Rich sources of electrolytes are leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, fruits (especially bananas, which are great for snacks before or after a workout), soy, dairy, fish and lean meats, among others. many others. “Electrolytes affect our body in positive and negative ways, depending on whether they are deficient or in sufficient quantities, as they play a vital role in the body, from maintaining a pH balance to promoting quality sleep,” says Best. Because they are involved in functions at the cellular level, they affect every area of health.
Benefits of electrolytes
While we need electrolytes that are replenished throughout the day, “we need them especially after we have lost fluids due to sweat or illness,” says Best, as a way to replenish stocks, boost the immune system and supply nutrients and help them. muscles to rest and recover. .
For example, “low levels of calcium, magnesium and phosphates adversely affect brain health and can lead to poor focus and cognitive ability, and the heart requires potassium to keep it in rhythm, so when levels are low, it can to cause pressure on the heart. “which can lead to heart failure,” Best explains. Proper potassium levels can also help prevent kidney stones.
These are all reasons why you do not want your electrolyte levels to be depleted, but you also do not want them to be elevated. “An electrolyte imbalance, either too high or too low, can cause polyuria or dysuria, frequent or low urination levels and this can cause poor bladder and urinary tract health and can increase the chance of a urinary tract infection,” he says. the Best.
And while all electrolytes are needed for adequate hydration and general health, there are some specific ones that are best suited for specific signals and body needs.
If you have dry mouth and skin: sodium
“Dry mouth and skin can be a sign of low sodium, which seems contradictory, as high-salt meals can cause dry mouth. “However, hyponatremia, which is medically diagnosed with low sodium, can cause the skin to lose its elasticity, become dry and cracked, and significantly increase thirst,” says Best.
If you have leg and muscle cramps (especially during a workout): calcium
According to Best, electrolytes are needed to help muscles relax and perform, especially during high-intensity exercise. “Low electrolytes can cause pain and tightness in an athlete more than usual and recovery time may take longer, but electrolytes help in this process by preventing cramps, keeping muscles relaxed and allowing the rebuilding process to occur more seamlessly “. Says the best.
And while all electrolytes are beneficial, calcium is especially helpful in relieving cramps. “A critical loss of electrolytes, especially calcium, can cause leg cramps, muscle spasms and cramps, which occur at the cellular level in the muscles,” says Best. So do not forget to refresh your water and electrolyte levels to replenish what you lose from both exhalation and sweating.
You have toothache and sensitivity to enamel: potassium
“When the blood becomes very acidic, which can happen as a result of potassium deficiency, the teeth are an area that is severely affected,” says Best. This acidity breaks down the calcium in our teeth and wears out the protective enamel, which causes pain in the teeth and further damage to the teeth and gums.
Potassium is stronger when combined with magnesium. “Magnesium and potassium work together to prevent this acidity from occurring, which ultimately allows the body to use its calcium more efficiently,” says Best. Both are found in peanut butter and almonds, leafy greens and bananas.
In addition, you can get some potassium in your toothpaste, so change the paste if necessary. “Potassium nitrate is often found in toothpastes as an active ingredient that prevents the transmission of pain from the tooth and to your brain,” says Daly, where you will notice relief from toothache when you eat foods that usually cause discomfort and discomfort and pain. when you chew, too.
Do you have a brain fog or pain in the head and temples: magnesium
“Magnesium plays an important role in helping neurotransmitters in the brain to function more efficiently, and when there is a lack of magnesium, they are unable to process synapses and signals, which ultimately inhibits adequate mental knowledge and acuity,” says Best.
If you have brittle bones or are injured frequently: phosphorus
When it comes to bone health, we immediately think of calcium, but phosphorus is an important metal for bone health and improving strength and structure, and therefore should not be overlooked. “Phosphorus is an important component of cell membranes, especially those found in bones, and a phosphorus imbalance, whether excessive or insufficient, can have an impact on bone health and fragility,” says Best.
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