels, these aren’t always convenient methods. More often than not, you’ll have access to plain water and need a quick, easy way to get your electrolytes when you need them most.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to enhance water with additional electrolytes without disrupting your day or derailing your diet. After all, we’re here to achieve a higher realm of health and wellness, and all these puzzle pieces must fit together. Let’s check out some simple ways to keep the electrolytes flowing in any situation.
1. Drink coconut water
Coconut water is an elite source of hydration with a complete electrolyte profile. While potassium is the main mineral found in this natural elixir, coconut water also contains vitamin C, antioxidants, and other great micronutrients that would make any dietician proud.
You can safely consume several ounces of coconut water per day without dramatically adding to your calorie count, but this drink does come with a bit of added sugar, so be aware of your intake. You can always dilute your favorite coconut water with tap water, making it go down more easily with less strain on your dietary goals.
2. Add sea salt
Ever thought you’d add sea salt directly to your water bottle? If you’re feeling dehydrated and in need of an electrolyte boost, this is one of the quickest, simplest routes to take. Sea salt contains a diverse range of natural minerals that iodized table salt doesn’t always have, so try to get the natural stuff if it’s available.
Himalayan sea salt is rich in these essential minerals, making it one of the best organic supplements that the earth has to offer. This simple solution of sodium chloride is a great way to get electrolytes with zero added sugar, and you’ll get accustomed to the flavor in no time.
3. Electrolyte water enhancers
Sprinkling sea salt in your water can be useful in a pinch, but is there a tastier way to add electrolytes to your water? We set out to solve this exact problem and came up with our unique Broad Spectrum Hydrate Water Enhancer formula, checking all the boxes for hydration in a streamlined format.*
This elegant mixture contains all the essential minerals you could possibly want, replenishing your electrolyte stores with each sip. Just a few drops of this water enhancer does the trick, and the lemon-lime flavor makes it more palatable throughout the entire day.
Furthermore, we added B vitamins and organic hemp extract to this unique product, giving you a burst of sustainable, jitter-free energy plus natural cannabinoids. There are no artificial sweeteners and everything you need to stay charged from morning to night.*
4. Electrolyte powders
Electrolyte powders have emerged in recent years as a solid alternative to sports drinks and other supplements. Most of these products are trustworthy and do the job, but watch out for powders containing added sugars and artificial ingredients.
A quick scan of the nutrition label will tell you everything you need to know. If you see too many grams of sugar and not enough minerals, it might be worth looking elsewhere for your electrolyte needs.
5. Mix water with sports drinks
Sports drinks don’t have the best reputation in the health community, as they tend to be loaded with nearly as much sugar as soda. All those quick-acting carbs are fine if you’re an Olympic athlete, but for the average gym-goer, that sugar ends up as empty calories.
That’s why we recommend diluting sports drinks with tap water, reducing the amount of sugar in each sip, and achieving quicker hydration without unnecessary calories. As it turns out, sports drinks don’t have to be the enemy if you know how to harness their power and reduce their sugar content.
What are the benefits of electrolytes?
With so many great ways to add electrolytes to your daily routine, it’s worth revisiting why we need them in the first place. Let’s cover the top three benefits of electrolytes so that you always have a reason to keep your levels in check.
We usually think that drinking more water is the key to hydration, but that’s just half the story. Electrolytes ensure that this water intake is balanced with minerals that can actually utilize this water and support electrical signaling throughout the body. That’s why you might not feel fully satisfied or energized by only drinking water — you need those electrolytes to make it all worthwhile.
That post-workout feeling is one-of-a-kind. You feel tired in the best way, along with a sense of accomplishment. But on the flip side, your electrolyte levels are likely depleted after a workout, even if you didn’t sweat a ton.
Reloading on electrolytes and water is your best course of action, ensuring you don’t experience muscle cramps while restoring your energy to continue with your day. A post-workout meal will obviously restore many of these key nutrients, but an electrolyte beverage will ensure you remain hydrated and ready to recover in a shorter timeframe.
Electrolytes might not be our body’s main source of fuel, but they are responsible for producing ATP and supporting the mechanisms of energy utilization. In other words, electrolytes unlock the energy we get from food, which is vital to metabolic health and energy output. If you’re feeling sluggish and need that extra spring in your step, it might be electrolytes you’re missing.
The bottom line
Health and wellness is an ongoing project, with so many moving parts and variables. But instead of getting overwhelmed, simply focus on the basics like diet, exercise, sleep, and daily hydration, with the help of electrolytes. It’s really that simple, and Sunmed is here to assist you with natural products that complements that simplicity.
Once you experience true electrolyte support, you’ll realize what you’ve been missing all along. Make this aspect of health a priority and see what your body and mind are really capable of.