Some minerals are required for optimal health, and the electrolyte category are among the most vital. Why? Because your body is electric, and when electrolytes are absorbed by your body, they produce a solution that conducts that electricity.
Thinking of the human body as being electric sparks imaginative scenarios — like those depicted in the Gothic classic, Frankenstein, where the monster was reanimated using electricity, and the modern sci-fi/fantasy movie, The Matrix, in which humans were used as batteries. Of course those examples are fiction, but what happens in your own body is very real.
Electrolytes are vital to your cells because they allow them to create energy and maintain cellular integrity. And they’re important for the overall function of your entire body system. If you are in pain, experience aches and sluggishness, then an imbalance or deficit of electrolytes just may be the cause.
The electrolyte problem
There are six essential electrolytes: calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. These mineral acids, bases and salts generate and shuttle electricity in the body, allowing cells to communicate, muscles to contract, fluids to move within the body, and help pH levels to be more alkaline.
Your body cannot control or maintain core temperate without electrolytes. Body fluids cannot remain at optimal levels without electrolytes. Functions controlled and regulated by electrolytes include regular heartbeat, respiration, digestion, bladder control, fluid metabolism, signal transduction, energy production, metabolism and the proper function of thought to movement.
Short and simple: electrolytes are essential to optimal health… and human life itself.
How we get and lose electrolytes
Because electrolytes are needed for body function and you lose electrolytes when you sweat they must be replaced. A diet high in organic, raw foods is the best way to get electrolytes. However, a raw diet is not suited to many people. What’s more, bad farming practices, chemical herbicides and other reasons has depleted the soil and our food of optimal levels of many of its essential minerals and nutrients.
Sport drinks were created as an easy way to replace electrolytes. The problem with these products is that many contain caffeine (which causes us to sweat and actually lose more electrolytes), dyes that are unhealthy and high levels of sugar (which causes an insulin response) or sweeteners (that contribute to metabolic syndrome).
Electrolyte drops are something newer on the market that I think works better. I personally use several brands of electrolyte drops, adding them to my water, and even my coffee or tea. I wanted to introduce you to two of those brands here, making a note that I am not endorsing them specifically. You can do some more research and see what is available at local health shops in your area or online.
E-lyte Balanced Electrolyte Concentrate: E-lyte is marketed as “a dietary supplement that cleans and replenishes the blood by balancing the essential electrolytes.” Because electrolytes can be lost via stress, poor diet, exercise, illness, and medications, adding a few E-lyte drops to your water can help improve the way you function. A capful added to a 24 oz. bottle of water can go a long way to helping maintain optimal electrolyte levels in your body.
ConcenTrace® Trace Mineral Drops: According to the manufacturers of Concentrace, “absorption is the key” to an effective electrolyte solution. This brand claims their minerals are ‘plant-derived’ and ‘organic’ and thus better than synthetic mineral supplements. Moreover, ConcenTrace drops are Non-GMO certified, CGMP certified, Kosher and Halal certified, solar evaporated, gluten free, vegan, and contain over 72 naturally occurring trace minerals. That’s a lot of great things, but all may not be necessary for just replacing lost minerals. But for those keeping Kosher or vegan, they may be the way to go.
Again, I am not endorsing the above two products but wanted to bring a couple to your attention because of the importance of maintaining electrolytes in your body. Most likely you don’t consume enough calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium in your regular diet to replace what you lose through stress and sweat. Is it any wonder we can’t think straight, have motor impairment, experience pain and cramps, hold too much water and feel sluggish?
Replenish your electrolytes through diet and supplementation. Do it consistently for a month and feel the difference. And next week, we’ll look at the importance of maintaining an alkaline body, and the role electrolytes play in that as well. With the body functioning optimally with proper pH and electrolyte levels, you are on your way to optimal health.