Signs you have an electrolyte imbalance

Electrolytes do not make your body go, but they do make it run smoothly. Similar to a battery in the car, these minerals found in your blood and other bodily fluids stimulate voltages that carry electrical impulses in the forms of nerve stimuli and muscle contractions – to your cells.

This electrical energy is essential to keep your organs in good working order. Electrolytes can help maintain the best performance of your digestive, nervous cardiac, and muscular systems. In this article, we will discuss fundamental aspects like how your body regulates electrolytes, the indications that you may have an electrolyte imbalance, and the most important factor, how to replenish your electrolytes.

How does the body regulate electrolytes?

The kidneys of your body are the center for monitoring electrolytes. They detect changes in your body through shifts within electrolyte concentrations.

Training for intense workouts is the most common way to shed electrolytes. The higher the temperature, as well as the harder the exercise, the more water, is lost.

In the words of the American College of Sports Medicine, on average people lose around 2 to 6 percent of their body weight during exercise sessions due to sweating.

Another major cause of electrolyte depletion occurs when you experience chronic nausea or diarrhea. It is essential to replenish these fluids in order to avoid dehydration, and also to ensure that vital body functions are operating correctly.

Additionally, if you’re an extreme sportsperson and are following an intense workout plan, or are suffering from a medical condition that demands constant monitoring of your fluid intake and exercise, Edrea Jones M.D., a neurologist, suggests speaking with your physician to are aware of your limits as well as your intake of fluids.

Staying hydrated is key to proper body function,” says Dr. Jones.

Evidence of an electrolyte imbalance

When the amount of electrolytes in your body is too excessive or too low, you may develop

  • Dizziness
  • Cramps
  • Heartbeat irregularity
  • Mental confusion
  • The most frequently reported sign of low electrolytes is muscle cramps, which can be excruciating and debilitating.

Maintaining electrolyte levels

The best method to keep electrolytes in check is to be aware of your thirst. Dr. Jones recommends drinking about two cups of fluid two hours before any physical activity. Next, try drinking 4 to 6 ounces each 15-20 minutes throughout your physical activity. Then, drink a glass of water, or even better, a recovery drink after you finish exercising.

How do you replenish electrolytes?

Being hydrated is essential to maintaining the balance of electrolytes. Water is the ideal option for drinking water. It’s less expensive and has more accessibility than other drinks. Coconut water is another option to replenish electrolytes. Coconut water is low on the glycemic index, consequently, it won’t drastically alter the sugar level in your blood. Studies have also demonstrated that it could help lower cholesterol and blood pressure which is a good reason to drink it.

But, sports drinks are often more attractive. They are a source of electrolytes as well as carbohydrates that replenish the body’s energy. Many sports drinks have the minerals sodium chloride and potassium chloride in them they are major electrolytes that are lost during exercise. The added sugar and taste that these drinks usually provide can encourage people to drink a bigger amount of them than water.

Drinks to stay clear of

The carbonated drinks in soft drinks and fruit juices, and energy drinks must be avoided as sources of hydration. They contain far too much sugar and empty calories. The carbohydrates in these drinks offer only short bursts of energy instead of long-term benefits. “Staying well-hydrated benefits our bodies in so many intricate ways,” says Dr. Jones. “Our bodies are extremely complex and water is the apex of all life. It’s something we cannot live without. That is why nobody can survive more than three to five days without water intake.”