The lower mainland is in the midst of a heatwave, and some of you may really be feeling the heat. Seniors and those with compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable to high temperatures, but even if you don’t fall in to either of those categories, you might be noticing your energy levels have dipped in recent days. Drinking water is the best and fastest way to stay hydrated, but sometimes you might need a little something extra to give you energy throughout the day.
You might have seen commercials for energy drinks that encourage you to replenish your electrolytes after sweating, but do you know what electrolytes are? I will be the first to admit that I had no idea. “Potassium, sodium, and chloride are the three most important electrolytes. Other biggies include magnesium, calcium, and phosphate. These micronutrients are all salts that form ions in water and are capable of conducting electricity, meaning they actually have an electric charge,” explains Brigid Titgemeier. If you’re drinking water regularly, eating balanced meals, and getting moderate amounts of exercise, you should be getting more than enough electrolytes in your diet to stay hydrated. If, however, you experience muscle spasms, headaches, or digestive upset, you might need to supplement your water with electroytes to bring your body back in to balance.
Commercial energy drinks are full of sugar. If you’re a high-performance athlete, they might help you, but if you’re like the majority of the population, you’ll likely be better off with a healthy alternative. If you’re experiencing headaches or digestive upset in the heat, try these natural electrolyte restoring drinks. *
Please note: if symptoms persist, pay a visit to your family doctor.
“Natural coconut water contains five key electrolytes: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Coconut water is packed with potassium, more than found in one banana or 15 sport drinks,” says Sports Nutritionist, Kyle Levers. Just make sure to check your labels when purchasing coconut water in stores. You want to only read “coconut water” in the list of ingredients.
Cassandra Van Dyck