It’s been a hot summer in the northeast. But I’m definitely not complaining; living in the north country of New York from November through March will make you appreciate any amount of warmth and sun. Still, it can be uncomfortable and even dangerous when the humidity is over 83%, and it’s 98F degrees outside.
We recently were hit with a heatwave, and I put myself in a situation where I was in deep need of a natural electrolyte drink. Our home doesn’t have central air. Usually, that’s not a problem for me, but the atmosphere was particularly oppressive on this day. I spent the day writing in my office upstairs when around 1 PM, I started to feel slightly dizzy. Then, my head started to hurt, and my upper lip began sweating profusely.
Suddenly it hit me; it was way too hot and humid for my dogs and me. After descending into the basement, I felt relief wash over me. I also realized how sweaty I was and was incredibly thankful for the electrolyte drink I had on hand.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals the body gets from the foods and fluids you consume. The job of minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium is to carry electrical energy to help the body function properly. The water levels in the body, along with pH levels, are aided by electrolytes. Nutrients move into cells, and waste is removed; nerves, muscles, heart and brain function are regulated; damaged tissue is rebuilt, all thanks to electrolytes.
When we work out really hard, or the air is heavy with heat and humidity, our bodies lose electrolytes through sweat. To ensure our bodies are still operating at their fullest, it’s vital to replenish the electrolytes we lost. Pediasure and Gatorade have been household staples for decades, and while we don’t doubt their ability to provide the body with necessary minerals, they’re not exactly natural products. Thankfully, the earth gave us a plethora of options for naturally boosting our electrolytes.
1. Electrolyte-infused drink
Many electrolyte-infused drinks contain ingredients I listed separately below, but together pack a powerful punch to combat dehydration and improve the body’s regulation. My favorite natural electrolyte drink combines coconut water, a cocktail of organic and natural juices, and a little sea salt. The liquid is pure gold and is my go-to after a rigorous yoga flow or an oppressively hot day. The only way I can describe the feeling is calibrated.
2. Coconut water
If you’re looking to stick to one-ingredient ways to boost your electrolytes, unsweetened, natural and organic coconut water is our top suggestion. According to the USDA, one cup of coconut water has around 350 mg of potassium. That’s about 13% of your recommended daily value, and large bottles of coconut water can be found in any grocery store. While more expensive than regular water, it’s typically less than popular processed sports drinks. That’s why it earned a spot at the top of the list.
3. Pomegranate juice
All natural juices contain electrolytes, but pomegranate juice takes the cake. Natural and unsweetened pomegranate juices contain over 530 mg of potassium. The only downsides are the product is often not cheap, and finding an all-natural unsweetened kind can be hard to find.
4. Sea Salt
“Why would Ariel want to leave the sea when its water is swimming with electrolytes?” is a question my Disney-loving brain had to ask. Sprinkling in a few sea salt crystals and a squeeze of a lemon into your morning glass of water is a quick and simple way to give your body an electrolyte boost after waking up.
Did your grandmother ever tell you to eat a banana whenever your eye twitched? Mine did; she always explained that bananas are packed with potassium, which helps calm the spasm. Electrolytes do so much!
Avocados work similarly and contain more potassium than bananas; 660 mg, to be exact! So if you’re looking to pack your day with potassium, I highly recommend a banana smoothie for breakfast and avocado toast for lunch. Who said healthy food couldn’t be tasty?
Last but certainly not least: Watermelon enters the chat. While the summertime staple has a good amount of potassium, it’s also 92% water. So if you have a vigorous workout routine, incorporating watermelon into your post-workout regimen is a delicious edition.
Whatever way you choose to boost your electrolytes, it’s fantastic how many natural options are out there! Of course, western medicine and inventions all have a place, but returning to the earth from which we came for our healing and replenishing always works a little bit differently. And I would argue, better.