An electrolyte is a substance that dissociates into charged particles called ions. Positively charged ions are called cations and negatively charged ions are called anions. Most soluble salts, acids, and bases dissolved in water are electrolytes.
An Electrolyte and Hydration
Many bodily functions rely on the tiny electric current that electrolytes provide, including muscle and nerve function. Without electrolytes, your body would experience a variety of health problems, including dehydration.
You can make electrolyte drinks at home that contain all the essential minerals needed to stay hydrated and healthy, from Gatorade to homemade sports drinks. They can help you hydrate and replenish vital nutrients that may have been lost during strenuous exercise, extreme heat, vomiting or diarrhea.
How to Make Electrolytes at Home
Sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium and calcium are some of the most important minerals your body needs in order to function properly. These minerals are also necessary to keep your blood pressure within a safe range and maintain fluid balance throughout your body.
When these minerals are not absorbed correctly, your body can lose fluid and experience dehydration, which can lead to headaches, fatigue, dizziness and decreased motor function.
This is why it is important to drink plenty of fluids and maintain a balanced diet that includes foods high in electrolytes. If you are exercising, especially if you are on a ketogenic diet, it is even more critical to ensure that your body has enough electrolytes so that your muscles have the energy they need to work efficiently and safely.
These minerals are also essential for maintaining proper cellular function, allowing your body to move nutrients into your cells and waste out of your cells and so that your brain and nerves have the oxygen they need to operate properly.
There are several ways to keep your electrolytes in check when you exercise, but one of the best is to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods contain natural sources of the key minerals that your body needs, including vitamins and minerals that are necessary for a balanced diet.
Your kidneys also help maintain your electrolyte levels by flushing out excess water and sodium. However, this is only a temporary solution. Your body will need to replenish its supply of these crucial minerals again once you have stopped exercising or are unable to exercise for some time.
A good way to rehydrate your body after a workout is to mix a few tablespoons of a flavored sports drink like Gatorade with a glass of water or juice. These drinks are easy to make at home and can be used to rehydrate before a workout or as an electrolyte replacement during the exercise.
You can find commercially prepared electrolyte replacements in most grocery stores and health food stores, but it is much easier to prepare them yourself at home. You can use a variety of fruits and vegetables to add flavor to your electrolyte hydration drink and to make it easier for you to absorb all the necessary minerals.