Sunday, September 25, 2022

ADVERTISING: Advertorial — The importance of electrolytes

by DR. WAYNE M. FICHTER JR./Natural Spine Solutions
| July 13, 2022 1:00 AM

Unless you live under a rock, you noticed that it has been a little hot the last week or so. Higher temperatures means a lot of sweating. Whether you’re taking your workouts outside, or simply going on a walk, sweat-inducing activities can not only make you lose water but important electrolytes also. We all know by now the importance of drinking plenty of water during the hot summer months, but did you realize that replenishing your electrolytes is just as important?

Electrolytes are essential minerals in our bodies that play an important role in our daily functions. Some of the common electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. We can get electrolytes from the food we eat and the fluids we drink. Electrolytes aid in several body functions including the following:

• Control your fluid balance

• Move nutrients into your cells

• Move waste out of your cells

• Contract your muscles

• Rebuild damaged tissue

• Maintain the correct acidity of your blood pH

When we lose electrolytes through sweat, this can cause our bodies to feel fatigued. The more intense the temperature, the more we sweat, the more electrolytes and water we lose. When the amount of electrolytes in your body is too low, you may experience a headache, confusion, muscle weakness or cramps, loss of energy, dizziness, fatigue, poor coordination and drowsiness.

Sodium regulates the total amount of water in the body and plays a role in critical body functions. The brain, nervous system, and muscles all require sodium as critical processes in the body. It is important to replenish sodium after excessive losses such as post-exercise or in extreme heat to prevent hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is a condition where the sodium content in the blood is too low. It is important to not solely drink water after excessive sweat losses to prevent further dilution of the sodium content in your body. This is a concern especially post-exercise due to sweat losses with heat, humidity, and high-intensity activities. Listed below are common whole food and drink options to replenish your sodium as well as other electrolyte balances.

Foods to help you replenish electrolytes: Spinach, kale, avocados, turkey, milk, broccoli, potatoes, beans, yogurt, peanut butter, almonds, peanuts, soybeans, green leafy veggies, strawberries, raisins, avocados, watermelon, oranges, olives, bananas and tomatoes.

Below is a list of popular drinks that are rich sources of electrolytes: Gatorade, PowerAde, Coconut Water, Cow’s Milk and Pedialyte.

Commercial beverages are a great source of replenishment, but so are whole foods that you just might have around your house!

Remember, whenever you plan on spending the day in the heat doing any type of activity, make sure you prepare yourself by packing salty snacks and an electrolyte rich drink. Remember if you begin to feel thirsty, that means your body is already beginning to feel dehydrated, so make sure you continuously replenish your body with plenty of fluids.

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Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene. For more information, please contact us at 208-966-4425.

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