Electrolytes: Uses, Imbalance, and Supplementation | Vitamin Supplement

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What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals that conduct electricity when mixed with water, ensuring optimal hydration. The human body includes the following electrolytes — sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride, and phosphate.

 

These electrolytes are essential for most natural processes in the human body, including optimal nerve and muscle functions. They provide hydration, balance blood activities, and ensure cellular health. The muscles and neurons are often called the “electric tissues” because they’re dependent on electrolytes for optimal functioning. Electrolytes, in turn, are absorbed through fluids and foods that carry the necessary minerals.

 

What are the symptoms of low electrolytes?

The condition of having low or high electrolytes is known as an electrolyte imbalance in the body. Electrolyte levels change according to the water levels in the body. You lose electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium, when you sweat due to overheating or strenuous workouts. You also lose electrolytes when you’re sick, especially when you have diarrhea or vomiting.

 

The loss of electrolytes must be followed by electrolyte replacement to prevent an electrolyte imbalance. An electrolyte imbalance, especially low electrolytes, can lead to the following symptoms: irregular heartbeat, bone disorders, seizures, nervous system disorders, weakness, twitching, confusion, numbness, exhaustion, convulsions, and muscle spasm.

 

What is potassium’s function in the body?

Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body because it facilitates nerve functions and muscle contractions. It also ensures heartbeat regularity. Potassium also moves nutrients and waste in and out of cells, aiding in natural nutritional intake. You can get potassium from leafy vegetables, grapes, blackberries, root vegetables, and citrus fruits, like oranges, 

 

What are the effects of potassium deficiency?

A potassium deficiency is characterized by a blood potassium level of less than 3.5 mmol per liter — this can only happen due to the sudden loss of fluids from the body due to strenuous workouts, blood loss, excessive sweating, diarrhea, and chronic vomiting. The following are the primary symptoms of potassium deficiency: weakness and fatigue, muscle cramps, digestive problems, constipation, heart palpitations, muscle stiffness, numbness, shortness of breath, and irritation.

 

What are the causes of electrolyte imbalance? When do you need electrolyte replacement?

An electrolyte imbalance can happen for various reasons, including chronic diseases, kidney failures, lack of sufficient hydration, excessive workouts without electrolyte supplementation, prolonged periods of sickness and diarrhea, severe dehydration, cancer treatments, bulimia, or excessive drug usage. If you identify with any of the causes mentioned above, you need hydration supplements to replace electrolytes and restore optimal functioning in your body.

 

How to treat electrolyte imbalance with hydration supplements?

Treating an electrolyte imbalance involves restoring the optimal electrolytes in your body by increasing or decreasing the electrolyte concentration. Suffering from low electrolytes is far more common, especially amongst those who travel frequently, engage in strenuous workouts, or drink a lot. Low electrolyte levels can be treated with hydration supplements, i.e., electrolyte powders that carry the ideal proportion of minerals to restore electrolyte balance.

 

People experiencing excessive dehydration need oral rehydration therapy. When you’re severely dehydrated, you can’t simply drink water to restore hydration. Your body needs electrolytes to absorb and retain the fluids. Drinking water while being dehydrated would lead to vomiting or diarrhea. The World Health Organization (WHO) has proposed that oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is the ideal treatment for severe dehydration. 

 

Oral Rehydration Therapy consists of drinking a solution that contains sodium, potassium chloride, and sodium nitrate with 1 liter of water. This gives your body all the electrolytes it needs to absorb the fluids. You should drink the fluids slowly and carefully, giving your body plenty of time to absorb the liquids. However, ORT is an extreme solution only meant for severe dehydration.

 

For most people, electrolyte replacement with electrolyte powders is enough.

 

How to restore electrolytes?

You have to restore electrolytes constantly — not just when you’re dehydrated. People who have a high risk of dehydration, such as athletes and hikers, should carry electrolyte powders and electrolyte supplements. You should ideally take the necessary electrolyte powders with water every couple of hours. This ensures that you replace all the electrolytes lost in the form of sweat. Electrolyte supplements don’t treat severe dehydration, but they can address mild to moderate dehydration or prevent it altogether.

 

Is it safe to take electrolyte supplements?

It’s completely safe to take electrolyte supplements, especially if you get supplements with the optimal proportion of minerals. Electrolyte supplements merely ensure that your body receives enough electrolytes at all points, thus adjusting for the natural loss of electrolytes from your body. This is the ideal prevention for dehydration, which, in turn, ensures you remain healthy.

 

What is one of the best electrolyte powders for electrolyte replacement?

RecoverORS is widely considered one of the best electrolyte powders for constant electrolyte replacement. It aids in your dehydration treatment, especially if you’re experiencing the symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration. It’s the ideal alternative to sports drinks — it doesn’t carry artificial sweeteners, sugars, or other unnecessary components, which keep the calorie levels low. As such, you receive the ideal proportion of electrolytes without the added calories that most sports drinks provide. RecoverORS has been manufactured and produced by clinicians in FDA-inspected lab facilities, ensuring its medical and therapeutic value.

 

RecoverORS hydration supplements contain the following ingredients: dextrose, potassium citrate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, citric acid, natural flavors, and ascorbic acid. Each packet of electrolyte powder contains less than 1% sweeteners and only 9.5 calories per serving. You should dissolve one pack of RecoverORS electrolyte powder in a cup of water — if you’re at a high risk of dehydration, you should drink around 8 cups in a day. However, if you exhibit the symptoms of dehydration, you should also consult a doctor to determine the right course of action.

You can get your RecoverORS electrolyte supplements on Amazon.

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