Electrolytes. Most of us have heard of them- specifically carried in the form of Gatorade- but many of us don’t know why we should care about them. If you are one of these folks, fear not! Here is the skinny on electrolytes, some natural, food-based resources for them, and a delicious DIY sports drink recipe via Epicurious.
Electrolytes are substances that, when dissolved with a liquid like water, create a solution capable of conducting electricity. The most important electrolytes to know? Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Chloride, Phosphate, and Bicarbonate.
When electrolytes are present in your body, they regulate hydration and facilitate nerve and muscle function. Muscle tissue and neurons are electric tissues in your body. So, to get your brain and your muscles to communicate properly, your body must be well stocked in the electrolyte department.
After a hard workout, lots of sweating, and lots of water consumption our bodies can lose some of these electrolytes leaving us feeling sluggish or causing muscle cramps. While there are a wide array of sports drinks available that offer simple carbs and electrolytes, many contain artificial colors or sweeteners which, let’s be honest, aren’t great for us.
So, if you are looking for alternative ways to replenish your electrolytes, here are a few great natural, food-based resources courtesy of Livestrong:
Sodium & Chloride:
-Table Salt or Himalayan Sea Salt
-Beef, Pork, and Cheese
-Kale & Many Leafy Greens
-Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes
-Asparagus & Collard Greens
To supplement, here’s a delicious homemade sports drink recipe from Epicurious for pre and post workout.