With summer upon us, it is important to keep Electrolytes in your system. As you workout and sweat, your body loses electrolytes and can cause an imbalance. Symptoms that point to an electrolyte imbalance are: dizziness, fatigue, fever, joint pain, and muscle cramps. This can lead to heat exhaustion and in worse case, heat stroke.
How do you restore electrolytes that are lost? Is water the answer? Water is great, but remember, electrolytes are what help the cells absorb the water. If all you do is drink more and more water, and not replace electrolytes, you can actually cause dehydration.
The answer lies by eating foods or drinking electrolyte drinks that contain major electrolytes like potassium, sodium, calcium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium. So, eat foods like bananas, raisins, dates, citrus fruits, coconut water, pickles, bell peppers, and low calorie sports drinks like gatorade and pedialyte. Yes, even salting your food is a good thing as long as it is controlled and not in excess. We often find the individuals who eat "clean" often lack sodium in their diet. So, be sure to get these nutrients in.
Keep in mind, you still should make a point to drink plenty of water. A good rule of thumb, for water intake, is 1/2 an ounce of water per pound you weigh. Even more if you are physically active. But remember to pair that with electrolytes as well.
In closing, be sure to include more of these electrolyte dense foods and drinks in your diet throughout the day. Also, be sure to plan a good meal before and after you workout that is rich in these nutrients so you can replace the lost electrolytes.