I’m a big believer in supplementing my drinking water with electrolytes. Why? Well, over the years I’ve noticed a definite and real difference in how my body and brain functions, as well as how my skin looks when I’m getting electrolytes supplemented in my water throughout the day.
Electrolytes are extremely important for the functioning of every major organ and muscle, including your brain. Electrolyte imbalances can cause some pretty serious symptoms. That’s because electrolytes (minerals) like potassium and magnesium actually hydrate your individual cells better than just water alone.
They also regulate the body’s electrical activity, which includes muscle movement and brain activity. This is why hydration is so vital to our survival and proper functioning – and why we would die much sooner from dehydration than from starvation.
We often lose these electrolytes from the body when we sweat throughout the day. And since I’m a big advocate also of sweating since it indicates adequate physical activity, you have to have electrolytes in order to maintain this sort of active and healthy lifestyle.
Electrolyte presence in the body is important for muscle, heart function
Some of the most important electrolytes are magnesium, potassium, manganese and chromium, among others. You’ve probably heard the advice to eat a banana if you’re having muscle cramps.
That’s because muscle cramps (especially in the legs) are usually due to a temporary potassium deficiency which can be easily be remedied by eating a banana which is rich in potassium OR by drinking water infused with potassium and other electrolytes.
A deficiency in electrolytes can even negatively effect the rhythm of your heartbeat, and can be serious if not addressed since the heart is essentially regulated by electric impulses, which are influenced by electrolytes.
Helps keep appetite in check
I also swear by the ability of electrolytes to help keep the appetite in check. I’ve noticed that when I’m replenishing my electrolytes throughout the day through plentiful water consumption with added electrolytes, I feel more satisfied and less likely to eat too much.
This probably has something to do with the fact that our body mistakes thirst signals for hunger too often, making us eat more. When you’re truly hydrated, which is what electrolytes help accomplish, you’ll get less of these false alarm hunger pangs.
Hydration keeps skin plump
True hydration keeps the skin elastic and plump throughout the day. I know I’ve stressed this numerous times, but it’s only because I’ve seen the effects of electrolyte imbalance on my own skin so often. When I don’t have easy access to plenty of water and electrolytes, it really shows in my skin.
I’ve found the best and most convenient way to ensure I have electrolytes at all times if to have small packets of electrolyte infused powder in my purse. This way, I can add it to any tap or bottled water and instantly have more alkaline (minerals also make your water more alkaline, another huge benefit, it’s all inter-related) water at the drop of a hat.
My favorite right now is by the makers of Emergen-C. It’s called ElectroMIX. It’s very economical and comes in small purse sized packets that are perfect for transporting anywhere. Here’s an excerpt from the back of their package, and it perfectly sums up why electrolytes, and in particular potassium are essential to true, deep cellular hydration :
“Potassium is an essential element needed by the cells to maintain water balance and optimal nerve function. Each cell requires sodium and potassium, but in differing amounts. Inside the cell, the concentration of potassium is far higher than sodium. Modern diets typically contain excessive sodium at the expense of adequate potassium.”