Most often linked to sports drinks, electrolytes are vital for good health
You’ve probably seen those ads for sports drinks that claim to offer better hydration than water during or after an intense workout. The reason, they say, is that sports drinks replenish electrolytes; water does not.
Are these claims valid, or are sports drink companies just trying to sell you their products? What, exactly, are electrolytes? And is it really so important to replace them?
It turns out, there is some truth in advertising. According to Lynne Braun, PhD, CNP, a nurse practitioner with the Rush Heart Center for Women, electrolytes are a health essential.
The essence of electrolytes
You’re probably familiar with most or all of the electrolytes, even if you didn’t necessarily know they were electrolytes:
I’ve always found the difference between electrolytes and minerals somewhat confusing. Some experts say it’s all the same, or is at least converted within the body to be all the same but I didn’t entirely get it. One of my goals in writing this week’s blog is to gain a better understanding for myself of the similarities and differences (and hopefully be able to convey this new understanding in a very articulate way to you)
I wrote up trace minerals some time ago in dealing with the arthritis in my hands. Regarding the post’s mention of coconut oil, see Coconut Oil – Why You Should Include it in Your Diet.
Mom Loves Water
Most of us are somewhat familiar with electrolytes and know about things like Gatorade to replenish but what I’m going to talk about goes way beyond drinking a sports drink after heavy exercise. While I hold strong that water is the most essential nutrient for the body, I know that water is not the only supplement our bodies crave. Our bodies are basically made up of the same things that make up the earth, so beyond water we need to think about the soil and thus what’s in (or supposed to be in) the earth’s soil. Minerals. Beyond water (or better yet, with our water) our bodies need replenishment of minerals.
I’ve always found the difference between electrolytes and minerals somewhat confusing. Some experts say it’s all the same, or is at least converted within the body to be all the same but I didn’t entirely get it. One of my goals…
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Worth thinking about. Also, don’t forget all the hidden sources of salt in the processed foods in your diet. Pay attention to the ingredients and nutritional breakdown.
Cooking with Kathy Man
Cutting down on salt and increasing potassium can safely lower blood pressure by a small amount, research shows. However, it’s less clear whether this reduces the chance of having strokes and other heart and circulation problems.
What do we know already?
If you have high blood pressure, you have a raised risk of several serious health problems, including heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.
Lots of things can affect your blood pressure, including what you eat and drink. Too much salt and too little potassium can both increase your blood pressure. Doctors recommend that people with high blood pressure eat less salt, and they sometimes recommend taking potassium supplements or eating more potassium-rich foods such as bananas, oranges, tomatoes, and pulses.
However, we don’t know for sure how much cutting salt and increasing potassium actually lowers blood pressure, and whether the reduction in blood pressure really reduces the risk of…
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