While everyone goes on about protein shakes, fat burners, and detox cleanses, preceding all these fad beverages were the good ol’ electrolytes refills that need to make a comeback.
Why? Well, if you want to prevent exercise-associated muscle cramps, dizziness, and nausea, you need to understand that they all point to an imbalance in the body—one that is caused by the depletion of electrolytes while working out and sweating.
Electrolytes are minerals that are broken down to form ions; they get electrically charged when mixed with water. When you workout, your body loses water and minerals. So while you can have water to refill your fluids, you need to replenish your mineral deficit, too. What you’re most likely lacking is:
- Sodium & Chloride: They promote muscle and nerve functioning, and regulate blood pressure.
- Calcium: It helps in muscle contraction.
- Magnesium: It keeps the cells healthy and functional.
- Potassium & Phosphate: These minerals stabilize the pH balance and energy levels.
You can get your fill of electrolytes very easily through some everyday foods and beverages. Here’s what you should have handy after a workout:
- Coconut Water: It is the best energy drink. Coconut water is not just a rich source for potassium and magnesium, it also contains calcium, phosphorous and sodium. It is free from sugars and preservatives that energy drinks are typically loaded with.
- Nuts & Seeds: Chia seeds, raw cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts and raw nut butters amp up your electrolytes. They have vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, omega-3s, iron, fiber and protein. Nuts and seeds will inject your cells and blood with new electrolytes to replace the ones that are lost.
- Fruits & Vegetables: Leafy greens, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, banana, apples, and cucumbers are all ingredients you want to add to your post-workout smoothie. They restore the electrolytes in the cells and maintain the equilibrium.
The next time around, ditch the smoothies and shakes; trade them for these simple fixes instead. They are functional, nutritious, and have no additives, preservatives or artificial sugar.