What do we want? Electrolytes! Why do we want them? We don’t know!
We have all heard that electrolytes are essential to our bodies but how many of us have learned, beyond basic rehydration after exercise or illness, what electrolytes DO for our bodies.
When you sweat or lose bodily fluids rapidly, you not only lose water, you also lose electrolytes, which are minerals in the body that have an electric charge. Both muscle tissue and neurons are considered electric tissues of the body. Muscles and neurons are activated by electrolyte activity. Without sufficient levels of key electrolytes, muscle weakness or severe muscle contractions may occur.
Serious electrolyte disturbances such as dehydration or even over-hydration, may lead to cardiac and neurological complications and, unless they are rapidly resolved, will result in a medical emergency. Let’s not get to that point!
The major electrolytes include sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, phosphate, and magnesium. Sodium and potassium are both are involved in fluid balance and blood pressure control.
It is not difficult to eat foods high in electrolytes when eating a plant-based diet. For example high potassium fruits include banana, dates, raisins, coconut and avocado. Vegetable sources include spinach, beans, lentils and potato.
Citrus fruits are good also because they contain citric acid, which is an electrolyte.
I like to have a pitcher of water full of lemons and limes on the go when there are no ready to blend packages of electrolytes like Pro Circuit’s X1 in April’s Little Life Box or such as Black Oxygen Organic’s NuWater in March’s box.
If we ever get past our WinterSpring here in Ontario it will once again be bicycle and electrolyte time! Its always a good time to keep your body in balance, but its oh so rewarding to tip up a cool rejuvenating electrolyte drink after a 10 or 20km bike ride!