An imbalance in electrolytes can greatly affect your health and body functions. Learn which foods you can incorporate into your diet to get that extra boost:
If you’ve ever seen drinks at the grocery store advertised as containing electrolytes, you may have wondered what electrolytes are and their purpose. Electrolytes are naturally occurring elements that carry an electric charge and assist metabolic systems. These materials usually take the form of minerals, including calcium, chloride, magnesium, and potassium.
The minerals in your body are responsible for a number of vital functions like helping balance the pH levels in the body, encouraging muscle contractions (including keeping your heart beating), helping your body to repair and build new tissues, and preventing blood from clotting. The body’s natural reactions, such as sweating or being ill with diarrhea or vomiting, can reduce electrolytes.
An imbalance can greatly affect your health and body functions. Even being low in one electrolyte can cause noticeable symptoms. When you have an imbalance of electrolytes, you may feel weak, tired, confused, nervous, or numb. You may also experience the following:
In some situations, the body loses electrolytes faster, and you may need to replace the missing electrolytes quickly. You can drink electrolyte filled drinks, like sports drinks, to quickly replenish your levels. There are also plenty of ways to get a healthy dose of the electrolytes you need during a regular day. Most people get their necessary daily electrolytes from foods in a regular diet and do not need supplements. Some examples for each type of electrolyte are:
Talk with your doctor before adding or removing electrolytes to your diet, to ensure balanced electrolyte levels. Your doctor will be able to perform an electrolyte panel, via blood draw, and will provide the levels of certain electrolytes in your system. In some cases, you can also provide a urine sample for testing of electrolyte levels.
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